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Top 10 beautiful yellow flowering shrubs

Last updated on March 24th, 2023

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If you are looking for the best shrubs with yellow flowers to perfectly complement the colour pattern and scheme you have in your garden, then you need to incorporate one of these ten beautiful yellow flowering shrubs.

Many of them produce a good show of flowers in early spring before much else is flowering. We have large shrubs for informal hedges such as Forsythia as pictured below, stunning groundcover shrubs like the potentilla along with eight more stunning yellow flowering shrubs.

1. Forsythia

Forsythias are part of the olive family and regardless of the species you choose, you can find beautiful, and overwhelming bright yellow flowers which make a hedge stand out in any garden but also work well as a specimen shrub.

Forsythias are deciduous flowering shrubs that have long branches, each of which will overflow with yellow blooms in the spring. They offer a very cheerful backdrop to any garden and when they reach peak maturity they grow to be incredibly tall but only ever so slightly wide. This makes them perfect for areas in the garden where you want a tree-like shrub and any area that is in full sun.

They require well-drained soil and they are tolerant of acidic to alkaline soil levels so you won’t need to modify your existing space very much. The flowers actually precede the leaves, meaning you will get beautiful yellow flowers long before the leaves give you a vibrant green shade.

Given that there isn’t much particularly astounding about the plant after the yellow flowers, it is best to have it paired with other late bloomers that can compensate when the yellow flowers have fulfilled their seasonal existence.

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2. Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’ – Oregon Grape

evergreen shrub is known for its bright yellow flowers which are sometimes fragrant which are followed by black or purple berries. It's an evergreen shrub with spine-toothed thick leathery leaves so provides all year round interest and growing to around 1.5 meters tall doesn't grow too large. It does prefer well-drained soil but does grow well in clay so the soil may need to be improved a little to ensure adequate drainage.
Mahonia x media ‘Charity’ (Oregon grape)

For stunning yellow and green foliage, the Mahonia ‘Winter Sun’ (commonly known as Oregon Grape) is an evergreen shrub that offers leathery leaves adorned with fragrant yellow flowers and followed thereafter with purple berries.

It is an upright evergreen shrub and each of the leaves it produces is composed of spine tooth leaflets and the subsequent cup-shaped flowers. As such, it will easily fill a large space, both in height and width.

The Mahonia can reach up to four metres in height and spread by the time it reaches full maturity so it is recommended to plant them in an area where you can allow it to grow properly. It does best in partial shade or full sun. In the autumn (to spring) it produces yellow flowers and will add some interest when not much else is happening. It grows best in smaller gardens in flowerbeds towards the back with some smaller contrasting plants in front.

3. Magnolia ‘Yellow Bird’

Magnolia yellow river which is a yellow flowering shrub/small tree

This particular variety of deciduous tree brings with it a buttery yellow flower, not as bright as other options on this list, but still stunning. These softer yellow flowers are upright and goblet-shaped with a sweet fragrance.

As they open and reach full maturity the flowers can get up to 15cm in size and look very similar to Lilies. They fade to a softer, cream colour at the tips with time but maintain a rich buttery yellow colour at the base. It does bloom late in the season and this means you don’t need to worry about late frost damaging any potential blossoms. It will reach up to 5 metres tall and wide and grows best in slightly acidic, rich soil. A stunning unusual tree.

4. Santolina chamaecyparissus – Cotton Lavender

For those of you interested in adding yellow colour to your garden but maintaining a unique colour spread in an otherwise monochromatic green world the rest of the year, the lavender cotton plant is the perfect solution.
Santolina chamaecyparissus (Cotton lavender)

For those of you interested in adding the colour yellow to your garden but want to maintain a unique colour spread in an otherwise monochromatic green world the rest of the year, the Cotton Lavender plant is the perfect solution.

The Santolina is favoured in many Mediterranean gardens because it is not only evergreen with bright yellow flowers but it produces silvery grey-green foliage throughout the year. It produces its eye-catching flowers in late spring to the early summer and each of the yellow flowers is bright in colour and shaped similarly to a button. It can reach up to 60cm tall and 90cm wide which makes it better suited for creating dense mounds and not necessarily tall privacy screens. Being evergreen it’s also perfect for groundcover too.

5. Azalea mollis Luteum – Sweet Pontica Azalea

Azalea mollis luteum - spring flowering yellow flowering shrub
Azalea mollis luteum (sweet pontica azalea)

This particular Azalea is given its name because of the beautiful yellow flowers it produces along with its sweet fragrance. The small flowers take on a funnel shape and offer beautiful colour in the springtime.

