How would you like to have blooming trees growing in your garden that emulates the color of warm, comforting sunshine, even on a cloudy day?
Plants bloom in a variety of colors, but it’s the yellow flowering trees and shrubs that really seem to energize and lift our spirits. Now you can have some of your own.
In this article, I’ll show you nine different trees and shrubs that will bring a spectacular show of color (and sometimes, fragrance) to your garden. Each with its own unique characteristics, growing habits, care requirements, and hardiness zones.
Trees with Yellow Flowers
The following three trees have lovely flowers that bloom in different seasons. Gives you the opportunity to plant several for continual color, as your garden evolves through the seasons.
Varying blossom shapes and bark textures allow you to mix and match with other plants already in your garden. Maturity size, planting zone, and preferred soil type are included to make choosing one easy!
(Tecoma Stans ‘Sundance’)
- Tree Size: In maturity, this tree grows to 6’x12’x12’ or bigger.
- Planting Zones: Sundance Tecomas remain evergreen and hardy in zones 10 – 11.
- Position: Full sun to partial shade. The higher the sun exposure, the more it will bloom.
- Soil Type: Prefers sandy, loamy soil with a neutral to alkaline pH.
The Sundance Tecoma has fast-growing, sturdy branches that carry large clusters of yellow, bell-shaped blooms with peach centers. Fern-like foliage creates a beautiful backdrop that provides cover for pollinators.
Adding a tropical element, this tree has a great low-maintenance appeal. Cold-hardy and drought-resistant, it can grow well outside of its native hardiness zone. And blooms in spring, summer, and autumn.
Six hours of daily sunlight will keep your Sundance Tecomas blooming for years. Natural rainfall is often enough. But, when needed, water them well, twice a month. Fertilizing isn’t usually necessary, but late-winter pruning encourages new growth.
Arnold Promise Witch Hazel Shrub
(Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’)
- Tree Size: In maturity, this can grow to 15’ x 20’ in height and width.
- Planting Zones: witch hazel shrubs grow best in a broad range of climates in hardiness zones 5-9.
- Position: Full sun to partial shade. 4-6 hours of daily sunlight will encourage more blooms.
- Soil Type: witch hazel prefers nutrient-rich, moist soil with a neutral to acidic pH.
This witch hazel variety presents spiky yellow flowers with pops of red that break in late winter. Creating one of the earliest shows of color in a still-dormant landscape.
Wide-spreading branches explode with early blooms. Followed by vibrant green foliage that fades to saffron hues in autumn. This low-maintenance shrub has a low-branching canopy that’s perfect for small gardens.
The Arnold Promise needs little fertilizing or pruning and only needs watering when young. Once established, natural rainfall is enough for proper hydration.
Ylang Ylang Tree
- Tree Size: This aromatic bloomer grows 5’ per year and can reach a mature height of 40’-60’.
- Planting Zones: Thrives in zones 9-11. But will grow nicely in patio pots in cooler regions.
- Position: Prefers full to partial sun. Evergreens in warm climates may lose its leaves in cooler winters.
- Soil Type: Ylang Ylang trees prefer acidic, nutrient-rich, well-draining soil.
The Ylang Ylang tree (ee-lang eelang) is best known for its fragrant, long-lasting flowers that smell of jasmine and apple. Bloom times increase with maturity, from spring to autumn.
The Ylang Ylang tree is fairly low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and resistant to pests and diseases. It can also be grown as a sweet-smelling houseplant.
A well-balanced fertilizer should be applied three times per growing season. As young plants, they’ll need more water than when they mature, and pruning may be needed to keep these at a manageable size.
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Trees with Yellow Blossom in Spring
These three stunners are springtime bloomers that harken to the arrival of warmer weather with clusters of elegant flowers.
Diverse shades of yellow, and the option to be shrubs or trees, make these flexible enough to match any garden style. As landscape focal points or single-shade trees, the sky’s the limit! They are a real showstopper as a flowering tree in your front yard.
Yellow Trumpet Tree
- Tree Size: grows to 25’ in maturity, with a growth rate of 12-24” per year.
- Planting Zones: thrives in hardiness zones 10a-11. But, can tolerate a slight frost.
- Position: 6-8 hours of sunlight will encourage abundant blooms. But will tolerate partial shade.
- Soil Type: Accepting most soil types, the yellow trumpet tree prefers free-draining soil with a 6.6 -7.8 soil pH.
This semi-evergreen tree drops its leaves just before bursting with deep yellow flower clusters that develop into elongated fruit pods. Silver-green leaves appear in summer and remain until the following spring.
On multiple or single trunks, strong branches carry vivid bloom clusters up to 4” wide. This is ideal as a patio or deck shade tree. Or as a splash of color in larger landscapes.
Mature trees will rarely need fertilizing and only require watering in times of drought. New saplings benefit from a nitrogen-focused feed to encourage healthy root establishment and good weekly watering.
- Tree Size: Tops out at 10’ in height in small spaces. Yet can reach 20’ feet in open, lawned areas.
- Planting Zones: Tolerant to temperatures down to 30°F, the Cassia tree thrives in zones 10a, 10b, and 11.
- Position: Prefers full sun on its crown while providing shade around and underneath.
- Soil Type: Not tolerant of soggy soil, these trees are happiest in well-drained soil with a neutral pH.
