Medium Sun Shrubs

Ranging from 4 to 6 feet, medium shrubs can be used as hedges, screens, noise barriers, in mass plantings, or as focal points. They can be as tall as they are wide. Several provide flower color and attractive fruit, while others provide colorful fall foliage.


Cherry Bomb Barberry

Berberis thunbergii ‘Monomb’

Height: 3-4′ Spread: 3-4′

Low hedge, barrier planting, or single shrub accent, with compact branches and deep crimson color to the dense foliage. Enhanced with bright red berries in fall and winter that attract winter songbirds to the garden.

Golden Rocket Barberry

Berberis thunbergii ‘Golden Rocket’

Height: 3-5′ Spread: 2-3′

Narrow, upright growing, deciduous shrub with showy, bright yellow foliage. Pale yellow, insignificant flowers in spring are followed by bright red berries in fall which persist through the winter.

Helmond Pillar Barberry

Berberis thunbergii ‘Helmond Pillar’

Height: 3-4′ Spread: 1-2′

Upright, deep purplish red columnar shrub pairs beautifully with shrubs and perennials with light green or golden foliage. 

Lime Glow Barberry

Berberis thunbergii ‘Lime Glow’

Height: 5′ Spread: 4′

Irregularly variegated green and chartreuse foliage. Plant in a row to create a colorful and intruder-proof hedge. In fall the leaves turn brilliant shades of red, lightening up the garden.

Mentor Barberry

Berberis mentorensis

Height: 4-6′ Spread: 5-6′

Upright, rounded, semi-evergreen barberry. Stems have sharp thorns. Early spring flowers are very attractive.

Orange Rocket Barberry

Berberis thunbergii ‘Orange Rocket’

Height: 4-5′ Spread: 2-3′

Vibrant coral-orange new foliage ages to a medium green, then turns ruby red in autumn. This award-winning, compact shrub has a vigorous upright growth habit and improved resistance to rust. Use to brighten the landscape in mass plantings, as a specimen plant, or in a container. 

Rose Glow Barberry

Berberis thunbergii ‘Rose Glow’

Height: 5′ Spread: 4′

Graceful branching makes a great hedge, barrier planting or single accent. Deep rose-red foliage is mottled with white and green in spring, bringing warm color into the landscape. Bright red berries in fall and winter.

William Penn Barberry

Berberis x gladwynensis ‘William Penn’

Height: 4′ Spread: 4-6′

Gracefully arching branches display a profusion of bright yellow flowers in spring and brilliant bronze fall color. Wonderful fast-growing evergreen hedge for mass planting. Good barrier plant.

Butterfly Bush

Harlequin Butterfly Bush

Buddleja davidii ‘Harlequin’

Height: 4-6′ Spread: 3-5′

Spectacular summer color from reddish-purple flower spikes. Terrific fragrance attracts butterflies. Good background or accent plant with the added bonus of variegated leaves.

Butterfly Bush (Summer Lilac)

Seedless and non-invasive; deer resistant, too!

Height: 4-5′ Spread: 4-5′

  • Miss Molly
  • Miss Pearl
  • Miss Ruby
  • Miss Violet

Chaste Tree

Blue Diddley Chaste Tree

Vitex agnus-castus ‘SMVACBD’

Height: 3-5′ Spread: 3-5′

Drought-tolerant dwarf shrub for a border or as a specimen. The upright clusters of lavender-blue, summer-blooming flowers and aromatic gray-green leaves attract butterflies.

Chaste Tree, Vitex agnus-castus, at Monrovia Nursery Co.


Alpine Currant

Ribes alpinum

Height: 3-5′ Spread: 3-5′

Compact, mound-forming, extremely winter hardy deciduous shrub with bright green, trilobed leaves in spring. Perfect for hedges since the foliage covers the plant all the way to the ground. Responds well to heavy pruning or shearing.


Arctic Fire Dogwood

Cornus stolonifera ‘Farrow’

Height: 3-5′ Spread: 3-5′

Compact habit for smaller gardens or residential landscapes. Tolerates a wide range of soil and light conditions.

Arctic Sun Dogwood

Cornus sanguinea ‘Cato’

Height: 3-4′ Spread: 3-4′

Unusual yellow, orange, and coral stems pop in the winter landscape. Deer resistant and shade tolerant.

Creme de Mint ™ Dogwood

Cornus alba ‘Crmizam’

Height: 4-5′ Spread: 4-5′

Mint green variegated leaves with creamy white margins become tinged with pink or red in fall. Compact and densely branched with chartreuse stems that add character to the winter landscape. The best stem color is produced in full sun but tolerates partial shade. 

Isanti Red- osier Dogwood

Cornus sericea ‘Isanti’

Height: 6′ Spread: 6′

A multi-stemmed shrub with a neat, compact habit. Blood-red stems are showy in winter. A fast growing, easy-to-grow plant that thrives in moist situations. Ideal specimen plant and great for naturalizing. 

Ivory Halo Dogwood

Cornus alba ‘Bailhalo’

Height: 5-6′ Spread: 5-6′

Compact dogwood with bright red winter stems and variegated (white-edged) leaves. Rapid-growing, multi-stemmed shrub. Flowers give way to clusters of blue-white fruits in summer. Fruit is quite attractive to birds.

