Several Japanese flowering bushes prosper in the United States and they are often used to add a distinct note to a landscape, garden or border. Like most bushes, these need care as they are getting established, with particular attention to watering. But once they get going, they require very little care except for pruning to maintain them in a certain shape or a confined space such as a hedge.
Also known as Japanese knotwood (or knotweed), Japanese bamboo has hollow, jointed woody stalks and grows to a height of up to 8 feet. Its leaves are egg-shaped, 4 to 6 inches long and 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches wide. There are separate male and female plants, both of which bloom in August and September with clusters of greenish-white flowers about an inch long.
This is a large, bushy spreading shrub hardy in zones 5 to 9, which prefers full sun to part shade and moist soil. While an excellent plant for a hedge, Japanese bamboo gets out of control very easily and is hard to eliminate because it spreads quickly by putting out underground rhizomes. Consider keeping this plant confined to a container.
Japanese Snowball Viburnum
The Japanese snowball viburnum is a showy perennial bush that grows in moist, well-drained soil in partial sun to partial shade. This plant can reach a height of 10 to 15 feet and a width of 15 to 25 feet. It thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 to 8.
In early to late spring, this shrub is totally covered in white flowers in spherical clusters. Japanese snowball viburnum produces an elliptic fruit about 2 inches long. The single-seeded berry is red at first and matures to black.
Orange Delight Japanese Flowering Quince
With its showy red and orange flowers, orange delight Japanese flowering quince is a striking bush that does well in zones 4 to 10. This deciduous shrub is small, reaching a height of 1 to 2 1/2 feet and a width of about 2 1/2 feet. It produces a hard, tart, pear-like fruit that can be used to make jelly. The shrub does well in dry, sunny climates and is drought-tolerant.
Japanese Barberry Red
Japanese barberry red is a deciduous thorny bush that produces both flowers and fruit. It has red to dark purple ovate leaves, and produces yellow blossoms in the summer. From late fall through winter, it has bright red berries along its stems. This small shrub, up to 24 inches tall and about 30 inches wide, makes an excellent hedge. Hardy in zones 4 to 9, Japanese barberry red does best in full or partial sun and moist, but not wet, well-drained soil.
Japanese kerria has bright green leaves with bright yellow flowers in mid-spring and pale yellow foliage in autumn. Japanese kerria grows 3 feet to 6 feet high and 6 feet to 9 feet wide. Japanese Kerria does best in full sun to shard in moist, well-drained soil, and does best in zones 5 to 9.
- Photo Credit Charles Nesbit/Stockbyte/Getty Images snowball bush 59. image by mdb from Fotolia.com flowering quince close-up image by Carbonbrain from Fotolia.com
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