The desert cassia appears as a floral bouquet on one slender trunk. Bright yellow blooms adorn its canopy, in spring and fall, amid large, green leaves.
The Cassia’s lush canopy of broad leaves and vibrant, yellow flowers, which appear twice a year, will add beauty and ample shade around patios, decks, and porches.
An all-purpose tree fertilizer, including supplemental bone meal, can be applied to increase blooming and healthy foliage. Provide 1-2” of water per week and prune, as needed, in late winter or early spring.
Magnolia ‘Butterflies’ Tree
(M. acuminata x M. denudata)
- Tree Size: Butterfly Magnolias grow to 20’ tall, in maturity, with an 18’ spread.
- Planting Zones: Cold hardy and heat tolerant, this magnolia variety happily blooms in zones 9-11.
- Position: Full sun positioning will encourage abundant blooms. But they will tolerate partial shade.
- Soil Type: Butterfly magnolias grow best in well-draining soil with a pH of 5.0 – 60.
The elegant Butterfly magnolia is a spring bloomer that attracts pollinators with its butterfly-shaped, perfumed flowers. Rich, green foliage fades to an autumn bronze.
This deciduous magnolia variety is a very early bloomer, often budding before releasing foliage. While producing beautifully fragrant flowers, the unique bark texture makes it the perfect contrast and complement to other plants.
Fertilize Magnolia with a well-balanced NPK, from years 2-4, after planting. Weekly is required once the temperature reaches 80°F and prune only after flowering, from mid-summer to early autumn.
Shrubs with Yellow Flowers
These final three are shrubs with the same lovely, yellow flowers and fragrance as the previous options. Yet more practical when you’re seeking something with a lower profile. With unique growing habits and shades of yellow, you’re bound to find the best fit for your garden.
Oregon Grape Holly Shrub
- Tree Size: Oregon grapes quickly grow to 10’ feet by 5’ wide, in maturity.
- Planting Zones: Best suited to hardiness zones 5-9, in a wind-protected location.
- Position: Grape Holly shrubs prefer full to partial shade.
- Soil Type: These colorful shrubs grow best in fertile soil with adequate drainage and pH between 5.0 and 8.0.
In mid to late spring, frothy bunches of yellow blooms appear on the Oregon Grape holly. Developing sweet, purple berries, in autumn. All against an evergreen backdrop of dark green foliage.
The Oregon Grape is known for its bright yellow bloom clusters, edible berries, and newly emerging bronze foliage that matures to dark green. These are low-maintenance plants that can also be grown as a ground cover.
One application of all-purpose fertilizer in early spring or late autumn is all these blooming shrub needs, along with weekly watering. Pruning can be done in late autumn or in late spring, after flowering.
Julia Child Rose
(Rosa ‘Julia Child’)
- Tree Size: This floribunda remains compact at 2-3’ tall and wide, reaching maturity in 3-4 years.
- Planting Zones: Cold and heat tolerant, Julia Child roses thrive in a variety of climates (zones 5a – 10a).
- Position: 6-8 hours of daily sunlight will encourage consistent blooming with good air circulation to ward off fungus and pests.
- Soil Type: Julia Child roses thrive in moist soil with sufficient drainage and a pH of 5.6 – 6.5.
Buttery-yellow blooms on this Julia Child rose to fill the air with the subtle scent of licorice. 4” petal-packed flowers form in tight groups that pop against dark, leathery leaves.
Low maintenance, disease resistance, and a long blooming season make this fragrant rose highly sought after. Planted on borders or along walkways, they’ll add color and scent. Or grow them in pots and place them wherever you like.
Water well, once per week, and allow to drain. Pruning should be done in early spring, followed by a dependable rose fertilizer.
(Rhododendron x Capistrano)
- Tree Size: This abundantly flowering shrub grows to a mature size of 3-5’ tall and 5-6’ wide.
- Planting Zones: The hardy Capistrano thrives in zones 5-8. But can grow and be wintered over in patio pots.
- Position: These prefer a sunny location with a few hours of shade, per day.
- Soil Type: The yellow rhododendron grows best in well-draining, nutrient-rich soil with a pH of 4.5 – 6.
The Yellow (or Capistrano) Rhododendron is a multi-stemmed evergreen with an upright growing habit and rounded bundles of pale yellow, 2” flowers.
Capistrano rhododendrons are highly heated and tolerant and can thrive in climates that other rhododendron varieties can’t. Displaying large clusters of pale-yellow blooms from spring to autumn.
These acid-loving plants grow well in fertile soil with a low pH. A balanced feed in early spring will encourage blooming in poor soil. Only newly planted specimens need weekly watering. Once established, rainfall should be enough. Pruning, if needed, should be done in late winter.
Roundup: Yellow Flowering Trees
What a selection! Nine yellow flowering trees and shrubs will add brilliant rays of happy color to your garden. Even on a cloudy day.
Which is your favorite? The Sundance Tecoma tree with its low-maintenance, tropical appeal? Or perhaps, the elegant Julia Child rose with its subtle licorice scent?
Before you decide, here are some factors to consider:
- Will its maturity size fit with your planting scheme?
- Does it thrive in your hardiness zone?
- How will the tree’s color and texture work with your other plants?
Once you determine these, you’ll have found the perfect one for your garden.