Berry bushes are any shrub-like plant that produces berries. These berries vary in size, colour and are either edible or ornamental. When choosing which berry bush to plant, consider the needs of your garden. If you would like a plant that produces crop, choose edible berry bushes, while deer resistant ornamental grapes will provide exactly the same showy berries without attracting deer.
Edible berry bushes produce delicious fruits that you can enjoy in many different methods from eating them straight from the plant to utilizing the berries for jam or jellies. Blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are typical edible berry bushes. Depending on the variety, blackberries (Rubus spp.) Grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8, raspberries (Rubus ideaus and Rubus occidentalis) develop in USDA zones 4 through 9 and blueberries are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8. Gooseberries (Ribe spp.) , currants (Ribes spp.) and elderberries (Sambucus spp.) Are a couple more edible berry bushes grow in USDA zones 2 through 9.
Berries for Color
A couple of berry bushes creating ornamental berries also develop in shaded locations. “Rozannie” Japanese aucuba (Aucuba japonica “Rozannie”) is a compact 3-foot tree which grows in complete shade in USDA zones 6 through 10. It has deep green, glossy foliage and bright red ornamental berries that appear in autumn. “Rozannie” also tolerates seacoast exposures. Reeves skimmia (Skimmia reevesiana) is a broadleaf shrub growing in USDA zones 7 through 9 with heights of 1 to 3 feet tall. It can grow in full to partial shade; its own berry-covered branches can be used in floral arrangements.
Deer Resistant Berries
Berry bushes are typically a food source for deer and other wildlifethat can severely damage the plant has they feed on it. A few of the berry-producing plants are believed deer resistant, because deer generally don’t have the shrubs. Brandywine viburnum (Viburnum nudum “Bulk”) and also “Eichholz” cotoneaster (Cotoneaster dammeri “Eichholz”) are two such berry shrubs that generally aren’t consumed by deer but will attract birds. Brandywine viburnum grows 5 to 6 feet tall in USDA zones 5 through 9. They grow best in bright areas, creating green berries that change to shades of blue and pink. “Eichholz” cotoneaster also rises in sunny locations, creating bright red berries in the autumn on a 10- to 12-inch tall shrub. “Eichholz” rises in USDA zones 5 through 8.
Evergreen bushes provide shade throughout the year by maintaining their leaves throughout the winter months and creating ornamental berries. Dwarf coral hedge barberry (Berberis x stenophylla “Corallina Compacta”) is a low-growing evergreen shrub found in USDA zones 6 through 9. This 6- to 12-inch tall plant produces small leaf, coral orange blooms and bluish black berries with a silvery frost. This striking ornamental berry-producing shrub is drought tolerant once established, works nicely as a ground cover and can grow in sun or shade. “Blue Maid” holly (Ilex x meserveae “Blue Maid”) is a sun-loving broadleaf evergreen shrub growing 8 to 10 feet tall in USDA zones 5 through 9. “Blue Maid” produces stunning purplish green leaves, purple stems and bright red ornamental berries.