How to identify shrubs in my yard is what will show that unknown shrubs are growing in your yard. You can identify the shrubs in your yard by observing their physical characteristics such as leaves, flowers, and stems.Identify Shrubs in the Yard

To know the best and most reliable methods to identify shrubs in your yard, read this article.

How To Identify Shrubs in My Yard Correctly?

To identify shrubs in your yard correctly, note every detail, collect details and photographs of the shrub. Also, check for leaves, flowers, stems, branches, and berries of the shrub. You can also ask experts, the former owner, and online forums if they know the shrub.

These are the key characteristics of plants. Even if you want to take photographs of the shrub, ensure that these characteristics are well-documented, so that you have the right source when you are asking the right people in the field.

– Note Every Detail of the Shrub

Collect as many details as you can about the shrub. The climate where it grows in and the weather that it is thriving in, region, and date of seeing the shrub, and the height of this shrub. Try also to check if it has any flowers or fruits. This information will help you identify the shrub, as even plant enthusiasts will ask for them.

Stand some distance away from the shrub and look at it. Does it grow compacted or spread its branches? Go closer to the shrub and observe how the branches grow from the stem. No detail is useless when recording what you find out when observing the shrub.

– Collect Photographs of the Shrub

You must also ensure that you collect photographs of the shrub’s leaves, flowers, stems, branches, and fruits. First, collect photos showing the general appearance of the shrub. Afterward, collect photos of specific parts of the shrub, such as the stems, the fruit, or the flowers that it grows, and also be more detailed or zoomed in when you are taking pictures of the leaves.

With clear photos of the shrub, you can easily identify the shrub, as you can share the photos with experts and others. If possible, place your hands or any object with a known size close to the leaves in the photo. People viewing the photo can use the object present to estimate the size of the leaves and other parts of the shrub.

– Examine the Leaves

It is time to do some specific examinations and note that for the leaves, check how the veins look. Try to look and see if they are parallel or netted, and then you can check the leaf arrangement. How do the leaves grow on the branches, or what are the colors of the leaves, considering their upper and lower surfaces?Care for Shurb Leaves

Using a meter rule, get the average size of the leaves by measuring at least three leaves. Collect both the length and diameter of each leaf used for measurement. Remember to store every detail collected and provide them to people who ask for them.

– Examine the Flowers

Except two different plants are in the same family, it is rare for plants to have the same type of leaves and flowers. Identifying flowers is a common technique to identify shrubs growing in your yard quickly. Check the colors of the flowers, the average number of petals, the smell of the flowers, etc.

Flowering shrub identification is easy, as multiple resources focus on identifying plants through their flowers. When recording details of the flowers, record the date and season as well, as only some plants will bloom in that particular season.

– Examine the Branches and Stems

You still need to finish identifying the shrub through its different parts. For now, look at the stems and branches. Are the branches growing from the base, or is there a stem present? Do all the stems and branches have thorns or barbs present and what is the color of the stem?

Wear gloves and use a knife to peel the outer bark from the stem if the shrub has a hard stem. What is the color of the stem inside, and knowing this, can you find any dripping sap inside? If so, make sure that you would examine, with details, the color and smell, but ensure that you don’t taste it; try to you collect and record all these details as well.

– Examine the Fruits

What better way can you identify plants if not through their fruits or berries? Many trees and plants are known today because of their fruits, so if your unknown shrub is growing fruits, collect some of these fruits and identify them. Most shrubs grow berries, so you can concentrate on identifying berries.Growing Fruits on Shrub

You must also check the color and size of the berry that it has, and as you gently press the berry, if it feels hard or if it has any water content present. Are there berries of different colors present, or every berry has the same color? Do the berries grow clumped together or free from others?

– Ask Online Forums

After collecting as many details about the shrub as possible, it is time to identify it using the collected details. Upload photos of the shrub on forums, write all the recorded details, and ask the forum for their help in identifying the shrub. Upload it on forums for plant enthusiasts or people in the local community.

You will likely see different suggestions, so you have to double-check. Remember that in forums, there are both experts and amateurs. Therefore, only accept some things you’re told. Do some extra research before you conclude that you have identified the shrub.

– Ask Local Plant Experts

Is there any school nearby? You will find so many professors and even students who can help you identify your unknown shrubs. Students of plant-related courses usually get scores for bringing and identifying new plants, so there will most likely be a record of your unknown shrub kept somewhere in the school.

