Your guide to

Proven Winners® ColorChoice®


An introduction to using native shrubs in your landscape or garden

Whether you're redoing your entire landscape or looking to add a new shrub or two to spruce things up, including a few native shrub varieties is an easy way to not only narrow down the options, but to make your planting a little more eco-friendly.

Birds, butterflies, bumblebees, and other pollinating insects tend to be adapted to using native plant species for food and shelter, so from their perspective, your landscape more closely resembles what they're used to seeing. Attracting and supporting these animals is not only fascinating and rewarding, it also helps support their dwindling populations.

It's a common misconception that native plants will automatically look wild or unkempt. In fact, many North American native species have long been popular as landscape plants, like potentilla, ninebark, and 'Annabelle' hydrangea. In fact, your landscape may already include native shrubs and you don't even know it!

North America is a big place with a widely varied climate, so what it means for a shrub to be native is, naturally, relative. However, by using the USDA hardiness zone system, you'll be able to narrow the selection of Proven Winners ColorChoice native shrub varieties just to those that will thrive where you live.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our favorite resources for learning more about native plants

Learning about gardening and landscaping with native plants is a journey. There are so many interesting things to discover and observe! To help you along the way, we recommend these resources:

Native plant selection tips

  • The two primary factors to consider in choosing native plants are your USDA hardiness zone  and how much light the spot where you want to plant them gets. Full sun is 6+ hours of bright sun each day, part sun/part shade is 4-6 hours of bright sun or filtered light all day, and shade is fewer than 4 hours of sun each day.
  • Always let your taste be your guide! Pick plants that work for your site because you love the color, or flower shape, or perhaps because they complement the color of your home. 
  • If you are doing a larger planting, select a mix of evergreens, foliage shrubs, and flowering shrubs to ensure a dynamic, interesting display all year round.
  • A landscape is made up of several design elements; you can read more about them in our Gardening Simplified Landscape Guide.
Look for Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs in the distinctive white container at a garden center near you.
Happy Face Yellow Potentilla in a white Proven Winners ColorChoice pot

Scholarship Application

*Completing this form does not guarantee a scholarship. A staff member will confirm scholarship availability directly. Receipts must be submitted within 10 weeks from the conclusion of the event.
Gardening Simplified magazine
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