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15 Stunning Shrubs & Trees with Yellow Flowers

Whether summer or spring, yellow flowers are always a cheerful sight in any garden. If you want to plant shrubs or trees with yellow flowers in your garden, I’ve put together a list of 15 stunning yellow shrubs and trees that will jazz up even the dullest garden.

Some of these plants will bloom in very early spring, being among the first plants to break the monotony and greyness of winter.

Here are the shrubs and trees you must-haves for your garden, if you want yellow flowers:

1. Golden Rain Tree

Native to Korea, Japan and China, the golden rain tree is a tall-growing shrub that’s packed with yellow, star-shaped flowers. Koelreuteria paniculata is in bloom in mid-summer.

After the blooms have fallen, they’re replaced by fruits that are shaped like Japanese lanterns.

This yellow shrub enjoys sunny locations, well-draining soil that’s rich in organic matter and warmth.

Despite being an outstanding landscape addition, the golden rain tree is self-sowing, meaning that under the right conditions, it can potentially produce a lot of unwanted seedlings. This means that cultivating this plant may involve some unexpected maintenance issues.

  • USDA Zones: 5-9
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-draining, rich soil

2. Yellow Oleander

Native to Mexico and Central America, the yellow oleander is a poisonous shrub, yet it’s grown by many for its unmistakable, trumpet-shaped blooms that come in golden yellow.

With a maximum height of 7-10 feet, the thevetia peruviana needs a bit of room to grow and expand, so find a location that can accommodate its size.

It’s watering requirements are higher than your average shrub, so it will appreciate extra watering, especially during periods with no rain. Misting is also appreciated.

  • USDA Zones: 9-11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-draining soil

3. Barberry

Berberis vulgaris is a colorful shrub with leaves displaying colors that range from green to burgundy and yellow-orange flowers.

As a low-maintenance yellow shrub with a uniform growth pattern, it’s often kept as a hedge, but it can also be grown in large tubs or containers.

With a good resistance to frost, diseases and pests, this shrub variety is certainly one to consider if you want to add a colorful hegde to your garden.

  • USDA Zones: 3-7
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: Rich and light, alkaline/neutral

4. Golden Currant

Blooming in spring with golden yellow flowers, the golden currant is a small to medium-sized shrub that attracts a variety of pollinators including bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.

Once the blooms have faded, they’re replaced by translucent, edible berries. Birds are especially attracted to these berries.

Because of its quick growth and fragrant flowers, the golden currant is predominantly used as hedges and hedgerows.

  • USDA Zones: 5-8
  • Sun Exposure: Partial shade
  • Soil: adaptable to a variety of soils

5. Trumpet Vine

Grown as a cover shrub for fences, walls and other structures, Campsis radicans of trumpet vine produces trumpet-shaped yellow flowers making it another excellent choice if you’re looking for a yellow flowering shrub to add to your garden.

Because of its vigorous and often aggressive growth, it can grow out of control if left to its own devices. The vines are strong and find their way under shingles, often causing some damage in their path.

Therefore, it’s best to guide the trumpet vine’s growth by choosing a location that isn’t close to any structures where potential damage would not be welcomed. Likewise, plant it away from trees and other plants that you don’t want strangled by the trumpet vine.

If kept in check, it can be a beautiful cover for ugly walls and fences and a useful plant to have around for pollinators.

  • USDA Zones: 4-9
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: Well-draining

6. Golden Chain Tree

One of the most impressive yellow shrubs on this list, the golden chain tree produces drooping clusters of fragrant yellow flowers.

It can reach 25 feet tall and spread to almost its height. You can grow it either as a tree or keep it as a shrub.

  • USDA Zones: 5-7
  • Sun Exposure: full sun to partial sun
  • Soil: Well-draining alkaline loam

7. Yellow Elder

Tecoma stans is a fast-growing shrub that produces bright yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers. It’s easy to grow and makes for a highly ornamental shrub.

Because it can reach heights of 20 feet, it requires yearly trimming to keep it at a manageable size.

It has multiple applications and it’s a versatile plant, which accounts for its high popularity. You can grow it as an ornamental patio plant, backdrop plant, alongside fences or as a backdrop plant.

