Your yard features beautiful shade trees and a growing garden, but it still needs something to feel complete: shrubs.

Properly placed shrubs balance a yard, add variety and color, and optimize outdoor spaces. Colorado boasts a wide variety of gorgeous native shrubs. Additionally, the climate suits a wide range of shrub species.

In this blog, you’ll find a basic guide to some of the most popular shrub options for Colorado homeowners.

Small Shrubs (1 to 4 feet)

Even small spaces need a touch of color or a change in foliage texture here and there. The shrubs in this list fit ideally into smaller yards, as well as yards with abundant current plants.

  • Bagatelle Barberry: Part of the hardy barberry family, the Bagatelle grows to be only about 1½ feet tall and wide. This dainty option has deep red foliage that brightens in the fall.
  • Dwarf Lilac: Dwarf Korean lilacs provide the distinct look and scent of lilacs without taking over your yard. This lilac has reddish purple buds that open to pale purple flowers, and it grows up to 4 feet.
  • Flowering Almond: The ornamental flowering almond produces ruffled pink double blossoms early in the spring. The shrub requires little water and grows anywhere from 3 to 4 feet tall.
  • Hydrangea:  The hydrangea family has over 100 varieties. The arborescens and paniculata varieties thrive in Colorado, even in full sun. Hydrangeas produce conical white blossoms in July.

Medium Shrubs (4 to 6 feet)

For a larger statement, opt for a mid-sized shrub. These shrubs grow to the perfect height for beds near the front of your home. The following shrubs grow from 4 to 6 feet, or allow hedging in that size range.

  • Chokeberry: Not to be confused with chokecherries, the chokeberry shrub grows to be 5 to 8 feet tall. In the summer, its leaves have a shiny green color. But by the fall, the leaves turn beautiful shades of orange and red.
  • Gooseberry: Gooseberries withstand most weather extremes. They produce fruit similar to currents and grow up to 5 feet.
  • Honeysuckle:  The honeysuckle Arnolds red stands strong and tall enough to serve as a windbreak. The tall shrub produces red blooms.
  • Regent Serviceberry: The native regent serviceberry offers something in each season. It grows up to 6 feet and produces white blossoms in the spring, edible fruit in the summer, and a red color in the fall.

Large Shrubs (6 feet and up)

If you hope to embellish a wide open space, consider a larger shrub or hedge. These classic options give Colorado yards a distinct, diverse look.

  • Lilacs: Lilacs have a strong floral scent that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. These shrubs can grow up to 15 feet and bloom in white, pink, purple, blue, or red.
  • Rocky Mountain Juniper: The Rocky Mountain juniper is a Colorado native. This evergreen produces small berries and can grow as tall as your yard allows.
  • Roses: Classic roses give your home an air of grace and elegance. Roses come in nearly every color and grow to be about 6 feet.
  • Sumac: Several varieties of sumac thrive in Colorado. These distinct shrubs can grow up to 15 or 20 feet tall. Sumac comes in shades of red and purple.

When you decide to add shrubs to your current landscaping, consult with an arborist. He or she can help you optimize the placement of your new foliage for air flow, growth, and aesthetics.

Also consider contacting an experienced landscaping team for planting. This ensures that your new shrubs have the best possible chance to thrive where they’re planted.

Choose some of the hardy, beautiful shrubs from this list to perfect your yard.