Shrubs With Showy White Flowers - Best Bushes For White Blossoms

Shrub With Snowy White Flowers
(Image credit: JuliaLototskaya)

Shrubs are the soldier bees of the landscape, stepping into many different roles. They can provide structure, offer privacy, supply wind protection, and, last but hardly least, decorate the outdoors with amazing blossoms.

Although shrubs with vivid flowers add drama to a garden, many gardeners opt for white flowering shrubs to bring in a sense of elegance and serenity. Whether you are looking to plant one bush with white flowers or several, it helps to have a shortlist of candidates. 

White Flowering Shrubs

If you are looking to install white flowering shrubs in your landscape, you will find more than a few to choose from. It’s best to narrow down your options by making early decisions about what you are looking for.

Do you want a small bush or a large bush with white flowers? How about the flowers themselves? Are you seeking for a bush with small white flowers or huge ones? Is fragrance important to you? 

It’s equally important to have your own hardiness zone and site characteristics clearly in mind before you hit the garden store. Some shrubs require sun, some shade, and many prefer a wind-sheltered location. You’ll want to be sure that the bush with white flowers you bring home will work well in your environment.

Hydrangeas with White Flowers

Hydrangeas are among the most popular of shrubs and the easiest to grow. Most prefer full or partial sun and a mild winter climate. Many gardeners are familiar with the Big Leaf shrubs that produce flowers like huge globes in pink and blue. There are several hydrangeas, though, that offer white flowers.

Panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) is a large shrub, growing to 15 feet (5 m.). Its branches fill with large clusters of white flowers early in summer that turn a pale pink as they mature. Shorter but equally lovely, oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is noted for its leaves that are shaped like oak leaves. It tops out at 6 feet (2 m.) and offers larger clusters of white summer flowers.

Another hydrangea to consider is smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), especially the popular cultivar ‘Annabelle.’ It is a shorter shrub, topping out at 5 feet (1.5 m.) but offers huge, rounded clusters of lovely white summer flowers. 

Other Shrubs with White Flowers

You’ll find there are quite a few other lovely shrubs that produce white flowers. One shrub worth consideration is buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis). Growing 6 to 12 feet (2-4 m.) tall, this sun-loving bush produces small balls of white flowers. It is a good choice for wet sites. 

Wildly popular in the south, crape myrtle shrubs (Lagerstroemia indica) are big enough to make an impression in a landscape. This bush is beloved for its huge, showy flowers that fill the large shrub’s branches in late summer. White flowering crape myrtle brings beauty to any garden. 

What could be better than a shrub that will add a sweet smell to the garden? A good one to try is fragrant honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima). Its foliage is stiff and leathery but the white spring flowers are frothy and fill the garden with their sweet odor. These are followed by red berries. 

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.