Round Shrubs Are Trending Big Time, and These Are the Top 8 to Plant

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It’s still early in 2022, but one gardening trend is already started to emerge: rounded shrubs. Maybe it’s because they keep their attractive shapes without any pruning or help from you. Or maybe they’re so popular because, well, let’s just say it: They’re adorable. Most round shrubs also are evergreen types, so they offer year-round structure and beauty to the landscape. They work equally well as garden accents, foundation plantings or when grouped together in a mixed border. Some can be planted in containers, too, as accents on a patio, deck or balcony.

When planting any shrub, make sure you choose the right location in your yard. Most shrubs need part to full sun, which is 3 to 6 or more hours per day, though a few varieties tolerate mostly shade. Also, make sure they can survive winters in your USDA Hardiness zone (find yours here). Then read the tag to identify their mature size so you can plant them where they won’t crowd too close to your house or other plants. After all, you don’t want to be forced to prune them and destroy their handsome rounded shapes.

It’s also important to know that some rounded shrubs have a tough time in heavy snows, so you occasionally may need to (gently) brush off snow to prevent them from being crushed after a storm. If you had a particularly tough winter, be patient and give your round shrubs a few months to rebound in spring if they’re looking a little smashed. Most will bounce back in time.

The 15 Best Foundation Shrubs to Plant in Front of Your House

Here are our favorite varieties of rounded shrubs to plant in your garden this year:

best round shrubs juke box pyracomeles

1. ‘juke Box’ Pyracomeles

Shiny leaves and delicate branches make this sweet little shrub a great alternative to boxwood, which is sometimes prone to disease. Suited for warm climates, this little guy grows into a nicely mounded shape of 3 feet wide and tall, though it can be sheared if you’d prefer a different form.

best round shrubs globosa nana cryptomeria
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2. ‘globosa Nana’ Cryptomeria

This handsome shrub is not like other evergreens because it has an unusual, almost “curly” texture that make it an eye-catching accent in your garden. This shrub eventually reaches 4 to 6 feet tall and wide, so give it plenty of room to spread.

best round shrubs anna s magic ball arborvitae

3. ‘anna’s Magic Ball’ Arborvitae

The lacelike foliage of this shrub has a goldish sheen, and it tolerates both sun and shade. It’s also super cold-hardy, so you don’t have to worry about winter burn damaging it if you live in a chilly climate. It eventually reaches 15 inches tall and wide, so it’s ideal in small gardens.

best round shrubs stonehenge dark druid yew

4. ‘stonehenge Dark Druid’ Yew

You know you want to plant this one, just for its alluring name alone. While some yews become quite large and unwieldy, this shrub maintains a mounded shape as it matures to 3 to 4 feet tall and wide. Plant it in groups along a walkway or alone in a mixed border.

best round shrubs sprinter boxwood

5. ‘sprinter’ Boxwood

If you have your heart set on a boxwood, this disease-resistant variety can be sheared into a round shape or kept in a more natural form. It’s also more deer resistant than other types of evergreens, so it’s a good choice if Bambi visits your garden frequently. It eventually reaches 4 feet by 4 feet.

best round shrubs globosa blue spruce
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6. ‘globosa’ Blue Spruce

This cute, flat-topped variety of blue spruce has an attractive blue tint to its dense needles. It’s a slow-grower, eventually reaching 3 to 5 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. Use it as a specimen planting to show off its color and shape.

best round shrubs gem box inkberry holly

7. ‘gem Box’ Inkberry Holly

This native holly looks more like a boxwood than a holly, and it resists disease and winter burn better than boxwoods. It has shiny leaves and a dense form that maxes out at 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, so it makes a great container plant. One thing to note: It doesn’t form berries.

best round shrubs strongbox inkberry holly
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8. ‘strongbox’ Inkberry Holly

This native North American shrub has shiny oval leaves, keeps its dense form and isn’t susceptible to blight or winter burn like boxwoods. You can shape it to taste or leave its natural rounded shape intact. Plant a male pollinator nearby so this female shrub develops berries.

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Freelance Gardening Editor

Arricca Elin SanSone is a gardener with more than 15 years of experience. In addition to PureWow, she writes for Prevention, Country Living, Veranda, The Spruce and many other...