Guide to Planting and Caring for Shrubs


A shrub is normally defined as a woody-stemmed plant with a framework of branches from its base, as opposed to the single trunk of a tree. Although this is true for the majority of cases, this definition is not a rigid one; some shrubs may be trained as standards with a single trunk, whilst some trees are multi-stemmed. Whilst shrubs are generally smaller than trees (usually less than 6 m (20 ft) tall), again, this is not always true, and some shrubs can be larger than some trees.

Regardless of their definition, shrubs account for a huge variety of plants suitable for gardens of any size and style. In this section, we aim to provide you with everything you need to know about shrubs and their care, including advice on choosing shrubs with the features that will complement your planting scheme, detailed instructions on how to plant them, along with some handy tips and advice on how to keep your shrubs in first-class condition.

Using Shrubs in Your Garden
Discover some of the many different features of shrubs, and how they can be used to their best advantage in your garden design.
Planting Shrubs
A look at buying healthy shrubs for your garden, along with step-by-step guides on how to plant them in the open ground, against a wall or in a container.
Shrub Maintenance
Everything you need to know about keeping your shrubs healthy, including winter care and a guide to transplanting.
The Gardening Year
Discover which key maintenance tasks must be carried out for shrubs from spring to winter.
Choosing the Right Shrub
Learn which shrubs can be planted in shade, sandy soil, and other conditions, along with varieties that are scented, or provide seasonal interest.