Other experts who can help you are hunters or people who have lived in the area for a long time. They will know the shrub as long as it is popular in that area. If they do not know the shrub, it means someone introduced it into the yard.

– Check Reference Books for Sources

Get a plant encyclopedia and use the recorded details of the shrub to identify it. These reference books are some of the most reliable materials that you can use, as they are mostly scientific. Also, your recorded details will match almost everything said about the shrub in the book so long as you are looking at the same shrub.

– Use Plant Identification Apps

To identify plants in your yard, use a plant, shrub, or bush identification app present in app stores. These apps are somewhat reliable, especially if the unknown shrub is quite popular in other regions. The app will tell you the plant, and show its pictures as well, that match your shrub, and it should also provide descriptions.Using Plant Identification Apps

Most of these apps need only photos of the leaves; however, you can also upload photos of the general view or flowers of the shrub. Remember to double-check when the app gives you suggestions, as the app is not fully accurate.

– Research Common Shrubs in Your Area

In a search engine, find common shrubs present in your area. You can input “common shrubs found in [your area],” and you may also see a list of shrubs growing in your area, and how common this plant exactly is, and this way, you can tell the shrub, and also you have to check if your unknown shrub is present in the list. If your shrub is not present, it means that it most likely isn’t a native species, and you still need other resources to identify it.

– Ask the Former Owner of the Yard

Did you recently purchase the yard? If so, the former owner of the yard will most likely tell you all you need to know about the unknown shrubs. If the shrub is not a native species, there is a high chance that it was planted in the yard by the former owner of the yard. Call the person and ask them about the shrub.

You can also ask them why they planted or kept the shrub in the yard, as the shrub could also be beneficial to you. Ask the former owner as many questions as you can just to be sure about the safety of the shrub.

If the yard has a former owner, you can ask the owner why they kept the shrubs. Could the shrubs be pest repellents? Are they valuable in any way? Find out as much as you can about the shrubs before deciding if they are worth keeping.

Moreover, on this topic, you should also consider if you want to keep it or remove it, if the former owner informs you about a specific aspect. You should keep unknown shrubs in your yard only after doing some findings and concluding that the shrub is safe for you in the yard. If you cannot identify the shrub and are not comfortable with it growing in your yard, remove it from the yard and grow something else.

– Take Samples to Nurseries

Now, consider if there are any plant nursery or shop nearby, so that You can find plant experts in nurseries. These people can tell you the name and some extra details of the shrub in your yard. All you need to do is to collect a branch with leaves and flowers.Growing Plants on Nursery

For instance, you can also take the branch to the nursery and ask the experts there to help you identify the plant. Ensure that you have a photo of the general view of the shrub.

They will tell you even detail as the begin to check the color, size, and arrangement of the leaves, the color, number of petals, scent, and bloom time of the flowers, the size of the shrub, and other useful details such as fruits and berries. Sometimes, the plant experts in the nursery can ask you for a photo of the shrub, which will help them quickly identify the plant.

– Check for Pests

You generally wouldn’t want pests near your plants; however, in the case of identifying plants, pests can tell you the plants in your yard. Some pests are host-specific, meaning that they only attack specific types of plants.

This means that when you see some pests on your plant, you can check for the list of plant hosts for those pests. This method only works for host-specific pests such as caterpillars and stem borers.


– What Should You Do After Identifying a Shrub?

After identifying a shrub, you should research the shrub, check if it’s poisonous, decide if keeping it is a great idea, and learn its plant care requirements if you decide to keep it. The decision is yours to make. However, be well-informed about the shrub first.


You can identify any shrub or plant you find now, so here are some reminders from this article:

  • There are multiple plant identifier reference guides online and in libraries. Find and use them.
  • You can get a free shrub identification app and use it to identify your strange shrubs.
  • Upload photos of the shrub on forums with plant experts present so that they can help you identify the shrub.
  • If the shrub has berries, collect some and use them to identify the shrub, as studying berries is very useful in plant identification.
  • If the yard has a former owner, you can ask the former owner to tell you more about the shrub, as they’d most likely know a lot about the shrub.

Remember always to double-check your findings to be sure that you now identify the strange shrub, and you must also ensure that you know every detail about a shrub before you decide to keep it.

5/5 - (14 votes)
Evergreen Seeds