8 White Flowering Shrubs To Add A Touch Of Elegance To Any Landscape

White flowering shrubs instantly add sophistication to any yard or garden. Plus, they go with everything! Here are our top picks for beautiful white blooms.

White flowering panicle hydrangea shrubs
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Shrubs are a versatile element in the garden and white flowering shrubs even more so. They can provide structure, offer privacy, supply wind protection, and lift the landscape with amazing blooms.

Although shrubs with vivid flowers add drama to a garden, white flowering shrubs offer 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. Here are our top picks.


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 blooms you bring home will work well in your environment.


From classic cottage garden favorites to knockout native plants, here are our 8 favorite white flowering shrubs to grow in the garden:

1. Buttonbush

Bee pollinating blooms on the buttonbush

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One shrub worth consideration is buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis). This plant looks like it's from another planet, but it is actually native to many parts of the United States. Growing 6 to 12 feet (2-4 m.) tall, the sun-loving buttonbush produces small balls of white flowers. It is a good choice for wet sites. 

2. Crepe Myrtle

White blooming crepe myrtle next to a pink crepe myrtle

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Wildly popular in the South, crepe 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 crepe myrtle brings beauty to any garden. 

3. Mock Orange

Close up of mock orange blossom

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Mock orange is a fragrant flowering shrub citrus lovers will adore. Their dainty spring blooms smell like orange blossoms, a unique aroma most Northern gardeners never get to experience in their own landscapes. Depending on cultivar, these shrubs are hardy from Zone 3 to 8.

4. Deutzia

Blooming deutzia shrub in a grassy field next to spirea

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Deutzia is an old-fashioned favorite you've likely seen near an out-of-use barn or along an old fence. Their graceful arching branches burst forth with blooms in May. Usually white, but sometimes blush, these flowers provide a spectacular spring display. Hummingbirds love them, but deer don't. That's a win-win!

5. Viburnum

Close up of Koreanspice viburnum flowers

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There are more than 150 species and even more named cultivars of viburnum shrubs, and many of them feature white flowers. While some types have enticing scents, others are downright repellent. Be careful which cultivar you choose. For a sweet clove-like fragrance and gorgeous white blooms, try Koreanspice Viburnum (v. carlesii).


You can't have a list of beautiful blooming shrubs without mentioning hydrangeas. These garden favorites are among the most popular shrubs and some of the easiest to grow. Most prefer full or partial sun and a mild winter climate. Many gardeners are familiar with the bigleaf hydrangea shrubs that produce huge flowering globes in pink and blue. There are many hydrangeas, though, that offer white flowers.

6. Panicle Hydrangea

Panicle Hydrangea in Full Bloom

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The panicle, or PeeGee hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata), is a large shrub that grows to 15 feet (5 m.) depending on cultivar. The popular 'Vanilla Strawberry' type boasts branches filled with large clusters of white flowers in early summer that turn pale pink as they mature.

7. Oakleaf Hydrangea

Oakleaf hydrangea with white flowers

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For a more compact option, the equally lovely oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is noted for its leaves shaped like oak leaves. It tops out at 6 feet (2 m.) and offers larger clusters of white summer flowers.

8. Smooth Hydrangea

Smooth hydrangea bush in bloom

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Another hydrangea to consider is the 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. These stunning shrubs are native to parts of North America, which makes them a low-maintenance option for gardeners who want to sit back and enjoy their beautiful blooms.

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.

With contributions from