Shrubs that look good in May

Discover five shrubs to grow for fantastic May flowers and foliage.

With warmth in the air, there are plenty of shrubs that are blossoming and greening up with gusto in May.


Some of the shrubs flowering at this time of year, such as deutzia, weigela and lilac, flower on growth made the previous year. This means they’re best pruned right after flowering, to ensure you’re not removing new growth that will bear next year’s blooms. Here are five plant types that can be pruned in winter, including old shrubs and plants that bleed.

Discover five shrubs which look good in May, below.

Also known as Carolina allspice, calycanthus have stunning flowers that are almost a cross between magnolia and water lily blooms.


Many deutzias are awash with flowers in May, including Deutzia gracilis and Deutzia pulchra. Prune them after flowering to encourage strong new growth that will flower next year. Here are eight reasons to prune in summer



These standout shrubs are available in just about every colour. Groups of mature rhododendrons look truly spectacular when they come into bloom in April and May.


Viburnum plicatum

An attractive shrub with interesting crinkled-looking leaves and panicles of flowers arranged in loose layers. Cultivars to grow include ‘Mariesii’, which has distinctly veined leaves. Watch out for viburnum beetle.



Many flowering dogwoods will be coming into bloom in May. This includes the wedding cake tree (Cornus controversa), pictured, as well as other species like Cornus florida and Cornus canadensis.


Calycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’

Also known as Carolina allspice, calycanthus have stunning flowers that are almost a cross between magnolia and water lily blooms. ‘Hartlage Wine’ has deep burgundy flowers and cinnamon-scented foliage.


Shrubs to prune in spring