Needles, berries, flowers, leaves—shrubs display a wide variety, like other plant types. However, there are no shrubs like yellow shrubs for cheering up a garden. Whether they have yellow flowers or foliage, these bushes are sure to make you grin.
Read on to discover shrubs large and small, evergreen and deciduous, to suit every part of the yard.
Find the perfect shrub, whether you’re looking for a groundcover for a tough spot or a yellow flowering shrub to be the center of attention. Use one of these shrubs as a foundation plant, on a slope, or in a hedge, border, or mass.
- Yellow Bushes
- How to Plant a Shrub
- When to Plant These Bushes
- Yellow Azalea (Rhododendron luteum)
- Common Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
- Forsythia (Forsythia) – A Blooming Yellow Shrub
- Shrubby Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)
- Golden Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii 'Aurea')
- Northern Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) – A Golden Shrub with Fall Foliage
- Windsong Rhododendron (Rhododendron 'Windsong')
- Japanese Rose (Kerria japonica)
- Japanese Mahonia (Mahonia japonica) – A Shade-Loving Bush
- Red Fame St. John's Wort (Hypericum x inodorum 'Red Fame')
- Lydian Broom (Genista lydia)
- Yellow Camellia (Camellia nitidissima) – An Attractive Evergreen
- Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon)
- Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora 'Kaleidoscope')
Make sure to follow the growing requirements. For you to experience the most vibrant yellow color, it’s essential to provide the proper sun or shade conditions.
How to Plant a Shrub
Dig a hole that’s as deep as the shrub’s root ball but twice as wide. Remove the shrub from its container and put it in the hole, ensuring the root ball’s top is even with or higher than the soil surface.
Rotate the plant if necessary so that it’s facing your desired direction, then loosen the roots with your hands.
Return the excavated soil to the hole, pressing down lightly to eliminate air pockets. After filling the hole, water the shrub well. Distribute a layer of mulch.
When to Plant These Bushes
Although both fall and spring are suitable for starting evergreen shrubs with lots of color, fall is ideal for deciduous ones. Fall planting allows the shrub to get established before the stress of summer.
As a deciduous shrub enters its dormant period, it stops producing leaves and focuses on storing nutrients. Although fall temperatures are cool, the soil is still warm enough to encourage root development.
Yellow Azalea (Rhododendron luteum)
This shrub boasts clusters of funnel-shaped, sweet-scented golden-yellow flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. The yellow azalea’s green leaves turn red, orange, and yellow in the fall.
Note that the whole plant is poisonous if ingested. This azalea excels as a hedge or foundation plant or in a border. Insert it in the spring or fall in acidic, moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil.
This shrub prefers partial shade except for full sun in cool, moist conditions. Distribute mulch, and keep the soil evenly moist. Apply azalea fertilizer in early spring and again 12 to 16 weeks later.
Common Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
From October to December, this shrub or dwarf tree with small yellow flowers produces fragrant, ribbon-like yellow flowers. Its serrated leaves turn yellow in the fall. The witch hazel also releases greenish seed capsules that last into the winter.
Plant it in the fall in a border or as a hedge. It thrives in average-quality, medium-moisture, well-draining, acidic soil that’s rich in organic matter. Full sun is ideal, but part shade is acceptable.
Water your witch hazel regularly during its first season. Feeding is unnecessary, but young plants enjoy receiving all-purpose, balanced fertilizer in late winter or early spring. Remove suckers to limit the plant’s spread.
Forsythia (Forsythia) – A Blooming Yellow Shrub
In early spring, this shrub’s long branches display brilliant yellow blooms. Use forsythia as a privacy wall or foundation plant or for erosion control on a slope. Propagate it with stem cuttings after it flowers.
The forsythia does best in full sun and loose, medium-moisture, fast-draining soil. Water your shrub regularly until it’s mature, then only during extended dry spells.
Once the plant is one year old, distribute one cup of granulated fertilizer every few weeks during the spring and summer. If you want a neat, tidy-looking forsythia, prune it just after it finishes blooming.
Shrubby Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)
This hardy shrub blooms from early June to fall—typically with single yellow flowers. They may also be double or different colors, like white.
Plant shrubby cinquefoil in the spring or fall as a foundation plant or groundcover or a border or mass. These medium-sized or miniature shrubs for full sun or light shade like moist, fertile soil that drains well. Spread organic mulch.
Give your shrub compost or complete fertilizer in late spring and water during prolonged dry spells. Cut branches back to ground level after it flowers. Cinquefoil has the advantage of being one of the deer resistant flowering shrubs, too.
Golden Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii ‘Aurea’)
This compact hardy bush with thorns has yellow leaves and red berries. In late April or early May, it bears unremarkable yellow flowers. This barberry can be invasive, especially in northeastern North America.
Propagate it with cuttings taken in late spring or semi-hardwood cuttings taken in the summer. Ideally, place it in full sun, although it tolerates part shade. The soil should be well-drained.
The golden barberry has low water needs. Fertilizer is not necessary, but you may feed it in early spring every few years.
Northern Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) – A Golden Shrub with Fall Foliage
From June to August, this hardy, low-growing shrub exhibits trumpet-shaped, yellow-orange flowers. Its green foliage turns yellow, orange, red, and purple in the fall. Propagate it by dividing rhizomes in the spring or using cuttings.
