27 Types of Shrubs in Indiana

Types Of Shrubs In Indiana
Image credit: Gardening Know How

Indiana has different types of shrubs, so you’re sure to find one that fits your landscape.

Whether you’re looking to add interest or color to your garden or are seeking something to attract birds or butterflies, shrubs can help you meet those goals and more. This article will expose you to the different types of shrubs in Indiana.

Meanwhile, Planting different types of shrubs in Indiana can be tricky because of the wide variety of weather conditions we experience throughout the year. From frigid winters to sweltering summers, Indiana has it all! 

This article will introduce you to types of shrubs in Indiana and give tips on caring for them throughout the year.

You’ll also discover a few less-common shrub varieties that might pique your interest!

1. Columbine

There are different types of shrubs in Indiana. One of them is columbine, it has three types; Aquilegia vulgaris, which is native to North America and grows wild in eastern Canada; Aquilegia canadensis, which is native to eastern Canada; and Aquilegia pubescens. 

The latter two are found only as cultivated plants. These hardy perennials with mounding habits grow well as ground covers, along walkways, or even as edging around larger flowerbeds. They produce long-lasting flowers that bloom from late spring through mid-summer. 

Moreso, columbines tolerate droughts and heat but look best when watered regularly during their growth period. They need full sun and average soil for good growth.

2. Compass Plant

The Compass plant is your go-to if you’re looking for an ornamental, flowering shrub that can handle heat and droughts and still bloom when other plants wilt.

Named for its yellow blooms that always point north (according to folklore), it grows 1–2 feet tall and produces a bouquet of tiny flowers from late summer until frost. 

It attracts bees but doesn’t require too much attention to thrive. This is one of our favorite under-the-radar shrubs—you’ll be surprised how pretty it is out of the other types of shrubs in Indiana.

However, transplant your compass plant indoors before the first frost if you live in an area with really cold winters. Keep it well-watered during winter months, as it naturally dries out quickly when dormant.

3. Virginia Creeper

Also known as woodbine, Virginia creeper, another one of the different types of shrubs in Indiana, is a perennial vine that can be used to create a natural-looking privacy barrier. 

It’s also great for covering chain-link fences or building wooden pergolas. Just place some wire along the top so you can grow climbing roses to cover them with flowers.

Simply prune it each spring if you want to keep its height down. There are also some colorful varieties available if you want something with a pop of color.

4. Trumpet Honeysuckle

Next on our list of the different types of shrubs in Indiana is the Trumpet Honeysuckle. This American native produces red, orange, and yellow blooms from May through September. 

Meanwhile, not only does it provide colorful flowers for your garden, but it’s also a hummingbird favorite.

Trumpet honeysuckle shrub thrives well in full sun or partial shade and prefers moist soil but can tolerate drought conditions. 

5. Gardenia Shrub

The Gardenia shrub, a blossoming one of the different types of shrubs in Indiana, hardy evergreen, is commonly used as a hedge or border. This is due to its dense nature and fragrant white flowers that bloom throughout spring into early summer months. 

It grows best in USDA zones 7 to 10 with average sunlight exposure and little watering requirements once established in your landscape setting.

6. Cinnamon Fern

Native to China and Japan, cinnamon ferns are one of the easiest of the different types of shrubs in Indiana that you can grow.

These shrub-like plants prefer full sun and moist, acidic soil. The fronds sprout leaves up to 2 feet long that start out green but fade to an orangish-brown by autumn. 

Furthermore, the pinnate fronds have a distinctive cinnamon scent when crushed. Though it isn’t an invasive plant, cinnamon fern likes wet soils and will quickly crowd out native species. If you’re growing it as an ornamental plant, be sure not to let it get away from you!

7. Maidenhair Fern

Maidenhair fern is a unique shrub because its delicate, heart-shaped leaves resemble those of a fern. This shrub can reach heights of up to 2 feet and thrives in shaded areas like under trees or near your home’s foundation.

However, don’t try planting maidenhair fern outside during the summer months; it needs cool air and moist soil for healthy growth. 

If you’re looking for more shade plants for your yard, look no further than our list of different types of shrubs in Indiana. It features a variety of plant types that thrive in the shade, from ferns to flowering shrubs.

8. American Bellflower

As its name suggests, this pretty flowering plant is native to North America, where it grows wild from coast to coast.

There are many different species within the genus Campanula that can also grow outside of their natural habitat.

For example, Campanula carpatica and Campanula pyramidalis are both commonly cultivated in Europe. Cultivating an American bellflower isn’t difficult—all you have to do is grow it from seed.

The flowers are bright blue and highly fragrant, so they’re great for fragrance gardens. However, they only bloom between mid-June and mid-August.

