While some shrubs much pruning, watering and feeding is required, maintenance varieties minimal effort. Considerations such as climate, soil, lighting and landscaping, play an important role in the selection of the best varieties of low-maintenance shrubs for your garden.
Tall shrubs screen the scenery, privacy and protection from wind. Taller varieties make attractive backdrops behind flower beds and along property boundaries. Common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) grows as tall as 15 to 20 meters. It is hardy in climates as cold as U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone 3 It prefers moist, slightly acidic soil in sun or light shade. Other types of high shrubs include white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) and common pearl bush (Exochorda racemosa).
Evergreen shrubs provide year-round color. While some require frequent pruning evergreens keep them shaped and healthy, others are low-maintenance varieties. Inkberry (Ilex glabra), dark evergreen leaves shows on upright stems. This shrub tolerates climate as cold as USDA zone 5 and grows to a mature height of around 9 meters high. Although it prefers moist soil, tolerates wet and dry conditions, and is suitable for a variety of naturalized areas. Long Talk Holly (Ilex pedunculosa) and bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) and evergreen shrubs are low maintenance.
Flowering shrubs and color appeal to landscape designs, low-maintenance ones. Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus) produces red flowers in late spring and seed pods in the fall. It grows 6-9 feet tall and blooms in USDA zones 5 to to 8. Carolina allspice tolerates a wide range of soil conditions and grows well in full sun or partial shade. Other varieties of ornamental shrubs include sweet pepper bush (Clethra alnifolia) and bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora).
All landscape plants require some care and maintenance shrubs. While they do not need frequent applications of fertilizer, they benefit from the annual compost in early spring. Applying a layer of vegetative compost around the shrubs' base helps the necessary nutrients during the growing season. Although most low-maintenance shrubs tolerate periodic droughts, some require additional watering during hot, dry periods. Light cut once or twice a year away damaged growth and helps prevent diseases and pests.