20+ Of The Best White Flowering Shrubs

It’s getting to be spring and that means I’ve started planning my garden design changes for this year. One thing I have already decided I want to do is add a blue and white garden…which means finding some more white flowering shrubs and perennials to help create my new garden color scheme.

Best white flowering shrubs

White Flowering Shrubs

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking about my inspiration for creating a blue and white color scheme for my garden this year.

And I mentioned that I have always used a lot of plants with blue flowers but not that much white. After all, I’m generally a big color person…both in my home decorating and in my garden.

So I needed to go and find some white flowering shrubs and perennials that I might want to use in my new garden section.

After looking through my garden pictures, I realized that I actually have more white flowering bushes than I thought I did. Of course, that didn’t stop me from looking for some more 🙂

I also wanted to make sure that I have some options that are blooming throughout the gardening season to keep the color scheme going.

So here’s what I found…my list of the best white flowering shrubs.

Spring Blooming Shrubs

Daphne

Daphne odora ©Zanoza-Ru - stock.adobe.com
©Zanoza-Ru – stock.adobe.com

Bloom Time: Early Spring
Zones: 5 – 10 (depending on the variety)
Light: Part Shade
Size: 2′ to 4′ tall and wide

The first bush on my list of white flowering shrubs is Daphne.

Daphne can be a little finicky to get going but its flowers have a beautiful fragrance that I think is worth the effort.

And once they are established, they are relatively low maintenance.

Click HERE to find out more about growing Daphne.

Pieris Japonica

White flowering Pieris Japonica ©Zanoza-Ru - stock.adobe.com
©Zanoza-Ru – stock.adobe.com

Bloom Time: Early spring
Zones: 5 – 8
Light: Part shade
Size: 3′ to 10′ tall (depending on the variety)

Pieris Japonica is another of the evergreen, spring-blooming shrubs that has white flowers and a beautiful scent.

It’s relatively easy to grow and has the added benefit of being deer-resistant.

Find out more about growing Pieris Japonica HERE.

Magnolia

White flowering bush - Pieris Japonica in the wild

Bloom Time: Late Winter, Spring or Summer (depending on the variety)
Zones: 4 to 12
Light: Full to Part Sun
Size: 10′ to 30′ tall and wide

In the South, people tend to think of Magnolias as the very large shrubs (or trees) with leathery, evergreen leaves and huge white flowers that bloom in the summer.

However, there are many different types of Magnolias that will thrive from the colder areas of zone 4 all the way through the tropical heat of zone 12.

Many are fragrant and all have beautiful flowers.

Click HERE to find out more about Magnolias.

Rhododendron

White flowering bush - Rhododendron ©Zanoza-Ru - stock.adobe.com
©Zanoza-Ru – stock.adobe.com

Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 3 – 9
Light: Shade
Height: 2′ to 8′ tall and wide

Rhododendrons were one of the very first plants I planted in my very first garden. And they’re still one of my favorites.

They’re evergreen, easy to take care of and have beautiful flowers in the spring.

Find out how to grow Rhododendrons HERE.

Azalea

White flowering shrubs - Azalea
Azalea

Bloom Time: Spring, some re-bloom in the Fall
Zones: 2 to 9
Light: Part Shade to Sun (depending on the variety)
Size: 2′ to 6′ tall

Azaleas are part of the Rhododendron family so many of them have very similar characteristics as listed above.

However, some varieties of Azalea prefer the sun and some are deciduous so there are some different options available that you may want to try.

Find some of my favorite Azalea and Rhododendron varieties HERE.

Deutzia

White flowering shrub - Deutzie scabra
Deutzia scabra

Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 5 to 8
Light: Sun to part sun
Size: 1′ to 20′ tall

Deutzia is a lesser known cousin of the Hydrangea and has beautiful white (or pink) flowers in the spring.

Like Hydrangeas, the flowers are displayed in clusters and it blooms on old wood. So if you’re going to prune it, make sure you do it immediately after it has finished blooming. Otherwise, you might cut off next year’s buds.

For more information on Deutzia, click HERE.

Viburnum

White flowering shrub - Viburnum

Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 2 to 9
Light: Sun to part sun
Size: 1′ to 20′ tall

Viburnum is a very versatile shrub that always seems to work itself in to my garden plans.

With its huge blooms that look like snowballs hanging off the branches, it definitely makes a statement!

Find out more about growing Viburnum HERE.

Laurel Cherry (Prunus laurocerasus)

White flowering shrub - Laurel Cherry ©Zanoza-Ru - stock.adobe.com
Laurel Cherry ©Zanoza-Ru – stock.adobe.com

Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 6 to 8
Light: Sun to shade
Size: 3′ to 18′ tall

Laurel Cherry is the next white flowering shrub on our list.

It is an evergreen that is very flexible with its light requirements. Sun or shade…it will grow in either.

