About Zone 6 Shrubs
Zone 6 isn’t the coldest region in the country, but it’s not the warmest either. The Department of Agriculture’s hardiness zone system ranges from 1 to 12, based on the coldest winter temperatures. In zone 6, you can expect minimum temperatures of 0 to -10 degrees F. (-18 to -23 C.). While tropical bushes won’t survive the freezes your garden will experience, hardy shrubs for zone 6 are not rare. You’ll find both deciduous bushes and evergreens among the zone 6 shrubs available.
Types of Bushes for Zone 6
When you are growing shrubs in zone 6, you’ll have many options. That means you can afford to figure out in advance what types of bushes for zone 6 would work best in your backyard. Evaluate your garden and backyard sites you intend to plant. Figure out how tall you’d like your zone 6 shrubs, and whether you want to create a hedge or plant individual specimens. If flowering shrubs would make you happy, now is the time to consider those possibilities.
If you are thinking of growing shrubs in zone 6 for a permanent privacy screen or windbreak, think evergreens. One evergreen classic for hedges is arborvitae (Thuja spp). It looks like a lush Christmas tree with its fan-like evergreen foliage, offering year-round privacy and wildlife shelter. Many species of arborvitae are available in commerce, with different mature heights and spreads. Nearly all thrive as zone 6 shrubs, so take your pick. If you want a defensive hedge, barberry (Berberis spp.), with its sharp thorns, works well. You’ll find many types of bushes for zone 6 among the barberry family. Most offer arching, fine-textured branches with purple or yellow foliage. The flowers give way to bright berries that birds love.
If you want zone 6 shrubs to create a romantic garden, look no further than weigela (Weigela spp.) which thrives in zones 3 through 9. Its lush blossoms won’t disappoint. For blooms that appear earlier in the year, forsythia (Forsythia spp.) is a great choice for zone 6. Its brilliant yellow flowers are often the first blooms to appear in springtime. Other hardy shrubs for zone 6 include Sevenbark hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), which offers big, snowball blossoms, and the rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus). This deciduous shrub blooms late but offers gorgeous trumpet flowers well into autumn.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.