By Proven Winners® ColorChoice®
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners® ColorChoice®
Who doesn't love a reblooming shrub? Which is to say that instead of just blooming once, they go on to bloom again and again. If you are looking to add flowers, and plenty of them, to your landscape, take your pick from this list of ten favorites.
Butterfly bush have one of the longest bloom times of all garden plants: they seem to never be without flowers from early summer through autumn. This makes them perhaps better called "continuous bloomers" over rebloomers, since they don't really take a break like other plants on this list do. Whatever you call them, though, you can count on these three award-winning butterfly bush series to bring the blooms all summer long without you lifting a finger. They don't need deadheading – simply plant them in a sunny spot and enjoy the show! Hardy down to USDA zone 5, sizes vary depending on the cultivar, from 4-5' to a petite 1.5' tall/wide.
There's no shortage of beautiful clematis out there but the genus has often frustrated and confused gardeners. However, this improved 'Jackmanii' blooms reliably from midsummer into fall and is noted for its intense purple color and large blooms. Happy Jack Purple clematis is easy to grow, it flowers on new and old wood so you simply have to prune it back to 2' each spring. Hardy down to zone 5; will climb to 6-8' tall.
Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
Invincibelle® series hydrangeas
Dr. Tom Ranney spent well over a decade developing Proven Winners ColorChoice Invincibelle series of smooth hydrangeas. With that kind of dedication, you know they're good. Indeed, they are some of his finest work: neat, compact habits, strong stems that don't flop, an amazing array of colors (take your pick of five!), and the ability to rebloom without deadheading or any special care. These are truly hydrangeas that even those in the coldest areas can grow and simply enjoy, without stress or worry, for years to come. Hardy down to zone 3, sizes vary depending on cultivar, from 3-4' tall/wide, to the smallest H. arborescens yet, Invincibelle Wee White®, at just 1.5-2' tall/wide.
Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
Let's Dance® series hydrangeas
Reblooming bigleaf hydrangeas aren't a new concept, but reblooming hydrangeas that actually keep their promise are! The Let's Dance series was developed with an eye specifically toward improving performance in cold climates. This series of six lushly colorful, easy-to-grow hydrangeas bloom on old wood, like conventional types, and go on to create more flowers on the new wood later in summer. Older types needed a long time of favorable growing conditions in order to grow enough for new wood blooms to form; we worked to shorten that period so that even in areas with cooler, shorter summers, you'll get even more of what makes the ultimate summer flowering shrub so appealing. Hardy in zones 5-9, sizes vary depending on cultivar, from 3-4' tall/wide to the most compact rebloomer, Let's Dance® Blue Jangles® which tops out at just 1-2' tall/wide.
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Gatsby Pink® hydrangea
Most people don't think of oakleaf hydrangeas as reblooming, and they can't be blamed – most aren't. Gatsby Pink oakleaf hydrangea, however, is an exception. Its football-sized blooms start in early summer and quickly turn a glorious pink, which sticks around til frost. Soon after, crops of fresh white lacecap blooms appear on the plant. They're a bit smaller than the first round of blooms, but the effect is stunning. Add in the outstanding fall foliage of this durable native shrub and you've got a landscape classic. Hardy down to zone 5, reaches heights/widths of 6-8'.
Mountain Hydrangeas (Hydrangea serrata)
Tuff Stuff™ series hydrangea
Tuff Stuff hydrangeas really are in a class by themselves. Known as mountain hydrangeas, they are closely related to the perennially popular bigleaf types, but are native to the chilly mountaintops of Japan as opposed to the mild seaside where their bigleaf cousins grow. As a result, they've naturally developed excellent resistance to cold. If you have given up on bigleaf hydrangeas, let Tuff Stuff redeem hydrangeas for you! We selected these four fantastic plants for absolutely beautiful lacecap blooms, handsome deep green foliage, very tidy compact habit, and reblooming ability. They truly are a cut above the rest! Hardy in zones 5-9, these compact hydrangeas stay within the 1.5-3' size range.
Oso Easy® roses
Oso Easy roses are another flowering shrub that's probably better described as continuous blooming over reblooming. All thirteen varieties in this award-winning series (which includes prestigious recognition from the American Rose Society) start to bloom in early summer and keep up the show through frost. If it gets extremely hot, they may have to take a little break to recover, but once cool conditions return, they're back at it and better than before. Each was selected for outstanding color, versatile size and shape, disease resistance, and the fact that you'll never need to deadhead a single bloom to keep the flowers coming. That's what makes them oh so easy! Zone and size varies depending on cultivar, but ranges include USDA zones 3-9 and heights/widths of 1-4'.
Double Play Doozie® spirea
Innovative is a word that gets thrown around a lot with gadgets but rarely with plants. That's a shame, because they can be truly innovative, like Double Play Doozie spirea. It's the first-ever reblooming Japanese spirea! It does not set seed, so it directs all that energy into creating more bright red-pink flowers. And more flowers. And more flowers, all the way through frost. It's a bit more upright than your typical mounded Japanese spirea, so it makes an amazing choice for an easy care, colorful, non-stop blooming hedge, or mix it with your favorite annuals and perennials for a floriferous display. Hardy in zones 3-8, reaches heights/widths of 2-3'.
Bloomerang® series lilac
Bloomerang Purple lilac, the original reblooming lilac, is still a classic – and the series has grown to include four fragrant, reblooming, disease resistant selections. Whichever one you choose, you can expect Bloomerang lilac to bloom in mid-late spring along with other lilacs (sometimes a bit later, depending on conditions), then take a rest through about late July before it starts to push out clusters of fragrant new blooms through frost. You do not need to trim or deadhead Bloomerang lilac after it blooms in order to get a rebloom, but trimming does result in more flowers, since it encourages more new growth. The more new growth Bloomerang lilac puts on after its first bloom, the better the rebloom will be, so it's more important to keep it happy and growing vigorously in this period: don't let it dry out, don't let it get too soggy (lilacs are extremely sensitive to wet conditions), and consider giving it a little dose of rose fertilizer as the first bloom is winding down to boost new growth production. Hardy in zones 3-7, larger cultivars will reach heights of 4-6' and dwarf cultivars will get to be 2.5-3' tall/wide.
Sonic Bloom® series weigela
Think of the Sonic Bloom series as a modern take on an old-fashioned favorite: all the charm of your grandmother's weigela, but with high-powered rebloom that will have your family making all new memories! Take your pick of five fabulous colors, and enjoy its bloom alongside other weigela. Then, after a little rest, watch those trumpet-shaped blooms come blaring back summer through fall. If you're a weigela lover, you probably already know that they attract hummingbirds, which gives Sonic Bloom yet another advantage over other types: they provide food over a much longer period, including that crucial autumn migration when hummers really need to fuel up. Hardy in zones 4-8, sizes generally range from 2-5' depending on the cultivar.
All of these beautiful ornamental shrubs are trialed, tested, and proven to be outstanding in the field and in the garden, and when sited correctly you'll enjoy these radiant rebloomers all season long.
By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
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