A caveat to gardeners with pets and children — the yellow elder is mildly toxic.

  • USDA Zones: 10-11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: Well-draining

8. Forsythia

This yellow shrub is one of the first ones to bloom in early spring. Flowers appear even sooner than the leaves, making the forsythia an appealing shrub.

Like many other shrubs I list in this article, the forsythia attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Popular, easy to grow and displaying blooms that break the monotony of winter, the forsythia is yellow shrub you should definitely consider.

  • USDA Zones: 5-8
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-draining, rich in organic matter

9. Winter Jasmine

An early bloomer, Jasminum nudiflorum is a cheerful shrub with bright yellow flowers. In some years, the winter jasmine will bloom as early as January.

It’s a relatively slow-growing shrub that doesn’t require more than one pruning per year. It grows taller and larger if it’s supported by a trellis or other structure.

  • USDA Zones: 6-11
  • Sun Exposure: full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: adaptable, prefers well-draining soil

10. Rhododendron sp.

Widely popular in Europe, North America and Asia, rhododendron shrubs are among the most versatile shrubs, suitable for virtually any landscape use.

Blooms are available in multiple colors, depending on the Rhododendron variety. The Saffron Queen variety has creamy yellow blooms that are sure to turn heads.

  • USDA Zones: 4-8
  • Sun Exposure: Part sun to part shade
  • Soil: acidic, well-aerated

11. Creeping Oregon Grape

A low-growing, evergreen shrub with vivid yellow flowers, Mahonia repens is an ornamental landscape plant that attracts pollinators because of its fragrant flowers.

The berries that replace flowers after the blooming period are edible. This small-growing shrub enjoys sun exposure but doesn’t do well in excessive heat.

While it requires minimal maintenance, in especially dry summers, the creeping oregon grape appreciates watering.

  • USDA Zones: 4-6
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: Moist, well-draining, rich

12. Japanese Barberry

Resilient and low maintenance, the Berberis thunbergii is an invasive shrub that may be regulated in some areas, so be sure to check if local regulations allow its cultivation.

Despite its invasiveness, this shrub has high ornamental value because of its yellow flowers and rounded leaves that can range from green to rose and burgundy.

While not toxic, there is an important caveat to growing this shrub, namely that it attracts disease carrying ticks.

  • USDA Zones: 3-7
  • Sun Exposure: full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: well-draining

13. Spurge Laurel

With thick, glossy leaves and yellow-green clusters of flowers, the spurge laurel is a slow-growing shrub native to Europe, especially regions of the Mediterranean.

With multiple ornamental uses, daphne laureola is classified as a noxious weed, therefore, if you have pets and small children, you should check out the other shrubs with yellow bloom that I list in this article.

  • USDA Zones: 6-9
  • Sun Exposure: full sun, partial shade, full shade
  • Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained

14. Aaron’s Beard

With cup-shaped yellow flowers and evergreen foliage, Aaron’s beard is grown as a groundcover shrub. It requires little maintenance and grows fast.

Hypericum calycinum is not fussy about its soil and it’s highly adaptable when it comes to light requirements.

Its berries, while used in medicine, are poisonous and they should not be consumed by humans.

  • USDA Zones: 5-7
  • Sun Exposure: adaptable, full sun to full shade
  • Soil: well-drained but adaptable to a variety of soil types

15. Crossvine

A climbing vine with showy, two-tone (yellow and brick red) flowers, the Bignonia capreolata is another shrub that produces yellow flowers that are densely packed. It’s said to produce the most flowers per square inch than any other shrub.

Because of its quick growth and adhesive vines, it can quickly climb structures and cover them up. If you need to hide an ugly fence or wall, the crossvine is most apt for the job.

  • USDA Zones: 6-9
  • Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade
  • Soil: well-drained, tolerates different soil types

Conclusion

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to yellow-flowering shrubs. Some work best as ground covers, others are happiest when they can climb tall structures, and some can even be grown as trees. In short — there’s a shrub for every landscape need.

Because some of the yellow shrubs I listed above are either invasive, poisonous or both, you should do your research before planting one in your garden.

Make sure the climate in your area is suitable for growing a particular shrub and that soil and light requirements are met.

Updated: August 10, 2020

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