Animal Crossing: New Horizons — Shrub planting guide

Animal Crossing New Horizons Shrubs
Animal Crossing New Horizons Shrubs (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)

Part of the fun of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is all the flowers and trees you can plant to decorate your island paradise. Now, there are new plants to add to your gardens: shrubs! These flowering bushes can transform your existing gardens and give your island a whole new look.

What are shrubs and how do I grow them?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Leif (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)

Shrubs are something between a flower and a tree. They are bushes that can be used to create living fences and barriers, while occasionally blooming with colorful flowers. You can purchase shrub starts from Leif, a regular visitor to your island.

Once you've purchased a shrub start, you can plant it by following these easy steps:

  1. Pick a spot in the grass where you would like to grow a shrub. Hint: shrubs need soil to grow so don't plant them on the beach!
  2. Using a shovel, dig a hole.
    • Note: You don't need to dig a hole but it helps to specify where you want to plant.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Shrubs (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)
  1. Select the shrub start from your inventory.

Animal Crossing New Horizons Shrubs (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)
  1. Press A to select "Plant 1".

Animal Crossing New Horizons Shrubs (Image credit: iMore/Casian holly)
  1. Repeat until you've planted all your shrub starts.

Unlike trees, which require space for the roots to grow, shrubs can be planted side-by-side, just like flowers.

What are all the shrubs available?

Source: iMore/Casian Holly (Image credit: Source: iMore/Casian Holly)

Currently, Leif sells six species of shrub in a variety of colors:

  • Azalea starts can be purchased in pink or white. Currently in season
  • Camellia starts can be purchases in pink or red.
  • Hibiscus starts can be purchased in yellow or red.
  • Holly starts only come in red.
  • Hydrangea starts can be purchased in blue or pink.
  • Tea-Olive starts can be purchased in yellow or orange.

These nine varieties are all you can purchase from Leif right now, but we'll keep the list updated in case Nintendo adds any more. It also seems as though Leif will always bring two species, one of which is currently in season.


Animal Crossing New Horizons Shrubs (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)

Unlike flowers and fruit bearing trees, shrubs only flower during specific months. You can plant shrubs any time of year and they will grow into lovely bushes, but the flowers will only bloom when they are in season. In previous games, shrubs bloom during the following times:

  • Azalea bloom from April 6 until June 15.
  • Hydrangea bloom from June 8 until July 5.
  • Hibiscus bloom from June 28 until September 15.
  • Sweet-Olive bloom from September 8 until November 30.
  • Holly bloom from November 26 until March 31.

We don't know if these are the seasons for the current shrubs, or where the new shrubs, Camellias will fall in the schedule.

Do shrubs make hybrid colors?

While there is a way to crossbreed different colors of flowers to make hybrid colors, we don't know if shrubs will work the same way. In our testing so far, they do not seem to make any new shrubs, even when watered. If we find out otherwise, we'll update you here!

Nook Miles?

Animal Crossing New Horizons Shrubs (Image credit: iMore/Casian Holly)

Not only does planting shrubs add to the beauty of your island (and thus your island's overall evaluation), but you can also earn Nook Miles and new title keywords for planting several of them. It takes 20 total shrubs — an easy enough feat to get all three stamps, a bunch of miles, and a half dozen new title keywords. During the Nature Day event, you will also get a special daily task that will reward five times the miles. Many of these special tasks will involve shrubs, so make sure to buy a bunch when Leif is visiting!


Do you have any questions about growing shrubs on your island paradise? Which shrub are you most excited to bloom? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out our many other Animal Crossing: New Horizons guides for all your Nook approved goodness!

Casian Holly

Casian Holly has been writing about gaming at iMore since 2019, but their real passion is Pokémon. From the games to the anime, cards and toys, they eat, sleep, and breathe all things Pokémon. You can check out their many Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield guides and coverage here on iMore.