10 Most Beautiful Japanese Garden Plants

Japanese gardens boast a series of simple elements in the shape of water, rocks, and plants, all of which help to create a retreat in which to relax, meditate, and reflect.

Here we’ve listed ten of our favourite Japanese garden plants that can help you to create a relaxing space of your own, regardless of where you are in the world.

10 most beautiful Japanese garden plants


Also known as Japanese Maples, Acers are attractive, distinct trees that come in an array of sizes, shapes, and hues.

They can either be planted as a focal point or as part of an arrangement of plants and trees.

They come to life in early spring, up until the summer months. The beauty of the Acer tree is its leaves and stem, both of which can change colour depending on the season. What can result is a beautiful backdrop of vivid colours, especially in the autumn when the leaves tend to darken.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons

These Japanese garden plants are celebrated for their exquisite flowers, which bloom at the end of spring.

They’re native to the Himalayas and have become synonymous with Japanese gardens all over the world. There are plenty of varieties to choose from, with more than 20,000 registered species in existence.

Cloud Trees

Just as the name suggests, cloud trees are sculptured over many years so that they resemble clouds.

There are several species available, with Ilex Crenata being the most celebrated, especially when used in Japanese gardens, as they tend to grow much faster. This evergreen plant blooms all year round, which makes it a great option for a centerpiece.


Often nicknamed the ‘king’ of the garden plants, pines symbolize longevity and are said to bring good fortune. This evergreen species grows to various heights and can live for an impressive 100 years or more. They’re able to thrive in acidic soil, provided that they have good drainage.

Bamboo Trees

Bamboo culms can grow to various heights, ranging from just a few centimeters tall to an impressive few meters in height.

Their width can also vary from one millimeter up to 30 centimeters. These evergreen plants traditionally house plain green or green and brown stems. However, there are now more variants available, some of which boast pretty gold, yellow, or dark purple stems.

Evergreen Shrubs

Just as the name suggests, evergreen shrubs won’t shed their leaves during the cold winter months. This makes them a great option for those who wish to add structure, vibrant colour, and interest to their outdoor space all year round.

These Japanese garden plants often flower, and as such, they’re able to add an instant splash of colour to your Japanese garden. Popular evergreen shrubs include Pieris Japonica ‘Debutante’, ‘Little Health’, ‘Carnaval’, and ‘Domestica’.

Ground Cover Plants

These particular species of Japanese garden plants, as their name suggests, come in the form of low growing and dense covering evergreen plants. They’re a great addition to sparse gardens and large areas, with their main purpose being to cover an area fleetingly.

They’re also able to destroy and prevent weeds from growing. They do however require a little more maintenance than the majority of Japanese garden plants and necessitate a lot of water, especially during the dry, summer months.

Prevalent ground cover plants include Pachysanda Terminalis, Cotoneaster Dammeri, Streibs Findling, and Ophiopogon Minor.


This particular species of Japanese garden plants is ideal for use in borders. The vintage-style pink blooms add both colour and interest to an otherwise minimalistic garden. Although both hardy and tough, it’s important to plant this species in the right location.

When cared for correctly, you can expect an abundance of flowers in the springtime and summer months.

They work well to cover large spaces, as they can grow both ten feet high and ten feet wide. If you have a small garden, you’ll want to trim Weigela regularly to prevent it from getting too large.

Flowering Quince

This ornamental flowering tree produces fragrant, yellow-hued fruit, which is often used to make jellies and jams.

To bloom to their full potential, they require a sunny location and fertile soil. They boast an attractive, natural shape and are extremely easy to grow.


These low-maintenance, attractive Japanese garden plants are great additions to any garden.

They come in the shape of coniferous evergreen trees and due to their size, make excellent windbreakers. Despite their impressive size, they also grow extremely fast!



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Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.

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