Nothing quite brightens up a garden like the cheery shade of yellow. Add warmth and light to even the coldest, shadiest spot by choosing a bush that blooms with sunny yellow flowers in the spring or summer. Deploy yellow-flowering bushes in containers to add a pop of color to a porch or deck or get the most bang for your buck by permanently planting a perennial shrub in your garden.
Home gardeners who live in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 7 might look to an alpine current (Ribes alpinum) for a bush that will tolerate full shade but still bloom with yellow flowers in the spring. This shrub, which also tolerates harsh winters, reaches a maximum average height and width of 6 feet and is often grown as a hedge plant.
The Japanese kerria (Kerria japonica "Golden Guinea") is another hedge plant that thrives in partial shade, but will also tolerate full shade quite nicely. Hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9, the bush grows to a maximum average height of 8 feet and width of 9 feet. As its name implies, "Golden Guinea" blooms with small yellow flowers in April and May.
Forsythias (Forsythia spp.) are prized for their early-spring yellow flowers, and the weeping forsythia (Forsythia suspensa) is no exception. Hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8, this forsythia features gracefully drooping branches lined with bright-yellow blooms in early spring -- blooms that show off their best color when grown in full sunlight. This bright-yellow bush reaches a maximum average height and width of 10 feet and can be trained to grow on a support structure like a vine.
Lilac is a shade of purple, but it's also a fragrant plant (Syringa vulgaris). And while many home gardeners might associate a lilac's blooms with the color purple, it actually comes in many hues -- including creamy yellow, although yellow cultivars are not easily found. "Primrose" (Syringa vulgaris "Primrose") is one such cultivar that features fragrant yellow blooms. This bush is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 7, reaches a maximum height and width of around 15 and 10 feet respectively, and thrives in full sunlight.
Home gardeners in cool climates can warm up the landscape with sunny yellow bushes. The shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa) is one fitting choice. Hardy in USDA zones 3 through 7, it can tolerate very cold temperatures and has a long blooming season of June through September. The shrub blooms with small yellow flowers, thrives in full sun or part shade, and grows to an average maximum height of 4 feet and width of 5 feet.
The fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) not only features yellow spring flowers, but as its name implies, it has a pleasant scent. It's not just cold-climate gardeners that can enjoy this plant, either: the fragrant sumac is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9. This bush grows to a maximum height and width of 6 and 10 feet respectively, grows best in full sun or part shade, and features attractive, scarlet fall leaves.
Oleanders (Nerium oleander) are prized for their ability to thrive in hot, humid areas. Most are shades of pink, but one cultivar, Nerium oleander "Luteum Plenum" is prized for its pale yellow blooms. Hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10, this bush can grow to heights of 10 feet or more, but is usually pruned to remain around 6 feet tall and wide. Showy and hardy, oleanders are unfortunately also quite poisonous, so do not cultivate this plant where children and pets can get to it.
Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is a spring-blooming, yellow-flowering bush hardy in USDA zones 6 through 10. It's a trailing shrub that can be cultivated as a ground cover, but it can also reach a maximum average height of 15 feet. Winter jasmine has an average spread of 6 feet and thrives in full sun or part shade.
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Ribes Alpinum
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Kerria Japonica "Golden Guinea"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Forsythia Suspensa
- Fine Gardening: Syringa Vulgaris "Primrose"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Potentilla Fruticosa
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Rhus Aromatica
- Floridata: Nerium Oleander
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Jasminum Nudiflorum