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Readers Respond: What Do You Think is the Difference Between Shrubs and Bushes?

Responses: 14


There isn't a widely accepted definition for the difference between shrubs and bushes. Some say shrubs are cultivated, and bushes are wild. Others say exactly the opposite. The Oxford Dictionary even defines a bush as a clump of shrubs.

What do you think the difference is? Which term do you use more?

this or that

a bush is in the wild state, and the shrub , more cultivated.
—Guest anne


I think a bush is a plant that does not care how it looks. A shrub, however, loves to be pampered and fussed over.
—Guest Joni

bush vs schrub

If they are evergreen they are a shrub, if they lose their leaves they are a bush.
—Guest Pat

The Difference?

Well, like it was stated, When I think of the difference between Shrubs and Bushes, I believe too that Bushes are more wild and "do what they want" and to me Shrubs would be something more people pay attention to and take the time to make them look aesthetically pleasing. When I hear the term "bush" it just makes me think of something wild growing in the backyard that doesn't look nice at all. This is all coming from personal thoughts. Im sure everyone has their own opinion on the matter.

It's all about You Sage

A shrub is an individual plant while a bush can be made up of several shrubs or bushes of the same type.

Size Matters!

to me, a bush is small(er) and a shrub is large(er) Or is it the other way 'round? *grin* >^,,^

Rons answer

After reading all the explanations I have arrived at this: A shrub is a non flowering plant the shape of which is maintained by trimming it to a specific desired shape. A bush is a flowering plant that may not require trimming to maintain a desired shape. "Trimming of a "rose bush" relates to cutting away old growth to create a stronger plant able to produce a better rose, but not to alter or change its shape. I also believe the term shrub has a better sound than the word bush, which I never use when describing a shrub.

Shrubs and bushes

A bush is a shrub you don't really like and hate pruning while a shrub is something that looks good, prunes well and you enjoy doing it!

I Know the Difference!

Bushes are tall and leggy, shrubs are short and sort of squat. It's like a supermodel standing next to a pumpkin.
—Guest MafiaWarsAddict

Difference Between Shrubs and Bushes

The Bushes had a total of 12 years in office. Meanwhile the shrubs slowly succumbed to policies which benefited only mighty trees.

shrubs and bushes

Shrubs strike me as being herbaceous and bushes woody.
—Guest Mat

I know the difference!

With shrubs and bushes the only real difference is an 'r' in one and an 'e' in the other. Of course the letters are rearranged a bit too.
—Guest Jeremy

shrubs and bushes

I figure a bush is something that stands all alone. Shrubs grow in a bunch, in a hedge, either lined up or massed together....
—Guest Linda Vining

These Professors Had Definite Ideas...

When I was taking horticulture classes in college, I had two professors who were adament that we never use the term "bush" when describing a shrub. "Bushes," they claimed, "were for people who didn't know any better." They maintained that "bush" was a vague term, like "plant," and that if we were ever to be considered serious horticulturists or landscape designers, we should always refer to a hedge as a "hedge."
—Guest Lisa Kate

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