9. Bird’s Foot Violet

This cold-hardy perennial, a beautiful one of the different types of shrubs in Indiana, is hard to miss with its fragrant purple flowers and large, rounded leaves.

Native to eastern North America, it does very well in most areas. It produces an abundance of flowers through spring and summer. 

Moving on, the purplish-pink blossoms are about 2 inches wide and grow just above a bed of low, heart-shaped leaves.

Like other violets, bird’s foot violet spreads easily, so you may want to keep it contained by using a root barrier.

Also, you can adopt area barrier techniques like mulching around its base when planting. Bird’s foot violet prefers full sun but tolerates light shade with adequate moisture.

10. Celandine Poppy

This deciduous shrub is a treat to look at when it bursts into bloom in early spring. The pretty yellow blossoms are set against lacy, green foliage and grow to about two feet tall. 

Celandine poppy can be planted as an informal hedge or as a border for flower beds. This shrub does well in sun and partial shade.

Moreso, it requires low maintenance and is hard enough to be planted anywhere throughout Indiana.

11. American Cranberry

The American cranberry bush is a deciduous plant native to eastern North America. It is also referred to as a vine but does not climb or produce tendrils. 

Out of the different types of shrubs in Indiana, the American cranberry is an attractive shrub that grows best in full sun and sandy loam soils. 

Native Americans have been growing cranberries for thousands of years. However, many people still don’t realize that growing them where you live is possible.

12. Black Chokeberry

The black chokeberry is more accurately described as a shrub with red berries. Like most flowering shrubs, it prefers moist soil and cool temperatures.

It’s cold hardy down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit but will thrive with winter protection when temperatures dip below zero. 

Plus, it grows best in full sun or partial shade. Take care not to over-water, as too much water can lead to fungal growth on leaves and stems. 

Fruits are ripe once they fall to the ground and can be eaten raw or cooked like other berries. They’re said to be similar in flavor to raspberries but smaller with larger seeds.

13. Buttonbush

Checking out the types of shrubs in Indiana, this shrub is particularly great for those with slightly acidic soil since it does best in a pH range of 6.0 to 6.8.

However, if you want to plant one at home and your soil has a pH below 6.0 or above 7.0, you might consider adding peat moss to achieve an ideal level of acidity. 

If using native plants is your goal when landscaping your yard, buttonbush could be just what you need! Buttonbush produces masses of pinkish-white flowers during summer (which smell wonderful). 

Its leaves are bright green throughout summer and fall when they turn yellowish-green before completely dropping off by winter.

14. Elderberry

There are two types of elderberry shrubs: tall and short. While both are wonderful options for borders and hedges, only tall elderberry is cold and hardy enough to be grown outside in Indiana winters. 

Moreso, tall elderberry has fragrant white flowers that turn into small, tasty berries. The berries are edible when cooked or made into jellies, syrups, and wines. 

However, fruit isn’t produced every year. But if you’re fortunate enough to have a healthy plant, expect it to yield fruit for at least 20 years!

15. Fragrant Sumac

Native to much of North America, fragrant sumac can grow up to 8 feet tall and makes a great privacy hedge for a windbreak.

It produces small clusters of white flowers from June through August, followed by red berries that can be used for jellies. 

Furthermore, the leaves are astringent when chewed, but they make an attractive addition to floral arrangements.

However, talking about the types of shrubs in Indiana, this shrub prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

16. Grey Dogwood

Dogwoods are native to eastern North America, and their wood is used in making furniture.

Their deciduous leaves are an attractive bright green, and their white flowers bloom at an early age. Dogwood shrubs do well as borders, screens, and hedges, as they can grow up to 8 feet tall!

As one of the types of shrubs in Indiana, they prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade if necessary. Cornus racemosa prefers moist soil with adequate drainage.

It also grows fairly quickly, making it a good choice for beginner gardeners or those who want fast results. 

Proceeding, the USDA rates its hardiness zones at 2-7; however, your particular area may vary depending on your climate.

For example, growing conditions vary by county. So make sure to check with your local department of agriculture before planting!

17. Spireas

In using the different types of shrubs in Indiana for different purposes, use spireas as a hedging plant. As an alternative to high-maintenance bushes, they offer a neat and tidy option for your landscaping.

The blossoms appear during early summer and continue through August. Spireas have beautiful foliage that turns an array of colorful hues throughout the fall and winter months, adding visual interest and color to your yard. 

Whether you choose pink or purple, golden or white varieties, they’ll be sure to add a lively look all year long! They thrive well in poor soil conditions, so you won’t need to worry about overwatering them.

If you live in northern parts of Indiana, consider planting spireas; they are cold and hardy up until zone 4!

