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Shrubs and trees provide an ideal foundation for any garden. Whether you’re just getting started in the world of gardening or have a green thumb that only the most expert gardeners could dream of—adding low-maintenance fillers to your garden that still add plenty of visual interest is a no-brainer. Because whether we like it or not, sometimes life can get in the way of garden maintenance, so why not add a few staple pieces that will maintain the aesthetic you desire—without all of the hard work? That is exactly what these 6 simple, low-maintenance shrubs are for! 


meyer landscape low maintenance shrubs for every landscape barberry leaves up close



Berberis thunbergii, more commonly known as the Japanese barberry, will light your garden up with its vibrant foliage throughout the entirety of the growing season, but particularly in the fall. Its arching, thorny stems offer brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and crimson near the end of the growing season and provide a natural home security in the process. Barberry is a tough, drought-tolerant shrub that requires little maintenance. It’s shade-tolerant, and prefers moist, well-drained soil. It is hardy in zones 4 through 8 but should get a solid layer of mulch around its base here in Illinois to protect it from winter damage. 


meyer landscape low maintenance shrubs for every landscape pink weigela



Weigela is a genus of several species of deciduous shrubs that fall within the Caprifoliaceae family. Native to Eastern Asia, they can have an arching, upright, mounding, or spreading habit and can grow anywhere from 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide to 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide depending on the variety. They are hardy, low-maintenance shrubs that will bloom most prolifically in full sun with striking, tubular, five-lobed flowers. Most varieties have finished blooming by late spring, but there are reblooming varieties that give a continual show throughout the season. Their flowers come in shades of yellow, pink, white, and red, while their foliage is chartreuse, gold, green, variegated, burgundy, and even deep purple in some varieties. 


meyer landscape low maintenance shrubs for every landscape evergreen junper shrubs


Juniper Shrubs

Junipers are evergreen, coniferous plants that are pretty multifunctional. While all are members of the Juniperus genus, some are classified as trees while others are shrubs or groundcover. Talk about multifunctional! But, for the sake of this article, we will refer to Juniper shrubs. They are one of the toughest low-maintenance shrubs you can find for your landscape, and they make for excellent hedges, foundation plants, and more. Their foliage ranges from blue to yellow to dark green, and they prefer full sun and well-draining soil. They do occasionally suffer from some disease, with Phomopsis blight being their most serious attacker. It presents as browning branch tips and can be managed with period applications of fungicide. 


meyer landscape low maintenance shrubs for every landscape red euonymus fire ball burning bush



Euonymus represents 175 different genus varieties of dwarf shrubs, trees, and groundcovers. Euonymus alatus, or ‘Fire Ball’ burning bush is a popular variety that is hardy for zones 4 through 8. This low-maintenance shrub will grow to approximately three feet high and wide and will shower your garden with vibrant green foliage in the midst of the growing season that turns to a brilliant red in the fall.



While azaleas have already finished their blooms for this season, they remain worth mentioning. Classified in the genus Rhododendron, these low-maintenance flowering shrubs require well-draining soil due to their shallow root system. If planted in poorly draining soil, your azalea shrub is likely to develop root rot. They grow anywhere from two to eight feet tall and produce showy, fragrant blooms in the springtime. As a deciduous bush, it will shed its leaves in the fall, whereas its close neighbor, the rhododendron plant, often remains green in winter. Azaleas are also generally smaller in height and have smaller leaves and blooms. 


meyer landscape low maintenance shrubs for every landscape evergreen dwarf norway spruce


Dwarf Norway Spruce

Low growing with a mounding habit, the Dwarf Norway Spruce, or Picea abies ‘Pumila,’ offers dramatic color and interest, particularly in the fall and winter. As a low-maintenance, evergreen shrub, it makes for a wonderful option if you are on the hunt for a border structure without all of the work that comes with traditionally sheared hedges. It grows best in full sun, is hardy to zone 3, and will spread up to about 5 to 10 feet. It is both deer-resistant and rabbit-resistant and fits well into a traditional-style landscape design

Once you have established these low-maintenance shrubs in your landscape, you will have the perfect foundation to work around as you plan your spring or fall-planted garden. If you’re on the hunt for low-maintenance shrubs in Moline, stop by the garden center to see what we have in stock!


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