The flowers themselves are very small but the bush can grow to be 4 metres tall. The foliage colour changes throughout the autumn so that after the yellow flowers have run their course, you will still get a beautiful mixture of reds, purples and oranges throughout the remainder of the year. This is considered an invasive, non-native species so you will need to take care that it is correctly pruned annually.

6. Kerria japonica – Japanese Rose

Kerria Japonica - The Japanese rose does not actually produce roses but the yellow flowers it offers grow out in a spindly form across multiple branches and look like small cotton balls of yellow. The yellow flowers produced in the springtime and subsequently in the summer can bloom for weeks on end before the second blooming season begins.
Kerria Japonica (Japanese Rose)

The Japanese Rose doesn’t actually produce roses, the yellow flowers it offers grow out in a spindly form across multiple branches and look like small cotton balls. The yellow flowers produced in the spring and subsequently in the summer can bloom for weeks on end before the second flowering season begins.

Most exciting is not just the yellow flowers that you receive, and of course its natural shape. It grows in very loose, informal structures so it makes for a wonderful specimen shrub but is not necessarily effective as a formal hedge. The amount of pruning required to shape this bush into a hedge would detract from the enjoyable natural shape it likes to assume.

The blooms produced in spring are on old wood so you need to prune just after the spring flowering comes to an end. However, remember that a second flowering later in the season is not unusual, if this happens and you have yet to prune, you will need to wait until the following season to do so.

7. Hypericum Hidcote – St. John’s Wort

Growing Hypericum Hidcote
Hypericum Hidcote (St. John’s Wort)

Anyone looking for larger flowers and a medium-sized bush rather than clusters of smaller flowers would do well to consider Saint John’s Wort. The St. John’s Wort produces yellow flowers whose shade doesn’t have the golden brassiness of shrubs like Forsythias and instead, it takes on a lighter, richer golden yellow that not only manifests in the form of the five petals but the centre of the flower that not only draws the attention of your eye but also to many wonderful guests to the garden like bees and butterflies.

8. Berberis darwinii – Darwin’s Barberry

Berberis darwinii can be light pruned after flowering in spring to remove dead flowers
Berberis darwinii (Darwin’s Barberry)

Standing tall and proud with its unique shape and colour, Darwin’s Barberry is an evergreen bush that gets smothered with clusters of tangerine buds growing on red stems that open into the form of vibrant orange-yellow coloured flowers. The foliage remains dark green which offers a very striking floral design.

The flowers grow in clusters that hang downwards, taking on the shape of a bell or an urn. They are small in shape but very shiny. At its full maturity, this plant will reach a height of 1.5 metres with a spread of 1.2 metres on average.

It requires full sun or very light shade and once it gets established it is particularly drought tolerant. It will attract bees, birds and butterflies with its early spring flowers and it is resistant to deer.

9. Potentilla ‘Goldfinger’ – Shrubby Cinquefoil ‘Goldfinger’

The potentilla Goldfinger is not nearly as ostentatious in terms of its flowers as some of the other plants on this list so it is ideal for a more reserved garden space where you still want yellow flowers but yellow flowers that are spread out across the vastness of the plant and not clustered together in dense groups.
Potentilla goldfinger (shrubby cinquefoil ‘Goldfinger’)

The Potentilla Goldfinger is not nearly as ostentatious in terms of its flowers as some of the other plants on this list, making it is ideal for a more reserved garden space where you still want yellow flowers, but yellow flowers that are spread out across the vastness of the plant and not clustered together in dense groups.

This is a versatile shrub that is small in size. The green foliage grows in a mound shape and the flowers themselves are buttercup yellow. It is the perfect shrub to use as a colourful accent to your border and requires full sunlight. It also makes an excellent groundcover shrub, however, it is worth noting that it is deciduous so will look rather bare in winter.

10. Rose ‘Golden Wedding’

The Golden Wedding rose is a floribunda type and produces a mass of perfectly-formed, bright golden yellow flowers. The flowers will maintain their shape throughout the growing season so they will stand upright rather than drooping over like some of the other plants, and with a little deadheading, you can keep them flowering all summer. For those who prefer roses in their space and are not looking to add yellow flowers simply for the purpose of a hedge or privacy screen, the Golden Wedding rose is the plant to choose.

The good thing about roses is that you just need to prune them back once a year and feed them every spring and they will stay looking fantastic year after year.

Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

Last update on 2023-11-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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