10 Best Shrubs With Yellow Flowers

Yellow forsythia in bloom in a park

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Yellow may well be the most cheerful of colors, so is it any wonder that many gardeners will want to grow at least one shrub with yellow flowers in their yard? Learn about some of the best yellow flowering shrub choices available, so that you can make an informed decision when making a purchase.

  • 01 of 10


    Forsythia flowers against a blue sky.
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    Speaking of cheerfulness, there may not be a shrub that cheers gardeners up every spring more than the forsythia bush. Forsythia x intermedia is one of the more widely grown types. An early bloomer, the yellow flowers of forsythia signal the end of winter like few other plants can.

  • 02 of 10

    Witch Hazel

    Closeup of yellow witch hazel shrub flowers.
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    Forsythia may be the most popular of the shrubs that bloom in early spring, but it is not the first to bloom. Witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia Arnold Promise) blooms even before forsythia. The yellow flowers of witch hazel are not as bright as those of forsythia, but they do give off a "dry" smell that is rather unique. A more important benefit to growing this bush is that it is a good shrub for fall color.

  • 03 of 10

    Azalea Shrubs With Yellow Flowers

    Closeup of Azalea narcissiflora with yellow flowers
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    Golden Oriole azalea (Rhododendron Golden Oriole) is one of the cultivars of azalea that bear yellow flowers. The color is not a pure yellow, though, as some gold and orange coloration works its way into the mix. For a purer yellow in an azalea shrub, try Rhododendron x Narcissiflora. Its lemon-yellow flowers, which are mildly fragrant, bloom in mid-spring. This plant reaches 6 to 10 feet tall, with a spread of 6 to 8 feet. Grow it in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 5 to 9. The bush should be planted in partial sun to partial shade. 

  • 04 of 10

    Yellow Roses

    Closeup of yellow flower of Gold Medal rose bush
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    Yellow roses signify both friendship and joy in the language of flowers, and the Gold Medal rose bush should surely bring you some joy with its bright-yellow flowers. The plant measures 4 to 6 feet high and wide. Grow this mildly fragrant rose in full sun in zones 6 to 10. The bush blooms in late spring to early summer. As always in rose bush care, it is best to deadhead the flowers if you wish to have the plant rebloom.

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  • 05 of 10

    Japanese Rose

    Closeup of yellow flowers of single Kerria japonica shrub
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    Japanese rose (Kerria japonica) can have either single flowers or double flowers. Both types have their champions. The double-flowered kind, with its pompom-like blooms, seems to be more popular at the present time. In either case, you are getting more than just yellow flowers from this shrub, which blooms in early spring or mid-spring. The kelly green color of its stems affords not only winter interest but, in fact, year-round interest. This is also a type of bush that will re-bloom for you throughout the summer.

  • 06 of 10

    Mahonia Shrub

    Closeup of pale yellow flowers of Mahonia japonica shrub
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    There are several kinds of Mahonia, a shrub in the barberry family. They are closely related to the better-known barberry shrubs that are so commonly grown in the landscape. Japanese mahonia (M. japonica) has pale-yellow flowers that bloom in April in a zone-6 garden. Grow it in zones 6 to 8 in partial to full shade.

    Japanese mahonia becomes 5 to 7 feet tall when mature with a spread of 7 to 10 feet.

  • 07 of 10

    St. John's Wort

    Closeup of cluster of yellow flowers on Hypericum 'Hidcote' shrub
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    Just because St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an invasive plant in North America, that does not mean that all members of this genus are bad. The cultivars of other species can be quite useful in landscaping. For example, unlike the weedy Hypericum perforatum, the Hidcote cultivar has attractive, dark-green foliage and golden-yellow flowers. Grown in zones 5 to 9 and blooming all summer long, it can be anywhere from 2 to 4 feet in height, with a similar width. Grow it in full sun to partial shade. Other types are similarly eye-catching, bearing yellow flowers that yield berries in a variety of different colors in fall, depending on the cultivar:

    • H. inodorum Kolmapuki (marketed as "Pumpkin") gets orange berries in fall.
    • The berries of H. inodorum Kolmaref (better known as "Red Fame") are a bright red.
    • H. inodorum Kolmawhi has white berries.
  • 08 of 10

    Lydian Broom

    Genista lydia shrub in bloom with yellow flowers
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    One of the common names for Genista lydia is "Lydian broom." Indeed, the plant will remind gardeners of the better-known Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius). Both are invasive in some regions.

    Lydian broom can be grown in zones 5 to 9. Locate it in full sun. It thrives in dry, poor soils and likes sandy ground. This makes more sense when you learn that it needs sharp drainage (sandy soil drains quickly). If you are concerned about it getting out of control, simply give it ample water and use soil amendments to improve the soil. It seems counter-intuitive, but taking these steps may actually slow it down enough to keep it from becoming invasive.

    These drought-tolerant shrubs bear tiny leaves. But the bright yellow flowers, which bloom in early summer more than make up for that. These showy flowers are shaped like those on pea plants. The shrub does, in fact, belong to the pea family.

    It stays short, growing to 1 to 2 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. Because it stays short, one use for it is as a ground cover. It can also be a great plant for rock gardens.

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  • 09 of 10

    Bush Cinquefoil

    Closeup of two pale yellow potentilla flowers
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    There are various kinds of cinquefoil (Potentilla), a plant that belongs to the large rose family. In fact, one type is a weed commonly found growing along roadsides in North America, namely, Potentilla argentea. But bush cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa) is a popular landscape plant in zones 2 to 6. The shrub grows to be 1 to 4 feet tall with a similar spread. Grow it in full sun. The flowers come out in late spring or early summer. Yellow flowers are the most common, but other colors do exist (pink, orange, and white). Among the yellow-flowering types, some are pale yellow, while others are a brighter yellow.

  • 10 of 10

    Camellia Shrubs With Yellow Flowers

    Closeup of yellow Camellia flower
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    Camellias are not very cold-hardy. They are popular in warm regions such as the American Southeast, where they bloom in the early spring. They bear dark-green leaves that have a nice sheen to them. The shape of the flowers are reminiscent of roses. They most commonly come in pink, red, or white. Some are bicolored. Both single-flowered and double-flowered kinds are available.

    For a camellia with yellow flowers, you can try Camellia nitidissima if your garden is in zones 8 to 10. This evergreen shrub or small tree matures to 8 to 18 feet tall with a spread of 6 to 12 feet. The plant performs best when located in partial shade.

    Mulch to conserve moisture in the soil and keep the plant's roots cool, but do not let the mulch come into contact with the trunk. Camellia is a deer-resistant shrub.