After it has finished blooming in the spring, it develops black fruit that are a big favorite of birds.

One thing to be careful, the plant is poisonous. So if you have pets or children that might be putting the leaves or stems in their mouth, Laurel Cherry probably isn’t the plant for your garden.

For more information about Laurel Cherry, click HERE.

Lilac (Syringa)

White flowering shrubs - Lilac

Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 3 to 9 (depending on the variety)
Light: Sun
Size: 4′ to 15′ tall
The next bush on my list of white flowering shrubs is the Lilac.

While most people are very familiar with the beautiful purple blooms found on traditional Lilac bushes, there are some varieties that have white flowers.

And they still have the beautiful fragrance that lilacs are known for. Which makes them an excellent choice for adding some white to your spring garden.

Learn how to grow Lilacs HERE.

Dogwood (Cornus)

Dogwood (Cornus kousa) with white flowers

Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 5 to 9
Light: Part Shade
Size: 10′ to 25′ tall

Dogwoods are really more of a small tree than a bush but they have such pretty white flowers that I couldn’t leave them off my list.

To me, there is nothing prettier than seeing the native dogwoods blooming along the highway. It’s a sure sign that spring has arrived!

So when I was planting my garden, I made sure to include a couple of these beautiful trees in my yard.

Find out more about Dogwoods HERE.

Pearlbush (Exochorda)

White flowering Dogwood

Bloom Time: Spring
Zones: 4 to 8
Light: Full to Part Sun
Size: 4′ to 12′ tall and wide

Pearlbush is an old-fashioned bush that isn’t commonly used in gardens these days. I always love finding an easy to grow plant that you don’t see in everyone else’s yard.

It has white flowers that appear in the spring, and bark that peels like a birch tree which will add interest to your garden the rest of the year.

Find out more about Pearlbush HERE.

Mock Orange (Philadelphus)

White double flowering Mock Orange (Philadelphus)

Bloom Time: Spring to Summer
Zones: 3 – 11 (depending on the variety)
Light: Part shade to sun
Size: 3′ to 12′ tall

The next shrub on our list of white blooming bushes is Mock Orange.

Mock Orange has small single or double white flowers that appear in the late spring or early summer.

Many of the varieties have very sweet smelling blooms that will fill your garden with fragrance. Not all varieties are scented so if this is important to you, you might want to buy the plants while they are in bloom just to make sure.

Learn more about Mock Orange HERE.

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

White flowering shrub - Mountain Laurel

Bloom Time: Late Spring to Early Summer
Zones: 3 – 11
Light: Full shade to part sun
Size: 3′ to 12′ tall

Mountain Laurel is a native North American shrub that has beautiful white or pink flowers in the late spring or early summer.

It’s evergreen, thrives in the shade and is easy to grow. All characteristics I love to use in my garden!

Find out more about Mountain Laurel HERE.

Summer Blooming Shrubs

Gardenia

Gardenia 'August Beauty' with white flowers
Gardenia ‘August Beauty’

Bloom Time: Late Spring to Early Summer
Zone: 7 to 9
Light: Full Sun to Part Shade
Size: 2′ to 8′ tall

Next up on my list of white flowering bushes is Gardenia.

I love the fragrance of Gardenias, which is why I have 2 of them growing in my garden–one by the front door, and one right beside the back patio.

That way anytime I leave the house, I walk right by them and can’t help but smell their perfume.

Find out more about growing Gardenias HERE.

Spiraea

White flowering shrub - 'Bridal Wreath' Spiraea
‘Bridal Wreath’ Spiraea

Bloom Time: Late Spring to Early Summer
Zone: 5 to 9
Light: Full Sun
Size: 1′ to 8′ tall

Spiraea is a versatile shrub that comes in many shapes, sizes and bloom colors, including white.

With its long arching branches that are covered in blooms, ‘Bridal Wreath’ Spiraea is still one of my favorites.

However, other varieties still put on a show and don’t take up as much room.

Learn more about Spiraea HERE.

Roses

White flowering shrub - rose

Bloom Time: Summer
Zones: 3 to 10
Light: Full Sun
Size: 2′ to 5′ tall and wide

Another bush that has many white flowering varieties to choose from is the rose.

Roses have a reputation of being hard to grow, and it is true that they get diseases (like black spot) really easily. And the bugs (like aphids and Japanese beetles) really like them!

However, if you’re willing to look past the blemishes (rather than trying to cure them), they actually aren’t any more work than any other type of blooming plant.

And the flowers are worth it, if you ask me!

Find out more about growing roses HERE.

Hydrangea

White flowering bush - Hydrangea paniculata
Hydrangea paniculata

Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
Zones: 3 to 9
Light: Sun or Part Shade
Size: 3′ to 12′ tall and wide

The next bush with white flowers is a very popular garden shrub…Hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas have huge blooms that last for many weeks and don’t require much maintenance, so it’s easy to see why they’re everyone’s favorite.

