Deep-coral-pink Japanese quince flowers

Shrubs that look good in March

Discover five beautiful shrubs that flower in March, in our expert guide.

Shrubs provide the ideal backbone for mixed borders and can also create an eye-catching focal point. Shrubs grow at different heights, adding complexity to the garden, and provide shelter for wildlife such as birds. By planting shrubs that flower at different times, you can add interest to the garden right through the year, not to mention food for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

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We list five of the best March-flowering shrubs, for spring colour and scent, below.

Chaenomeles

Deep-coral-pink Japanese quince flowers
Deep-coral-pink Japanese quince flowers

Few spring flowers can match the flaming orange blooms of the Japanese quince (Chaenomeles japonica) that adorn the branches from March to May. While the flowers look elegant and delicate, this is a robust and easy to grow shrub. Pink, white, peach, red and yellow-flowered cultivars are also available.

Camellia

Pink camellia blooms
Pink camellia blooms

Camellias are particularly versatile plants because they combine well with different styles of planting, whether the vision is the classic ‘English’ garden or a woodland-style scheme, where it can be paired with other shrubs like rhododendrons. Plus, many cultivars, such as ‘Water Lily’, have scented flowers. Camellias need an acid (ericaceous) soil to thrive. If you don’t have these conditions in you garden, grow something else, instead.

Forsythia

Brilliant yellow forsythia with contrasting bluebells beneath
Brilliant yellow forsythia with contrasting bluebells beneath

Forsythias are in bloom from around January to April, so by March the display should be in full swing. The bright yellow blooms are unmissable and there are many varieties to grow, including the vigorous ‘Spectabilis’ and the reliable ‘Weekend’.

Viburnum tinus

White viburnum flowers
White viburnum flowers

This attractive, evergreen shrub produces dense clusters of white, fragranced flowers from December to April. Viburnum tinus can be grown as hedging or as a specimen shrub in borders or alone. Varieties to grow include ‘Lucidum’ and ‘Gwenllian’. Watch out for viburnum beetle.

Golden currant

Yellow flowers of golden currant
Yellow flowers of golden currant
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The rich, spicily scented flowers of the golden or buffalo currant, Ribes odoratum, are the perfect partner to spring-flowering bulbs and spring-flowering perennials, including daffodils and pulmonaria. In autumn the foliage turns a handsome red-purple colour. Fully hardy, this lovely shrub prefers full sun, in any well-drained soil.