Shrubs that grow well in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness Zone 5 include flowering almond, oakleaf hydrangea, sweetshrub, alpine currant and northern lights azaleas. Zone 5 stretches from southern Maine through northern Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, southern Nebraska and much of Colorado, and it also includes small sections of Idaho, Oregon and northern Nevada. The lowest temperatures encountered in Zone 5 are between -10 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Flowering almond is a hardy flowering shrub that blooms in late April but requires winter protection. Oakleaf hydrangea can grow to 10 feet high. Although it is native to the southeastern United States, it adapts well to Zone 5. Sweetshrub is a flowering shrub that adapts well to dry or wet soil and does well in locations ranging from full shade to almost full sun. Alpine currant is very hardy in cold weather and also extremely insect resistant. The northern lights azalea is an extremely hardy hybrid developed to survive in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The serviceberry has good fall color, spring flowering and edible berries. It grows four to six feet tall and is also known as the species amelanchier. The bottlebrush buckeye has foot-long panicles of blooms and changes from green leaves to yellow in the fall season. It grows up to 12 feet high and is known as the Aesculus parviflora species. The Japanese pieris has white or red blooms and an exotic look to it. It grows 9 to 12 feet high and is also known as Pieris japonica. The dogwood has plentiful summer leaves, lovely blooms that cover the shrub, and late fall and winter berries. It has a varied growth, ranging from 8 feet to 40 feet tall depending on the cultivar. Dogwoods are also known as the species cornus. The Virginia sweetspire has summer flowers that are fragrant and good fall color. It will grow 4 to 5 feet high and is also known as Itea virginica. Typically, it is pest and disease free.
Other shrubs that thrive in Zone 5 include rhododendrons, which require morning sun and produce huge bursts of flowers in the spring; amur maple, whose leaves turn bright red in the fall; and Japanese rose, which can be grown as a shrub or ground cover and has some double-flowering varieties.