It also has some varieties that do well in sun and some that are better in the shade, so you’re likely to find a Hydrangea that will work in your garden.

Find out more about growing Hydrangeas HERE.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) 'White Profusion' ©EDEN - stock.adobe.com
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) ‘White Profusion’ ©EDEN – stock.adobe.com

Bloom Time: Summer to Fall
Zones: 5 to 10
Light: Full Sun
Size: 2′ to 8′ tall

As the name implies, Butterfly Bush is a white-flowering shrub that attracts butterflies. And I can vouch for the fact that the butterflies really do like this plant! During the summer, there’s always at least one flying around the flowers.

Butterfly bush is very easy to grow and produces long beautiful stems of flowers that are also available in blue, purple and pink.

One word of caution is that it can be invasive if it’s planted in an area that it really likes, so check with your local nursery to see if it might be a problem in your area.

Find out more about Butterfly Bush HERE.

Summersweet Clethra (Clethra alnifolia)

Summersweet Clethera 'Sixteen Candles' ©Nicola Gordon - stock.adobe.com
Summersweet Clethera ‘Sixteen Candles’ ©Nicola Gordon – stock.adobe.com

Bloom Time: Fall
Zones: 4 to 9
Light: Sun to Shade
Size: 2′ to 8′ tall

Summersweet Clethra is a native shrub to the eastern United States that produces white spiky fragrant blooms in the summer or early fall.

Besides being easy to grow, it’s also great for attracting birds and butterflies to your garden. They love its flowers!

Summersweet Clethra does spread by runners so that’s something to be aware of when you’re planting it. You’ll need to prune it to keep it under control.

For more information about Summersweet Clethra, click HERE.

Fall Blooming Shrubs

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)

Bloom Time: Late Summer to Fall
Zones: 5 to 9
Light: Full Sun
Size: 8′ to 12′ tall

The next bush on our list of white flowering shrubs is Rose of Sharon.

It’s a member of the Hibiscus family that isn’t tropical, but it’s flowers sure look like it is.

And it blooms late in the growing season when many other plants are petering out. So it acts like a much needed garden refresher.

Click HERE to learn more about growing Rose of Sharon.

Tea Olive (Osmanthus)

Fragrant Tea Olive (Osmanthus) ©chungking - stock.adobe.com
Fragrant Tea Olive (Osmanthus) ©chungking – stock.adobe.com

Bloom Time: Fall
Zones: 7 to 9
Light: Sun to Part Shade
Size: 6′ to 30′ tall

Tea Olive is a traditional Southern shrub with sweetly scented white flowers that bloom in the fall.

It is evergreen and low maintenance…two plant characteristics I am always looking for in my garden.

Learn more about the Tea Olive HERE.

Crape Myrtle (Lythraceae)

Crape Myrtle with white flowers

Bloom Time: Late Summer to Fall
Zones: 6 to 10
Light: Full sun
Size: 12′ to 30′ tall

Crape Myrtle is a large shrub or small tree (depending on how its pruned) that really puts on a show in the late summer and fall.

The plant is totally covered in clusters of flowers that last for several weeks.

And when it’s not blooming, the multi-colored bark continues to add interest to your garden.

Find out more about Crape Myrtle HERE.

Ben Franklin Tree (Franklinia alatamaha)

White flowering Ben Franklin tree
Benjamin Franklin Tree

Bloom Time: Fall
Zones: 5 to 8
Light: Full sun to part shade
Size: 10′ to 20′ tall

The Ben Franklin tree is the next entry on our list of white flowering shrubs.

Although the name says it’s a tree, this plant grows more like a bush if left to its own devices.

It’s a North American native tree that has been extinct in the wild since the early 1800’s, and isn’t widely distributed in nurseries. So it’s another of the less commonly found options for your garden.

Find out more about the Ben Franklin tree HERE.

Winter Blooming Shrubs

Camellia

Camellia japonica 'White by the Gate'
Camellia japonica ‘White by the Gate’

Bloom Time: Fall, Winter, or Spring (depending on the variety)
Zones: 6 – 10
Light: Part Shade
Size: 18″ to 25′ tall

Last but certainly not least on my list of white-flowering bushes are Camellias.

Camellias are one of my favorite all-time plants.

They have gorgeous flowers, they’re evergreen, grow in the shade and they bloom at a time when not much else is blooming. What’s not to love?

I also realized that I already own a white flowering Camellia. It has been growing in one of my raised beds waiting to be transplanted to its forever home. And I think this is the first year that it has bloomed.

Now that I know I have one, I need to figure out the best place for it in my garden.

Learn more about growing Camellias HERE.

Well that’s it for my list of white flowering shrubs. Now I have a bit of planning to do to figure out exactly which ones I want to use.

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Have any other white flowering shrubs to add to our list? Tell us in the section below.

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