Saturday, January 8, 2011

Blooming shrubs and trees for your southern garden

Crepe Myrtle Blossoms

In South Carolina, as well as other parts of the southeast, Springtime cues the shrubs and trees to produce magnificent blooms and blossoms galore. Here are a few that are well worth the money to have in your yard, especially for zone 8 areas and warmer.


Oleanders are a poisonous shrub, but when used in a landscape for beautiful focal points are perfectly safe to handle, and trim. This shrub tolerates drought, heat and requires little care aside from pruning on a yearly basis. They can grow up to 20 feet tall, and thus need to be kept to a manageable size. The flowers are beautiful and fragrant and usually begin blooming in May. Trim branches with gloved hands and never use the wood for a barbecue. These shrubs are seen all over the south, along road sides, old homesteads, and many are seen en route to Beaufort SC as you cross bridges to go to the near by islands. A beautiful addition to a yard, if shown proper care and respect.

Crepe Myrtle

Crepe Myrtle

 Crepe Myrtle shrubs come in a variety of colors, is easy to grow, drought and heat tolerant and some blossoms of some varieties are fragrant. These shrubs are not very expensive, can be trimmed to remain a shrub or trained to become a tree. They come in white, reds, purples, pinks and are a gorgeous easy growing show stopper in bloom.

Cornicus Florida (Dog Wood)


 This flowering tree has beautiful white blossoms in Spring and red berries in the winter. It is easy to grow if you live in an area with moist acidic soil. Many grow wild in the woods in the southeast and can live in low light conditions. They do benefit from morning sun though. Many are thrive best in homeowners yards and not in areas where intense heat and drought would be.



 Few shrubs can offer the brilliance and promise of Azaleas. The blossoms completely cover the shrubs in early Spring. Some varieties are now able to bloom several times a year. This shrub loves shady, acidic, well drained soil that has rich composted material. They can be planted at the base of trees, and also planted en masse in a shaded area where other things will not flourish with low levels of light. That being said, most Azaleas do well with morning sun and respond well to regular watering. Easy to care for and beautiful to look at these shrubs grow large and can live a long time. A great choice for the novice gardener in southern areas of the US.

Yoshi no Cherry Tree 
The Yoshino Cherry tree is a beautiful small sized tree that is great in zones 5-8. The blooms are  beautiful clustered and showy,fragrant and arrive in Spring.  They prefer a moist yet well drained soil and generally do well in full sun. Well worth the investment for your yard as few trees can complete with these beautiful trees that also attract many birds to your yard.

Magnolia Grandiflora/Southern Magnolia/Bull Bay  

This is the flowering tree of all trees. A common fixture in the south and in many southern landscapes, the Magnolia is a magnificent giant flowering tower capable of reaching nearly a hundred feet in height. One of the largest blooming trees around, the Magnolia is slow growing, and able to produce dozens of large, fragrant blossoms during the summer months. Once the flowering season is done, the blossoms leave behind large pods that produce brightly colored red seeds. Birds and squirrels are particularly fond of these and having a Magnolia in your landscape will definitely attract wildlife. Don't expect seeds to be produced in trees younger than ten years of age.
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