Beautiful homes cannot stand on their own. The yards they sit in and the shrubs that surround them complete them. If your home currently has a naked foundation, you can bring your yard to life with the right type of foliage.
To achieve maximum curb appeal, line the foundation of your home with foundation shrubs. These plants and bushes will highlight the best features of your house, making it look like a living home from the curb rather than just a flat structure.
The location and type of shrubs you choose can make or break your curb appeal. Keep reading to learn about where to plant shrubs and what shrubs and plants make the best foundation highlights.
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Location: How Close Is Too Close
First things first: as you plan your shrubs, plan to set them at least five feet away from your home. Consider how thick your plants and shrubs will be, and then plan their locations accordingly.
You want to keep a cushion between the shrubs and your house for several reasons. For one, having foliage right next to the house invites unwanted guests to burrow their way into your foundation. A shrub gives them the illusion that you won’t see them, and then they’ll make their home there.
Furthermore, if you live in a hot and humid climate, you need the air circulation that will come with the cushion of space between your shrubs and your home. If you do not have enough air circulation, you’ll end up with rotting siding or rotting shrubs.
Also, space the plants themselves apart enough as well to reduce disease and maintenance. You can maintain your shrubs better when you have some space between them.
You will also need adequate room to work on your home. So keep your shrubs a far enough distance for you to paint, repair, or generally just work on your home.
Finally, you want your foundation shrubs far enough away from the house to snag the rain that falls. If your shrubs rest too far under the eaves, they won’t receive the nourishing rain they need to grow.
Once you plan where to plant your foundation shrubs, mulch around them. Some hearty mulch will help the soil retain moisture while keeping weeds at bay. Plus, tactfully chosen mulch help with creating curb appeal by picking up the color of your home.
Foundation Shrubs to Plant
Now that you understand where to put your shrubs, it’s time to decide what types of foundation plants will work best for you. You want shrubs for creating curb appeal, shrubs that showcase your house rather than hide it.
Hedges vary in size. The height of your hedge depends on the height of your home and your windows. Select a hedge that won’t obstruct any window views and that will maximize the height of your home.
These low-growing plants work well if you have a low home or low windows that you do not want to obscure:
Make sure to have at least three feet between these shrubs and your home to allow for air circulation. Also, keep the shrubs apart from each other to prevent them from overcrowding.
These evergreens work well if you’re working with medium-sized areas:
- Wax myrtle
- Cherry laurel
These shrubs need at least five feet between them and the house.
If you’re wanting something a little leafier, foundational plants like hostas and ferns work well in shady areas. They offer nice ground cover with little sun required.
If you’re not sure if your area qualifies as a small, medium, or large area, expert planners at places like Franz Witte can help you make wise decisions as well.
Typically, you should not use large plants or trees as foundational planting. Their roots can wreak havoc on your plumbing. However, some smaller trees can work well in the corner of your home and add a nice pop of color.
Here are a few popular options:
- Japanese maple
- Crepe myrtle
- Star magnolia
These all work well as they do not get too large. They’re less likely to obstruct your view from the window or have roots that creep beneath your foundation and cause plumbing problems.
Ground Cover Plants
Ground cover plants spread out rather than up and work well to do just what their name implies. They cover the ground. You can use them extensively, and they work well with most styles of gardens.
Even though the plants are low, you should keep them at least a foot away from your foundation.
Planting the ground cover continuously will create unity from one plant or shrub to the next. Look into the following ground covers:
- Creeping juniper
- Sweet woodruff
Even after you’ve chosen your shrubs, select a ground cover to unify the plants around your home’s foundation.
Low Maintenance Foundation Shrubs
If you’re new to horticulture or have a record of killing off plants, don’t worry. Even a brown thumb can grow some of the more low-maintenance foundation shrubs. Here are the best foundation shrubs for busy homeowners.
Fountain Butterfly Bush
The fountain butterfly blooms in the spring. It has delicate lilac flower clusters that gather on arching stems.
Put this bush in a space with some vertical room since it grows up to 10 feet high and wide. This shrub works well as an accent or just in a mixed border of shrubs.
Plant the fountain butterfly in a sunny spot with adequate drainage. It tolerates drought well but does not do well in overly moist soil.
The oakleaf hydrangea works well in all seasons, producing flower clusters in cone shapes early in the summer. It transforms into some fantastic colors in the fall and showcases a dark, earthy brown flaking bark in the window.
Give these bushes four to six vertical and horizontal feet to grow. It works well in groups or mixed in with other shrubs. The hydrangea needs moist, well-drained soil and does well in partial to full sun.
Black chokecherry bushes work especially well in extremely cold environments. They tolerate a variety of soils and thrive on all kinds of moisture.
Give these tough little shrubs 3 to 5 feet of vertical room. They bloom tiny white or pink flowers and produce 1/2 inch blackberries. The black chokecherry shrub works well as a filler.
Line Your Foundation Right
Don’t leave your foundation naked. Create fabulous curb appeal with the right foundation shrubs.
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