best flowering hedge bushes for South Central MI.

Asked October 11, 2020, 7:01 PM EDT

Would like to plant a hedge with 3 different types of flowering bushes that hedges well. Thanks

Calhoun County Michigan

1 Response


Your question about choosing plants without more information such as site, soil and size of plants makes it difficult to recommend the right plant for the conditions.

When designing with plants, several factors must be taken into account. One is function, and your plan is to plant a hedge of flowering shrubs. Is this a privacy hedge? How big should it be? Before choosing the plants, you must consider the plant’s adaptability to the site. This would involve the plant’s cold hardiness (Calhoun County is in Hardiness Zones 5b-6a) and tolerance to the site conditions which include soil type, exposure and light levels. Attached is an article which explains how to properly assess the site conditions before investing in plant material. In addition, I suggest that you have the soil analyzed. Get a soil testing kit at:

Once you have established the conditions: soil type, water availability, light and exposure, and the amount of maintenance that you can provide, you can choose the plants that would work. A variety of plants, as you suggest would ensure that the plants would be healthier than if only one species was used. If attacked by an insect or disease the whole hedge could be affected. However, maintenance issues may arise because flowering plants require pruning just after flowering. You would have to adapt to the different flowering times of the different species to prune at the correct time.

You could consider several types of flowering shrubs that would serve your purpose such as viburnum, lilac, spirea, weigela and hydrangeas if you are planting in a sunny spot. If your area is shady, you may think about fothergilla, clethra, itea and any member of the holly family ((Ilex species). You could also consider planting native plants. Attached is a bulletin about native plants.

Once you have chosen the shrubs, you can search on the internet to learn whether those plants would do well in the conditions where you will plant them.

I hope this helps you to make your choices.

Thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.