zone 6 shrubs
zone 6 shrubs
(Image credit: hdmddphoto)

Shrubs truly furnish a garden, adding texture, color, summer flowers, and winter interest. When you live in zone 6, the cold season weather gets pretty nippy. However, you’ll still have your choice of many different types of hardy shrubs for zone 6. If you are thinking of growing shrubs in zone 6, you’ll want information about what to plant. Read on for a short list of the types of bushes for zone 6 gardens.

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.

Flowering Ornamentals

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.

Teo Spengler

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.