Native plants are "born and raised" in the local environment. They tend to attract songbirds and other local wildlife that not only add beauty to your yard but also act as natural pest-fighters.
Try some of these Willamette Valley native shrubs.
Small or low-growing shrubs
Kinnikinnick is an evergreen, low-growing, woody groundcover.
Red huckleberry is a great understory shrub sporting lacy foliage that floats in tiered layers, and edible berries. Bare green twigs offer winter beauty.
Evergreen huckleberry is an evergreen shrub with yummy fruits. New leaves are shiny copper, turning dark green.
Snowberry is a deciduous shrub with waxy white berries in winter (for birds, not people).
Oregon grape – Oregon’s state flower – is a four-season beauty with brilliant yellow flower clusters, edible blue berries, and spiky leaves with fall color. Available in low to high-growing species.
Blue elderberry produces white flower clusters, and edible berries in late summer.
Lewis mock orange blooms with masses of white flowers, which attract butterflies with their orange-blossom scent.
Pacific wax myrtle has evergreen leaves that can create a nice privacy screen.
Redtwig dogwood is a deciduous shrub with striking red stems in winter (great for flower arranging).
Western serviceberry is a large deciduous shrub with gorgeous white flowers and purple berries that birds and humans love.
Nonnative shrubs can also meet your needs – just steer clear of invasive ones (like English holly).
- Conifers are generally very cold-hardy and come in many shapes and sizes – from teeny-tiny bird’s nest spruce, to medium-sized mugo pine, up to tall golden arborvitae.
- Witch hazel is a deciduous shrub that blooms in winter and comes in various sizes.
- Strawberry tree is a fast-growing evergreen that makes a nice screen plant with red bark and colorful, edible fruit in summer. It comes in several sizes.
Find more shrub ideas for Pacific Northwest gardens from Great Plant Picks
When planting shrubs, follow these key tips
Right plant, right place. Choose shrubs that match your goals (privacy, habitat, view from a window, etc.) and the sun, soil, water and space of the spot you plan to plant.
Amend the soil, not the hole. Compost is a great source of soil-improving organic matter, but avoid the temptation to dig it into the bottom of the hole. This can lead to sinking, trunk rot and possible plant death. Mix compost into the soil around the hole instead.
"Layer your landscape." Learn more tricks for healthy backyard habitat