18. Hawthorn

This native shrub is ideal for a naturalized area. It can reach heights up to 20 feet and has colorful red, pink, and white flowers during spring. The leaves are small, so they blend well with other ground covers. 

Moreover, they have a unique twist and turn shape that adds interest to your landscaping. The nectar-rich flowers attract butterflies and add to any garden or yard. 

This plant adapts well to most environments and needs very little care once established. With these, looking at the types of shrubs in Indiana, Hawthorn is an excellent shrub for novice gardeners.

19. Azaleas

A beautiful addition to any landscape, azaleas are an excellent choice for any gardener looking for lush, colorful foliage.

These shrubs are extremely hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, they naturally resist pests and rarely require fertilizer or insecticide treatment. 

Azaleas grow very well in Indiana year-round. With one notable exception: During summer months, when temperatures regularly exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, many azaleas will lose their leaves during drought stress (like most plants do). 

But not to worry, this is normal and typically doesn’t cause long-lasting damage. In fact, it serves as a great reminder to be mindful of your garden’s needs. Especially when dealing with this of all the other types of shrubs in Indiana.

20. Nannyberry

Characterized by their creamy white flowers, these shrubs, different from other types of shrubs in Indiana, are great for naturalizing due to their ability to grow just about anywhere.

Nannyberry shrubs are particularly useful as they attract birds and repel insects like mosquitoes and ticks. Best planting locations include full sun or partial shade, well-drained soil, and moist, wooded areas. 

21. White Mulberry

Belonging to a group known as symbiotic nitrogen fixers (meaning they pull nitrogen from the air and put it into the soil), mulberries produce nutrient-rich berries that can be used for many purposes—and make a delicious snack! 

Uniquely, white mulberry is particularly useful for erosion control and naturally attracting wildlife like ducks. Next time while thinking of shrubs to plant out of all the types of shrubs in Indiana, think white mulberry!

22. Ninebark

The ninebark shrub, also known as Pacific Ninebark, is a hardy plant that thrives well in full sun or partial shade.

It grows slowly, which is great for people who aren’t looking to fill their landscape with fast-growing plants. The evergreen leaves turn burgundy before falling off in autumn.

Native to North America, cultivars are available that feature yellow flowers and variegated leaves. While it may look delicate when viewed from above, it has light green leaves. 

Plus, Ninebark can thrive even after a snowfall or harsh winds. If you want to know more about how to choose a shrub for your yard, check out some of our other types of shrubs in Indiana.

23. Hydrangeas

Not only do hydrangeas make a bold statement, but they also happen to be indestructible. This hardy shrub can withstand cold, snowy winters, but once spring and summer arrive, it will reward you with beautiful blue flowers. 

Blue blooms aside, hydrangeas are available in many colors, making them a versatile addition to your landscape.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to spruce up your outdoor space without breaking your budget, consider adding some hydrangeas to your garden or lawn.

24. Redbud

Despite its name, the redbud is not a member of either birch or beech family; it’s native to North America. Redbuds look beautiful when they flower (typically April through May) and have a wonderful smell.

These little shrubs are great for people who don’t have time to prune plants because they don’t need much attention once established regularly. 

Also, their glossy green leaves provide color year-round, but they can get big if you let them! The Raintree Redbud variety reaches around 6 feet tall, while Biltmore will grow up to 8 feet tall and wide. We can say it’s one of Indiana’s big types of shrubs.

25. Spicebush

This shrub is well known for its aromatic leaves, which smell like cinnamon when crushed. The plant also produces small purple flowers in mid-to-late spring, followed by black berries that attract birds.

Spicebush prefers moist soil but tolerates partial shade and has a moderate growth rate. 

Further, you can find it at nurseries and other local garden centers. It’s a great shrub to use as an understory plant or near-water feature to provide summer interest.

If you have a bare spot near your house or outbuilding, consider planting Lindera benzoin for color and scent year-round. 

Consider these plants when wondering which shrub to choose out of the types of shrubs in Indiana, especially when you’re trying to create a habitat for native pollinators or just want an attractive spot where you can take a deep breath of fresh air.

26. Crossvine

Another one of the different types of shrubs in Indiana is Crossvine. It can be used as an effective privacy screen and grows to be between 15 and 20 feet tall.

Crossvine has bright, orange flowers in summer that attracts hummingbirds. The vine can reach up to 15 feet long, which makes it great for covering fences or arbors. 

27. Euonymus Alatus

It’s safe to say that euonymus is one of my favorite shrubs of all the types of shrubs in Indiana– I love them for their color and vibrancy when they bloom during springtime.


While there may not be a large variety of shrub types that are ideal for planting, these ones should help you create an appealing garden space. Additionally, many small trees can be planted as shrubs. These include dogwoods and hawthorns.

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