Try using it as a groundcover or in a hedgerow or border. This honeysuckle does best in full sun but also grows in partial shade. It’s flexible but prefers fertile, well-draining soil.
Although newly planted shrubs demand moist soil, established ones survive on little water. You may fertilize young shrubs to encourage large blooms.
Windsong Rhododendron (Rhododendron ‘Windsong’)
This evergreen rhododendron bears clusters of funnel-shaped, wavy-edged, pale yellow-green flowers with little red balls in the spring.
Install it in the spring or early fall to enjoy a stunning border plant. It thrives in most sun conditions and acidic, fast-draining, fertile soil.
Fertilize your rhododendron annually in early spring when its buds begin swelling. Mulch it in the spring with pine bark or needles. Water it in the summer if there’s less than one inch of rain per week.
Japanese Rose (Kerria japonica)
This shrub’s arching, green-barked branches boast chrysanthemum-like yellow flowers in the spring and sometimes again in late summer. Ingesting many of the Japanese rose’s leaves may cause respiratory failure or even death.
Propagate it with softwood cuttings taken in early summer. Kerria works well as a loose hedge, foundation plant, or component of a shrub border. Part shade is best, although full sun is also acceptable.
The kerria plant prefers medium-moist, loamy soil that’s rich in organic matter and drains well. Water it regularly but do not overwater. Give it slow-release fertilizer in the spring, and remove suckers frequently to limit spreading.
Japanese Mahonia (Mahonia japonica) – A Shade-Loving Bush
This shrub’s large, dark-green leaves have spiky leaflets and may develop a red or purple tint in cold weather. It displays long clusters of lemon-yellow flowers in late fall, then blue-black berries.
Propagate the Japanese mahonia with seeds or semi-hardwood cuttings. Try it as a foundation or slope plant. The mahonia thrives in partial to full shade and fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil.
Add mulch and organic matter. Water your shrub deeply in its first year, and then it has average water needs. Apply slow-release, balanced fertilizer in March.
Red Fame St. John’s Wort (Hypericum x inodorum ‘Red Fame’)
This low maintenance, semi-evergreen or deciduous shrub has red stems and oval leaves that smell pleasant when crushed. From midsummer to early fall, it has star-shaped yellow flowers with gold stamens. In the fall, it yields bright-red berries.
Propagate St. John’s wort with semi-hardwood cuttings. It flourishes in full or part sun and moist, well-draining soil. Try it in a border or as a hedge, specimen plant, or slope plant.
Spread mulch in cold climates. If the soil is poor-quality, add compost or manure. Keep the soil moist for young plants, then only water during prolonged dry spells.
Lydian Broom (Genista lydia)
This tough shrub forms a dense mound of trailing branches and small green leaves. In late spring and early summer, it bears many bright-yellow, pea-like flowers. Try Lydian broom as a groundcover, on a slope, or in a bed or border.
Propagate it with seeds or semi-hardwood cuttings. The site should have full sun and poor-quality, fast-draining soil.
Since it has low water needs, the Broom plant does well in a garden that gets little water. The shrub also does not require much fertilizer.
Yellow Camellia (Camellia nitidissima) – An Attractive Evergreen
This evergreen has glossy leaves that start tinted purple then mature to dark-green. From December to March, it boasts fragrant golden-yellow flowers with bushy stamens. Insert the yellow camellia between late fall and early spring.
This shrub shines as a specimen plant or in a border or hedge. Find a site with partial shade and acidic, moist soil that’s rich in organic matter and drains well. Spread mulch, and water your plant well until it’s mature.
In the spring, deadhead, then apply slow-release 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 fertilizer. You may also fertilize again in midsummer.
Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon)
This short shrub’s leaves release a minty fragrance when crushed and are sometimes variegated. In mid or late spring, it produces bright yellow flowers flecked with brown. Gardeners often use yellow archangel as a groundcover, including on hillsides.
Note that it spreads aggressively and is invasive in some regions of the northern United States. It’s easy to propagate with stem cuttings or runners. The site should have partial to full shade and well-drained loam with compost added.
Although young plants require moist soil, mature ones tolerate temporary drought and dry soil. No fertilizer is necessary.
Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’)
This compact shrub has reddish-purple stems and semi-evergreen leaves that are green and yellow in the spring, golden in the summer, and red and orange in the fall and winter.
From May to September, it exhibits fragrant, bell-shaped white flowers. Plant glossy abelia in the fall or spring.
Try it as a specimen, foundation, or slope plant, or in a border or hedge. It flourishes in average-quality, well-draining, moist soil that’s rich in organic matter. Full sun is best, but part shade is also acceptable.
Water your abelia deeply once a week, except once a month in the winter. Give it 10-10-10 all-purpose fertilizer after planting and monthly during the spring and summer.
Whatever your garden arrangement, you’re sure to find a yellow shrub that strikes your fancy.
Yellow flowering shrubs bring a sunny touch to a garden, whether the blooms are pale yellow or vibrant yellow-orange and or they’re funnel-shaped or in long clusters.
If it’s not the flowers, another feature of yellow shrubs is guaranteed to win you over, such as their hardiness, bright berries, or unique foliage. These shrubs’ leaves sometimes display fall color or a delightful fragrance when crushed.
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