Red Rover Dogwood

Cornus obliqua ‘Powell Gardens’

Height: 4-5′ Spread: 4-5′

Compact selection of native dogwood. White flowers in summer, and autumn brings deep purple foliage which gradually changes to luminous red. Blue fall fruit adds to its appeal. 

Dwarf Burning Bush

Cole’s Compact Dwarf Burning Bush

Euonymus alatus ‘Cole’s Compact’

Height: 6-8′ Spread: 6-8′

A tidy, well-behaved shrub with compact branching and dense foliage, finer than others of its species. Blazing red leaf color in autumn.

Fireball Dwarf Burning Bush

Euonymus alatus ‘Select’

Height: 5-7′ ‘Spread: 5-7’

Improved selection of compact burning bush with tighter branching and superior hardiness.

Sem Ash Leaf Spirea

Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem’

Height: 4-6′ Spread: 4-6′

Vividly colored, pink to red, fern-like spring foliage turns chartreuse with bronze tips, then solid green as it matures on this hardy, compact shrub. Showy panicles of tiny, white flowers adorn the foliage in late spring. Superb in foundation plantings, or for accenting borders and raised beds. Works well on slopes.


Show Off Forsythia

Forsythia x intermedia ‘Mindor’

Height: 5-6′ Spread: 5-6′

Compact selection is covered from base to tips with large bright yellow blooms in early spring. The attractive dark green foliage provides season long interest. Excellent as a short hedge, in mixed borders and foundations, or as a cut flower.


Bloomerang Dark Puple Lilac

Syringa x ‘SMSJBP7’

Height: 4-6′ Spread: 4-6′

Large dark purple buds emerge in mid to late spring. These open to a classic deep purple-lilac color. Blooms again in mid to late summer, continuing through frost.

Bloomerang Dwarf Pink Lilac

Dwarf Pink Syringa x ‘SMNJRPI’

Height: 3′ Spread: 3′

Small rounded shrub produces pure pink blooms that cover the plant in late spring, then reappear throughout summer and fall.

Bloomerang Purple Lilac

Syringa x ‘Penda’

Height: 4-5′

Spread: 4-5′

Scent and Sensibility Lilac

Syringa x ‘SMSXPM’

Height: 3′ Spread: 6′

This dwarf lilac is wider than it is tall, and produces dark pink buds opening to soft, lilac-pink flowers. It is very fragrant. For smaller landscapes, providing lots of color and fragrance in a compact package


Dart’s Gold Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Dart’s Gold’

Height: 4-5′ Spread: 4-5′

Striking foliage color on a compact, mounded shrub. Large maple-like leaves emerge bright golden yellow in spring, age to lime green, then take on a golden hue with a bronze tint in fall. Small white flowers bloom in dense clusters, followed by small red fruit. Exfoliating bark on mature branches provides intriguing winter interest.

Ginger Wine Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘SMNPOBLR’

Height: 5-6′ Spread: 5-6′

Sparkling burgundy foliage and unique peeling bark creates a stunning backdrop in shrub borders. Spring foliage is a radiant orange. Pink-white blooms are lovely in floral arrangements

Little Devil Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Donna May’ 

Height: 3-4′ Spread: 3-4′

Upright spreading habit and fine textured, dark burgundy foliage with clusters of small purplish-white flowers in June.

Summer Wine Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Seward’

Height: 5-6′ Spread: 5-6′

Compact growing habit that is arched. A fast-growing plant with graceful wine colored foliage with pale pink blooms. 

Tiny Wine Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘SMPOTW’

Height: 3-5′ Spread: 3-4′

Dwarf ninebark with small, dark maroon to bronze leaves and pink buds that open into white to light pink flowers.

Tiny Wine Gold Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘SMNPOTWG’

Height: 3-4′ Spread: 3-4′

Brilliant yellow new growth, small, refined foliage, and dozens of clusters of white-pink flowers in late spring.


Snowday Blizzard Pearlbush

Exochorda x ‘Blizzard’

Height: 5-6′ Spread: 5-6′

Extra large pure white flowers cover this plant in Spring resembling a winter blizzard of white. White flowers contrast nicely against the mounded green foliage.

Snowday Suprise Pearlbush

Exochorda hybrid ‘Niagara’

Height: 3-4′ Spread: 3-4′

Strong grower with a neat, compact habit. Large white blooms cover this plant in a flood of spring flowers.

Lotus Moon Pearlbush

Exochorda x macrantha ‘Lotus Moon

Height: 5′ Spread: 4′

Spring bloomer covered in white round flower buds resembling pearls. Buds open to clear white blooms in April and May, and has bright green foliage on the compact, upright, mounded plant.

Pink Flowering Almond

Prunus glandulosa

Height: 4-5′ Spread: 3-4′

Numerous, small, double pink blossoms cover the branches in early spring. Forms a small bushy shrub with slender, erect stems,


Lodense Privet

Ligustrum vulgare ‘Lodense’

Height: 4′ Spread: 4′

A handsome dwarf privet with a dense habit and rich green foliage that shears well. If not pruned, panicles of lightly-scented white flowers appear late spring to early summer, followed by black ornamental berries in late summer. An excellent choice for low hedges.