Allen D. Owings, Bush, Edward W., Trawick, Robert C.
Shrubs have definite growth habits in height, spread and form. Choose plants that will ultimately meet the design requirement. If you have the space for a 3- by 3-foot shrub, but plant one that will mature at 15 feet in all directions, chances are soon you will be dissatisfied with your selection. Do not attempt to artificially manipulate plant form and size to conform to unnatural shapes. Instead, choose specimens that have the forms needed for design specifications.
Shrubs (and trees also) are divided into two groups based on their leaf-retaining characteristics. Those that drop all of their leaves at one time of the year and are bare of leaves for a period are called deciduous plants. Evergreen plants drop their foliage throughout the year, never going through a period where they have no leaves. Some plants do not fall into a specific category, since leaf retention can be determined by environmental conditions. These groups may be classified as semi-evergreen or semi-deciduous.
The well-designed landscape most often contains both deciduous and evergreen plants. Seasonal change is accented by using both types. Greater contrasts in plant form, texture and color are achieved with a variety of plant types. Using best management practices to properly place deciduous and evergreen plants in a landscape improves energy conservation in the summer and winter months.
Popular Shrubs for Louisiana Landscapes
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture