How to Grow Pineapple in Your Home Garden

A pineapple growing outdoors

It is quite possible to grow your own pineapple plant at home. It is a bit easier if you live in a tropical climate, but it can be done almost anywhere, as long as you have a nice sunny, warm spot in your house where the plant can thrive.

  • Pineapple can be reliably grown outdoors in the USDA zones 11-12.
  • It requires 68 degrees F to 86 degrees F for healthy growth. 
  • The best time to plant pineapple is late spring when the temperature stays consistently warm.
  • Winter frost is not tolerable for pineapple.
  • Pineapple requires at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight daily.
  • Pineapple should begin to produce fruit 2-3 years after being planted.  

Materials required to grow Pineapple in Your Home Garden

Growing a pineapple in a home garden requires the following materials and tools:

  1. One Fresh Pineapple – It all starts with a fresh pineapple. Choose a dark golden pineapple to ensure it is fully ripe. If you choose a green pineapple, it will take much longer to reproduce. 
  2. 6-8 inch Pot – Pineapple should not be planted directly into your garden because it will be sensitive to frost and sunburn until it reaches maturity. Planting it in a pot will allow you to protect the young plant from harsh climatic conditions and insect attacks. 
  3. A Sharp Knife – A sharp knife is required to cut off the sword leaves of the pineapple fruit before soaking it in water. 
  4. A Glass Jar – A glass jar is required to soak the pineapple crown for rooting purposes. 
  5. Potting Soil Mix – Organic potting soil is an excellent choice for growing organic pineapple. It contains slow-releasing nutrients that support the growing plant throughout it’s potted life.

Obtain a Pineapple Crown

The easiest way to start a pineapple plant at home is by using a crown. The crown is the leafy top of the pineapple fruit that will be removed and used to grow a new plant. When selecting a crown, look for one that is fresh and has healthy, green leaves. It’s essential to leave a small amount of fruit flesh attached to the bottom of the crown, as this will be its food source and help it grow faster.

Plant the Crown

Once getting a healthy pineapple crown, the next step is to plant it. This can be done by placing the crown in a transparent water-filled jar.  Make sure that the bottom of the crown is in the water and change the water every few days. The pineapple crown should start sprouting within 2-3 weeks.

Transplanting the Crown

Once the crown has developed enough roots (2-3 weeks), you can transplant it into the soil in your 6″-8″ pot. Make sure that the pot has good drainage and is filled with well-draining soil. Water the plant regularly, but do not over-water it, as pineapples are susceptible to root rot.

Ongoing Pineapple Care

Taking care of your pineapple plant is important to keep it growing. If you are a beginner in gardening in general, or are growing pineapple for the first time, here are some of the very useful tips for you to take care of your home-grown pineapple: 

  • Watering: Pineapples need regular watering but do not overwater the plant. Overwatering can lead to root rot. You have to ensure that the soil remains consistently moist, but not wet
  • Fertilize: Pineapples are heavy feeders, so make sure to fertilize them regularly with a healthy and balanced organic fertilizer.
  • Protection from the cold: Pineapples are typically tropical and cannot tolerate winter frost or cold temperatures. If you live in a colder climate, you will need to shelter the plant in a sunny spot inside the house during the winter months.
  • Control pests and diseases: Pineapples can be prone to pests such as mealybugs and spider mites, as well as diseases such as root rot and pineapple wilt. Proper sanitation, ventilation, and feeding will eliminate half the disease or insect pest attack risk.

Harvesting Your Pineapple

Once your pineapple has grown to size and matured, simply hold on to the fruit of the pineapple or its spiked leaves above the fruit and snip the pineapple fruit away from the rest of the plant. Your pineapple will only usually bear one fruit, so you might want to save the top again so that you can start over.


Is it a good idea to grow pineapple in your home garden?

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) belongs to a flowering family (Bromeliads). It is commercially grown in the tropical regions of South and Central America, where the climate is quite favorable for its growth. Growing pineapple in a home garden is delicious and convenient, but it will take 3-4 years to yield fruit. If you live in a colder climate, you will need to keep the plant in a pot so that you can move it indoors when it gets cold.

How long it takes a pineapple to grow into a mature plant?

Growing pineapple can be time-consuming as it grows slowly and matures late. It is a 3-4 week deal, from soaking the crown to rooting. Then comes the transplantation stage. Pineapple is transplanted several times as it grows bigger and bigger. Once in a big enough pot and growing in favorable conditions, a pineapple plant reaches maturity in 3-4 years.

Do pineapple plants need full sunlight?

Yes. Warmer climatic conditions and bright sunlight are mandatory for proper pineapple growth and early maturity. It is one of the ideal plants to grow in home gardens as it requires little space, remains for 3-4 years in containers, and does not require much care for growth. Moreover, there is hardly a disease or insect pest known to be fatal for pineapple. 

How many pineapples will grow from a single pineapple plant?

Pineapple is a herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the family of succulents. It has sword-like leaves arising from the central stem in a spiral pattern. A single pineapple plant produces one pineapple fruit only. 

Easy to Grow Border Plants for a Gorgeous, Trouble-Free Landscape

Many people try growing plants along the border in their gardens but find it too difficult because of the maintenance involved. The good news is there are tons of great border plants that are attractive and simple to grow. And now, you don’t have to be a green thumb to get the look you want for your garden borders, which means you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy your life!

So, whether you prefer to plant a flowering or non-flowering plant, it’s a good idea to check out the list below to find the perfect easy-to-grow border plants for your landscape. These specific plants can offer any garden border much-needed color, shape, and texture.

Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

Alyssums are the plants to choose if you wish to add more timeless elegance to your flower gardens but don’t have time to baby your plants. These annuals don’t need much care as long as you place them in a nice sunny spot where they are happy.

While alyssum is low-maintenance, it does poorly in swampy areas and regions with insufficient rainfall. It has minimal insect issues, although it can suffer foliage and stem problems in excessive shade where the foliage and soil do not dry sufficiently.

This ground-covering plant prefers full sun; however, it will benefit from moderate shade in drier and hotter conditions. It grows best in USDA zones 5-9 and enjoys warmer climates, although severe temperatures can kill it. They will typically cease blooming in the heat of summer, but don’t worry. They will likely liven up your borders once more in the fall—alyssums like well-draining soil.

Spurges (Euphorbia)

Euphorbia is an erect, thick, clumping herbaceous perennial that is extremely showy, quick, and simple to grow and is ideal for brightening up any garden border. They add vibrant color and intrigue with beautiful springtime flowers in yellow, bright green, and orange. Some euphorbias have evergreen leaves, providing a distinctive structure throughout the year. So, they readily fall into the list of the best border plants.

Euphorbias grew successfully in a wide variety of environments, from highlands to deserts to tropical woods, making them very non-fussy plants. There are several species and varieties, providing a diverse range of options for people all over the country. There are sun-loving and shade-loving types, as well as those that prefer either dry or moisture-rich soils. 

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

The lavender plant is an easy-to-grow perennial and will provide you with a fragrant and colorful display of flowers throughout the summer. You can even grow Lavender in containers if you don’t like planting it directly in the soil.

Lavender is a favorite border pick because of its pastel shades and low, trail-bordering height of 1 foot. A profusion of Lavender provides a striking, flowery informal border and entices anyone who passes by with its pleasant smell, so you can’t go wrong with Lavender!

Fern (Tracheophyta)

Several ferns are incredibly simple-to-maintain border plants that thrive in damp soil and partial full shade in Zones 3-9. Ferns are among the best stress-free accent plants or backdrop plantings you can have in the landscape. And since ferns have such a wide variety of colors and textures, there’s almost something for everyone! However, if you want a more purposeful look, select low-growing varieties at the front of a planting bed. 

Stay cautious, though: certain ferns expand rapidly; if they seem to intrude on surrounding plants, you can split them, but be aware that some of the more aggressive growers, such as Ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) might quickly overtake the adjoining gardens and creep out into the lawn.

Boxwood (Buxus)

The Boxwood is hardy, resilient, and effortless to grow, and it adds interesting texture, strong shape, and lush color all year. With its maximum size reaching 3-5 feet tall and broad, it’s perfect as a hedge, edging, or border plant. You can also use Boxwood as accent plants in the middle of larger shrubs. It grows best in partial shade, in uniformly damp, well-drained soil.

 You can cultivate Boxwood as a tiny tree or big, dense shrub because you can quickly trim it. It has thick, evergreen, glossy leaves with a deep green shade above and yellow-green beneath, making it an attractive plant that has adorned garden borders for many, many years.

Tricolor Sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Tricolor’)

Sage is one herb we should not ignore. This lovely tiny herb is quite easygoing, and it thrives best in USDA zones 6-9, preferring lots of sunlight but accepting moderate shade in hotter climates. And it is drought resistant once fully established.

Tricolor sage gives a splash of color to your landscape and home with its unusual leaves that come in three colors: bordered in white or purple and with a green base.

As the flowering season approaches, tricolor sage will show off its beauty with its colorful leaves and violet blossoms even more. And these purple hues complement a wide range of shades and textures, so they’ll work nicely in most garden beds.

Additionally, ants hate tricolor sage. So, this plant is an excellent natural solution if you are experiencing an ant situation in one of your landscape areas.

Sutherland Hebe (Hebe ‘Sutherlandii’)

Sutherland hebe is a compact, thickly branching, small evergreen shrub with spikes of white blooms with blue anthers that contrast with the masses of pale, sage-green leaves. It’s one of the toughest plants you can place in the border, plus its small, spreading form is a nice feature for small spaces. You’ll especially love it if you live in sunny, coastal areas since it flourishes in that kind of environment. However, some Hebe varieties are cold-hardy

This shrub produces a sleek appearance. It appears to have been hand-clipped into a casual type of shrubbery but takes almost no maintenance. Hebe ‘Sutherlandii’ can be used in a variety of planting techniques, such as in groups as an informal hedge or to anchor the edge of a plantation area. It has short white blooms that bees love in the summertime.

Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

These resilient bushes provide a great deal of elegance with little effort. Hydrangeas of the Annabelle kind have always been popular landscaping plants, and they shine in the shady garden due to their enormous white blossoms. Incorporate them with other shade-loving plants, such as ferns and hostas, but be aware that these hardy growers are likely to spread over time which can make them a challenge to keep.

Hydrangeas thrive in USDA zones 5–9, and they require full sunlight to bloom dependably in temperate zones but may tolerate some moderate shade in warmer ones.

Please remember: your hydrangeas will require a lot of water as they are growing. They will, however, endure the rare dry season after they have established themselves. It’s important to know you should hydrate these plants more often in warmer regions, but just don’t flood the soil.

Hosta (Hosta spp.)

Hostas are low-care landscaping plants that look nice even with little planning or care. This verdant delight is a herbaceous plant that grows well in a range of environments.

Hostas feature eye-catching leaves that capture the attention without overwhelming the entire garden. They produce attractive blooms in the summer months, which draw a significant number of pollinators. There are a plethora of hostas that come in a wide range of hues, such as the famous blue hostas. Whatever you choose, you’ll have a visually appealing border. As hostas mature, they will grow in size and may need to be separated to maintain an evenly sized border.

Hostas are low-maintenance plants that thrive in USDA zones 3-8. They don’t mind the temperature and may thrive in a variety of conditions. They flourish in partial shade but may flourish in complete shade in hotter regions.

One tip to reduce a splotchy appearance is to group many pieces of the same cultivar. By grouping them, you give them greater visual impact and prevent them from seeming like something done on a whim.

Daylillies (Hemerocallis ssp)

Daylillies are another wonderfully easy-to-grow border plant that comes in a wide variety of colors and sizes and can be effortlessly introduced to create a lively and colorful border. The daylily, like the hosta, will undoubtedly increase in size and can overtake a border bed without proper separation over the years.

Most daylilies love the sun, and they are hardy enough to survive most soil types and can take quite a bit of abuse.

Zinnia (Zinnia sp.)

Zinnias are flowering plants that won’t give you a hard time growing from seed. Zinnias are some of the simplest annuals to cultivate since they grow rapidly and produce a lot of blossoms. Furthermore, they will bloom until the first heavy frost of the season.

These pretty flowers come in a variety of shades and sizes. And certainly, you can have a vibrant border plant arrangement from smaller, dwarf kinds or seed mixtures like ‘Dreamland Mix,’ ‘Magellan Mix,’ or ‘Thumbelina.’ Zinnia flowers may provide a colorful accent to your landscape, so give them a shot.

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum Nobile)

Roman chamomile, which is pretty neat if you like the look of Italian flower fields, is a brilliant, fuss-free plant suitable for a border. It grows in chilly, dry areas and doesn’t need much upkeep. When their roots are fully developed, these plants need relatively little care and should be planted in a bright, exposed location. And because Roman chamomile is a perennial, it will readily start growing again each year. 

With the Roman chamomile, you can make a statement with your border! However, there are several ways to incorporate these delicate gems into your landscape. You can even plant them in containers, given you elevate the pots to allow water to drain well.

Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)

Fountain grass, which is a perennial in so many areas, is an appealing ornamental border plant with a thick, clustering habit. Fountain grass contributes form, movement, soft texture, and fall color. With so many advantages, keeping this decorative grass at the border is worthwhile.

This short grass grows well in most soils and prefers direct sunlight, but it may take partial shade. Even though it favors dry soils and is drought-resistant when set, it will thrive in damp, well-drained soils too.

Armenian Cranesbill (Geranium psilostemon)

With its hot pink blooms with a black center carried aloft on a massive plant, this Geranium is ideal for the background of a brightly sunlit border in hot climates. This resistant Geranium is dependable, simple to grow, and gives long-lasting brilliance for just about any landscape, bringing on a wonderful sight from late spring through late summer and you’ll like its excellent fall color too. This perennial grows upright in clumps and reaches a height of 3-4 feet.

Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox)

Creeping thyme is a bushy, perennial thyme plant that makes a good border in sunny sections of the landscape. This newbie-gardener-friendly plant has fine-textured leaves that spread throughout the soil, bearing blooms in a wide range of colors (because there are many varieties). This ornamental groundcover plant can withstand considerable foot traffic and is commonly used as a border on garden beds and paths.

While less suitable for food output, creeping thyme is still safe to eat. The best part about creeping thyme is that it doesn’t require much maintenance once it is established in your garden or landscape.

Things to Keep in Mind when Growing Border Plants

Size underestimation of a potential landscaping feature is a common error when picking all sorts of plants, but it’s especially troublesome when it applies to border vegetation. If you plan to plant them near other plants or trees, choose ones that won’t crowd them out.

To stay on the safe side, choose drought-tolerant plants that will not get too tall. Taller plants can compete with other plants in your garden and possibly shade them out.

Also, consider how much sunlight your border plants need. Some need full sun, and others can handle partial shade. If you need help determining which type would work best for your garden, ask your local nursery first! Choose plants that will grow in a variety of soil types and conditions. You don’t want to plant a plant that requires acidic soil or prefers full sun if you live in an area with cloudy or cool weather.

One of the challenges with border plants is that borders can often be long and winding, so it may be challenging to find one variety of plant that will grow well in your given border as it winds its way across your property.


Best Ground Cover Plants to Prevent Weeds

One of the most helpful general rules of landscaping is that if you plant enough desirable plants, there won’t be room for the undesirable plants to grow. Using beautiful plants to choke out the unwanted weeds in your gardens is a great way to avoid hours of weed pulling and harmful chemical applications.

Vigorously growing groundcover plants are great for choking out weeds. They will add beauty to your outdoor space while being low-maintenance and beneficial in preventing weeds. Some of these ground covers are edible too, which is always nice for your cooking needs!

If you have a spot in your landscape with a weed problem, consider getting these low-growing, usually mat-forming plants. All of these plants have one thing in common; they grow densely enough to help prevent weed growth. Another plus is that these plants can often survive in places where other plants can’t. Using hardy ground covers for weed control might just be the best (and one of the easiest) things that you can do for your yard.

Be aware that vigorous growth and the ability to thrive in many varied environments will often cause a plant to be labelled as invasive, so use these plants carefully in your garden and pay attention to their growth habits so that they don’t overtake areas with more delicate plants.

Here is a list of plants that work great for choking out weeds

Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)

lily of the valley

Lily of the Valley is usually planted in gardens because of its fragrant flowers and ability to cover the ground in shady places. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit.

Lily of the Valley serves as a weed-suppressant and a beautiful sight with adorable white bells hanging from long green stems. This delicately scented perennial spreads quickly, so keep it in check by planting it in well maintained areas such as along walkways and in bordered beds. It likes to be in the shade, although it can tolerate some sunlight.

If humans or animals eat Convallaria majalis, it’s extremely poisonous, due to the high concentration of cardiac glycosides (cardenolides).

Many gardeners would criticize and worry about this plant, claiming that it is invasive. This is correct in a poor location, but it is especially useful in places where nothing else can grow.

Creeping Phlox (Phlox Subulata)

Creeping Phlox

Carpets of Creeping Phlox in your yard can suppress weeds, especially on slopes that are difficult to mow. This plant is a resilient, reliable groundcover plant that’s common in rock gardens. Many phlox species and cultivars have a mild sweet smell.

These plants are cultivated for their prolific flowering; thus, if you have Phlox in your garden, butterflies will be present there too.

Some species are shrouded in flowers when in bloom, making it difficult to see any leaves. Almost all cultivars and wild species flower in the cool color spectrum, which includes white, purple, pink, magenta, blue, and purple.

Since creeping Phlox is evergreen, it’s suitable for thick groundcover or adorning stones and walls. While Phlox prefers damp, well-drained soils, it can adapt pretty well.

Tufted Creeping Phlox (Phlox Stolonifera)

Phlox Stolonifera thrives in moist, shady environments, where it successfully suppresses weed invasion.

This North American-native herbaceous perennial produces tiny pale pink or white flowers in the spring and has evergreen needle-like leaves. They don’t have the central band of color that the related Phlox subulata flowers have. Stolons or rooting runners are the reason for the specific epithet.

This groundcover is ideal for a shade garden, for use as butterfly nectar plants, or as part of a mass planting or grouping. Partially shaded woodlands or gardens with moist, well-drained soil will be the best for Phlox stolonifera. Its showy blooms make Phlox stolonifera a good option for cottage gardens, rock gardens, and low-maintenance plantings.

Creeping Juniper (Juniperus horizontalis)

creeping juniper

The combination of Creeping junipers’ horizontally spreading roots and their dense growth form a thick mat that can keep weeds from getting through.

Creeping juniper is a slow-growing plant. It likes direct sunlight, tolerates drought, and can live in poor, dry soil. It adapts pretty well, so you can take advantage of it by planting in places you don’t have time to maintain! For instance, this plant is suitable for xeriscaping.

Creeping junipers are also useful for preventing soil erosion on slopes and hillsides. Creeping Juniper’s growth rate and plant size is linked to climate and site conditions. Without adequate sunlight, the foliage will be thin and wont do a very good job of limiting the weed growth.

Greek Yarrow (Achillea ageratifolia)

greek yarrow

Greek Yarrow’s genus name, “Achillea,” originates from Achilles, the Greek war hero during the Trojan War who is said to have found it and used it to stop the flow of blood from his soldiers’ wounds.

The silvery, silky-textured foliage of Greek Yarrow forms a thick carpet that makes a tight groundcover. It’s a fantastic little evergreen weed suppressor (or, in this case, ever-grey). Over a blanket of silvery leaves, this tough groundcover grows pure white button daisy flowers that would look great with other flowers in your garden!

Greek yarrow blooms in the spring and produces buttons all summer and into the fall. This hardy little groundcover comes from the rough mountains of northern Greece, which are dry and hot. Once it’s established, it has great heat and drought tolerance. It can also live in low-quality, sandy, or rocky soils, which is where it thrives. It is also a perfect fit for windy gardens, especially near the beach!

Silver Mound (Artemisia schmidtiana)

silver mound

The beautiful Artemisia schmidtiana is suitable as a stretching border for the flower bed, especially if you place it around your pathways or your perennial garden. Its beautiful, hairy silvery leaves stand out by making a nice contrast to all your vibrant green plants.

You will like that even in the hottest summers, the silky, sensitive foliage maintains its fine form and color. Who doesn’t want a drought-resistant plant that thrives in both dry and moist soil?

This particular plant species, also known as silver mound wormwood, is a small one. When distributed among big, thriving summer blooms, it acts as a hardy ground cover (grows only up to 14 inches), blocking out weeds which is always a good thing. Plus, its deer and rabbit resistance mean it’s a valuable mat-forming plant to have in your landscape.

Creeping Thyme (Thermus serpyllum)

creeping thyme

Aside from adding beauty to your landscape, Creeping Thyme forms a dense mat that chokes out weeds quite effectively. In late spring, Creeping Thyme’s short mats get shrouded in tiny white or purple flowers, making it a pollinator’s paradise.

This hardy perennial spreads quickly, is cold-hardy, flourishes in full sun can grow even in poor quality soil, and, once established, is drought resistant. You can also cut some leaves to use for your food prep!

When crushed or extracted for teas or tinctures, creeping thyme, like other thyme varieties, has a taste and fragrance similar to mint. It is a species of the mint family Lamiaceae, after all.

An even more interesting thing about creeping thyme is that considering its appealing scent, it is deer resistant, rendering it an excellent landscape choice in places with lots of deer. Creeping thyme can also tolerate being tromped on, making it a great option for planting in areas with a lot of foot traffic.

Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum)

dead nettle

Lamium, or dead nettle, is a small perennial with a distinct appearance: square stem, silvery leaves, and purple, pink, or white flowers. It is a member of the mint family, native to temperate western Asia, Europe, and North Africa.

It’s called “deadnettle” since its leaves look like that of stinging nettles except without the sting (hence “dead”). Zones 3–8 are suitable for this herbaceous plant.

This low creeper likes to be in the shade, although it can handle some sunlight. It’s a good idea to use this plant as a groundcover in shaded places if you don’t mind it spreading rapidly to cover huge areas. It is effective in hiding deteriorating bulb foliage and choking out many weeds.

Creeping Jenny / Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia)

creeping jenny

Creeping Jenny is a tough ground cover that thrives in zones 3 through 9. It likes moist environments. Although it can survive in part shade, it is best grown in full sun for the richest color.

It has round, penny-sized, shiny leaves and pretty yellow blooms on lengthy, trailing stems. Creeping Jenny rapidly occupies a broad area since it roots freely, the stems readily branch and establish mats, so it does a great job of choking out weeds.

This plant can definitely be invasive.

You can get Creeping Jenny to encircle your pond, flow down a wall, or surround a path. In mixed container gardens, it also works well as a spiller. Creeping jenny is flood tolerant, and it can survive in almost any environment: full sun, part shade, or even full shade, which will make you love it even more.

Dragon’s Blood Sedum (Sedum spurium)

dragons blood sedum

Dragon’s Blood Sedum is a trailing, succulent mat of red-outlined dark green leaves and showy pink or red flowers in the summer. Other names for the tough Sedum spurium plant are Caucasian Stonecrop, Schorbuser Blut, and Two-row Stonecrop.

Like Creeping Jenny, Dragon’s Blood Sedum spreads quickly. That’s due to its freely rooting, ropy stems. When this ground cover is healthy, happy, and sufficiently dense, it’s powerful enough to suppress weeds, but it’s not an invasive plant.

It doesn’t want to be in the shade since it can’t deal with plants that rise taller and shade the soil.

Dragon’s Blood sedum plants die down during the winter, as signified by the leaves turning maroon. But, they come back with vitality in the spring, which will show in the bright green leaves. Just the leaves at the ends of the stems are fully evergreen in most regions. As the summer progresses, fresh sprouts begin to grow, filling certain sunny parts of your landscape with poor soil.

When grown alone or in combination with other spreading sedums, Dragon’s Blood sedum occupies the spaces between paths, traces down walls, and blankets rock gardens.

Creeping Mazus (Mazus reptans)

ATTRIBUTION: SB Johnny, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

– Mazus reptans, also referred to as “creeping mazus” or simply “mazus”, is another low-growing perennial groundcover that can suppress weeds. It grows best in partial shade but will still survive in completely shaded areas as well. It is hardy in Zones 4-9. Creeping mazus can easily develop into a closely packed, ground-hugging mat of brightly colored, green foliage with beautiful purple-blue flowers (during summer). This ground cover would be an outstanding choice in limited spaces, such as in rock gardens or in the gaps between stepping stones. Keep Mazus hydrated when it’s hot outside. The ideal soil conditions for mazus is well-draining, moist, rich soil.

Creeping Raspberry (Rubus Hayata-koidzumii or Rubus calycinoides)

The original uploader was J.smith at English Wikipedia.(Original text: en:user:J.smith), CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Do you want a lovely plant for your rock garden or something to replace your lawn? How about a low-maintenance ground cover?

Creeping Raspberry is a wonderful and attractive ground cover that is naturally hardy, resilient, and adaptable. It has basic requirements and is well worth cultivating in your garden.

Creeping Raspberry is a part of the Rosaceae family. It makes a dense mat of three-lobed leaves on lengthy, cane-like stems, which provide an interesting ground cover. This plant is native to Taiwan, where it thrives at high altitudes.

The creeping raspberry is a kind of evergreen plant, with the leaves having a bronzy underside and take on a rusty-looking shade in the winter. It yields white flowers in the summer, followed by eye-catching vibrant orange-colored fruits.

You may use it as a flowing decor in a hanging basket indoors, in addition to using it as a ground cover and weed-suppressant in your yard.



If your landscape looks a little dull and you want a splash of color, Dianthus would be a fabulous addition as a ground cover.

Dianthus plants exist in a wide range of sizes and structures, from very small variants that form a dense, compact cluster of leaves and flowers to big species that reach up to three feet tall with practically no base foliage.

Typically, Dianthus are mat-forming plants with very close leaf spreading. This hardy, cold- and drought-tolerant ground cover can withstand some salt, and deer will stay away from it.

You may use it for everything from edging, slopes, rock gardens, pathways, and patios. The main identifier of Dianthus flowers are five petals, usually with frilled edges, and are pale to rich pink (most species). There are so many wonderful species (about 300) of this flowering plant you can mix and match for your garden!

Keep in mind that these plants will flower more with more sunlight and well-draining soil. It would help if you also deadheaded to encourage beautiful fresh growth.

Red Creeping Thyme (Thymus praecox coccineus)

Agnieszka Kwiecień, Nova, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Red Creeping Thyme is a heat- and drought-tolerant ground cover that thrives in zones 3 to 9. It prefers full sunlight and grows barely two to four inches tall, making it an ideal ground cover.

It’s also deer-resistant. In spring, red creeping thyme gives beautiful, dark green color to your landscape, but it looks the best in the summer when it blooms in stunningly deep magenta-red flowers. It also attracts butterflies and repels deer. But the best part is it chokes out the weeds completely since it makes a dense, flat mat.

It’s best to plant it between stepping stones since it releases a pleasant smell when you walk on it. Plant it along wall surfaces, in edges, and other hard-to-weed spots in your landscape.

Stonecrop (Sedum)


Stonecrop (also referred to as sedum or orpine) plants all have a rosette pattern, and the majority of them grow a flower that is kept over the base foliage.

The leaves are quite glossy and thick. Stonecrop makes an excellent ground cover because it’s dense, it adapts to varying temperatures, and it’s simple to care for. These plants also don’t grow very tall or quickly, so there’s no need to be concerned about them being invasive.

Also, you’ll rarely encounter pest problems with them, and they are disease-resistant. Certainly, planting a stonecrop is a great idea for a beginner gardener. They can be grown both indoors and outdoors in sunny, warm areas. The stonecrop plant is ideal for use in container gardens, rockeries, pathways, and perennial borders.

Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum)

hens and chicks

Hens and chicks plants get their name from the rosette form and the fact that they create a lot of babies.

Growing Hens and chicks in a rockery or a dry, nutritionally lacking area where other plants can’t survive is a smart idea. Sempervivum tectorum indeed has a remarkable tolerance for bad soil and harsh environments. This alpine or rock garden plant stores water in its thick and fleshy leaves; thus many gardeners like it as a ground cover for dry areas.

An underground runner connects the mother plant to the chicks (babies). Hens and Chicks make great container plants on both the inside and outside of the house.

Sempervivum comes in about forty different varieties. But even though hens and chicks come in a wide range of colors, they are most commonly seen in green, red, purple, or a mixture of these colors. The hens and chicks have a lovely, distinct look that brings variety to the garden, plus they’re hardy enough to withstand the harsh winters. Most are zone 3 hardy and can withstand temperatures as high as that of zone 9.

To keep the roots from rotting, place them in dry, well-drained sandy or gravelly soil. Did you know? Sempervivum was once placed on rooftops in Europe for various purposes, including trying to ward off lightning and fire, keeping slates in place, and supplying quick salad food in the winter.

Catmint (Nepeta mussinii)


Most people are unsure about the distinction between catmint and catnip. Although they are essentially the same plant with much of the same characteristics, there are differences between the two. In the garden, catnip (Nepeta cataria) has a lower aesthetic appeal than catmint (Nepeta mussinii).

Catmint is a fragrant herb that can be found in many gardens. Among mounds of grey-green foliage, it grows clusters of lavender-blue flowers. This easy-to-grow plant has a fascinating background when it comes to its different landscape applications.

Catmint is great for edging or mass planting, and it works well as an insect deterrent near your edible crops. Catmint can live in full sun or part shade, as long as the soil is decent and well-drained. They will also tolerate heat and drought, which makes them ideal for dry gardens.

You can use fresh, frozen, or dried catmint for cooking purposes. As the flowers start to bloom, harvest the top leaves, stems, and flowers if you like. You can add its shoots and leaves to your soups!

‘Gro-Low’ sumac (Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-Low’)

Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Gro-Low sumac was favored by growers for its dwarf habit, making it ideal as a ground cover. It lives in poor, dry soil and can grow in intense sunlight or heavy shade—it just needs decent drainage.

The spreading branches take root where they come into contact with the earth, which aids in forming a thick weed-controlling mat. It’s a complete autumn splendor. That alone is good enough to make it into your garden!

Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides)


Plumbago or leadwort is a spreading plant that combines all of the best qualities of a groundcover without being unpleasant and invasive. Its name is derived from the Latin word plumbum, meaning “lead.” The herb was believed to be a treatment for lead poisoning back in the first century AD.

Although it may not be a cure for lead poisoning, it is an excellent groundcover. Plumbago is loved for its pretty blue or white flower clusters that grow from summer to fall. You’ll also love it because it’s a wiry, mat-forming perennial with rhizomes that extend to establish a beautiful ground cover.

Its mounding growth habit makes it ideal for landscape beds, particularly in the shade. Moreover, plumbago may be pruned to shape an informal hedge or used to create a beautiful formal hedge. It would finally grow to shrub size if it didn’t freeze, but winter usually prunes it to the ground, making it low-maintenance.

Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum)


If you want to smell Italian or Greek cuisine whenever you go by a section of the garden, a Greek oregano ground cover will deliver that one-of-a-kind feeling. Groundcover oregano has that scent when crushed or stepped on that sends you longing for delicious Mediterranean food.

Aside from its smell, its positives are: it needs very little care, prevents weeds, looks wonderful, draws in insects, thrives in hot and dry areas, and keeps in moisture. It would help if you did some things to force ground cover oregano into staying that way because it is a naturally tall herb. Start when the plants are young: nip them back to within two inches from the ground. The plant will be encouraged to grow outward instead of upward as a result of this. Plants will eventually blend to form a Greek oregano groundcover.

To keep this up, give it a limited supply of water and cut off some height a couple of times (or even once) in its growing season. You’ll only need to care for your Greek oregano just a few times a year after it’s established. And, if you want to use oregano for cooking, harvest whenever the stems start to grow tall and are about to flower. This is when the leaves are full of their amazing essence and flavor.

One last thing: according to some test-tube studies, oregano and oregano oil are rich in antioxidants. If this isn’t a good enough reason to add it to your landscape (aside from keeping away weeds), I don’t know what is.

Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina)

lambs ear

The ground cover of Stachys byzantina is fantastic for weed control. It’s a thick, low-growing herb that can quickly spread in a garden bed if given the proper care, so it’s ideal for filling in gaps in your borders and keeping weeds away. And because it’s a low-growing plant, you can plant lamb’s ears on the garden border.

The wooly feel and velvety soft texture of Lamb’s Ears’ leaves will appeal to children. Aside from the leaf shape’s resemblance to a lamb’s ear, the color is silvery grey to a faint green. The plant is a perennial evergreen, although it can die back and look worn out throughout the winter months, and it will regrow in spring.

Lamb’s ears can withstand chilly temperatures in zones 4 through 8. Unless you have lots of midday shade in your yard, extreme heat in the warmer areas can make growing it a problem.


When will the ground covers start to choke out weeds?
Ground covers will take up to a couple of years to completely establish and become dense enough to choke out most undesirable weeds, according to the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension. It will take a little bit longer for higher altitudes.

You should remove whatever weeds that emerge as soon as possible. To minimize massive damage, do not spray herbicides on your ground cover.

Can a weed-suppressing ground cover take the place of my lawn?
You can use any of these ground cover plants as a lawn replacement, as long as you meet the plant’s soil and sunlight (or shade) requirements. Any of these weed suppressing plants, especially those that don’t require lots of water, would be better than a lawn when it comes to upkeep.


Best Plants To Plant in Front of Your House

People have historically used foundation plantings to conceal the foundations of older homes. Now-a-days, planting a row of bushes to mark the foundation doesn’t seem to be as popular or prominent as it once was.

However, landscaping experts say that front-yard plantings are utilized to enhance the look of a property, integrate it into its surroundings, and provide an appealing entry. Real estate professionals will tell you that curb appeal makes a huge difference when it comes time to sell your house.

Putting the right bushes in front of your house can make all the difference. It can turn your dull landscape into something more inviting!

Why Should You Put Plants in Your Front Yard?

Without some lovely front yard plantings, a house doesn’t appear “complete.” It would seem like something is lacking in your front yard.

There are several apparent and practical advantages to growing foundation plants (front-of-house plants). Low-growing bushes conceal the foundations of the property, making a seamless connection from garden to home.

The correct foundation plants may make your home more beautiful and appealing, as well as improve its worth. When people see your house from the street, they’ll notice how it stands out!

Front-of-House or Foundation Plants: What to Look For

front yard flowering bushes

Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei), boxwood (Buxus spp.), holly (Ilex), and rhododendrons are all good low-maintenance bushes to use as front-of-yard plants. The foliage of these short, bushy evergreen shrubs lasts all year. Plants can be grown in full sun or moderate shade. They’re drought-resistant and don’t get too big.

Foundation plantings should include low-growing shrubs that are appealing all year. These bushes are great since they will not obstruct your view out the window. When picking plants for your front yard, keep in mind how much sun it gets—some foundation plantings require full sun, while others thrive in the shadow.

Drought-tolerant plants are also great for planting in front of the house. Allowing the soil to dry between waterings helps to keep your home area dry. That’s why planting short bushes three feet apart is a smart idea. Air movement around plants near your foundation also aids in keeping moisture from entering your home.

Try not to plant shrubs or small trees with invasive roots since they might damage your home’s foundation. Plant these bigger bushes at least five feet away from your house.

Excellent Front Yard Landscaping Plants

Here are some fantastic front yard landscaping bushes to dress up your area! You have various choices, whether you like flowers, unique growth habits, or stunning seasonal colors.


beautiful blue hydrangea

Hydrangeas are excellent front-of-house landscaping plants because of their low-maintenance demands and spectacular bloom clusters throughout the summer.

Did you know that a hydrangea bloom’s color can be changed by tweaking the soil’s pH level?

Hydrangeas are deciduous decorative foundation shrubs with enormous globular flower clusters. They are big blooming shrubs that reach 3 to 5 feet. Hydrangeas come in various sizes and have compact, short growth, making them excellent for smaller areas and the front yard.

Hydrangeas are low-maintenance landscaping bushes with moderate water requirements and no soil preferences. Although hydrangea plants need some shade and protection, certain hydrangea blossoms thrive in full sun. The only maintenance these bushes require is the removal of wasted blooms.

Hydrangea blooms flourish for several weeks in the summer and come in various colors: lavender, blue, pink, white, green, purple, and red. USDA zones 3–9 are favorable for most hydrangea varieties.

Plant a modest type of easy-to-care-for hydrangea shrub in front of the home as an accent blooming plant, or grow them in a row to make a beautiful hedge. In addition, the lovely big blossoms look beautiful in cut flower floral arrangements.

Some of the best hydrangea bushes for foundation planting in the front yard are:

  • Hydrangea paniculata ‘Little Lime.’ – (also known as Panicle hydrangea) is a small dwarf shrub for the front of the home that grows no more than 5 feet tall. Summer brings lime green flowers that become pink as they develop. This plant is ideal for pots and bulk plantings. If you like beautiful cut flowers, this plant is a great choice.
  • Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue.’ – One of the most favored mophead hydrangea bushes for foundation planting is ‘Nikko Blue.’ You will like its large blue inflorescences, massive green foliage, and the bush’s overall rounded form. Flower buds develop on the growth from the previous year. Flowers in acidic soils are blue, whereas those in alkaline soils are pink. This hydrangea shrub reaches a height and width of 4 – 6 feet (1.2 – 1.8 meters) and blooms throughout the summer. It accepts coastal conditions but is only hardy to zone 6 in the winter.
  • Mountain Hydrangea (Hydrangea Serrata) – The mountain hydrangea has long been a close second to the more well-known and praised mophead hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla). Mountain Hydrangea is a smaller hydrangea variety with beautiful light blue or light pink blooms and rich green leaves. Ideal for use as a colorful bush border or in front of the home. It may reach a height of 2 – 4 feet (0.6 – 1.2 meters) and the same width.
  • Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer Bloomstruck.’ – A tough mophead hydrangea with rounded growth characteristics and two-toned pink or lilac blooms. It may reach a height of 3–4 feet (1–1.2 meters) and a width of up to 5 feet (1.5 meters). Hydrangeas of the Endless Summer series are a selection of bigleaf Hydrangeas. Bigleaf Hydrangeas bloom predominantly on last year’s growth, often known as “old wood.” You should never trim Bigleaf Hydrangeas in the late summer or fall because of this. Removing last year’s growth essentially eliminates the bloom buds for the following season. It’s best to wait until middle to late spring to prune so you can easily spot the winter-damaged canes.
  • Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ – This straight species is endemic to the eastern United States, specifically in Anna, Illinois. The plant’s name ‘Annabelle’ comes from the area’s women or ‘belles.’ This front-of-house bush produces big (8-12 inches) brilliant white blooms—stunning and long-lasting. The tight, rounded growth habit of ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea renders it excellent for foundation planting. This low-maintenance landscape shrub grows 3–5 feet (1–1.5 meters) high and 4–6 feet (1.2–1.8 meters) broad.

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)


Hibiscus syriacus is a member of the Malvaceae family of plants. This flowering plant is originally from south-central and southeast China, although it has spread far over Asia.

The Rose of Sharon (Korean: mugunghwa) is the national flower of South Korea!

You should try the Rose of Sharon shrubs, specifically the Satin and Chiffon series, if you want a hardy, deciduous shrub that flowers for months yet is easy to maintain. Both kinds grow rapidly, don’t need to be pruned, and generate almost no seeds so that they won’t multiply all over the garden.

Anemone-shaped flowers in purple, pink, white, or blue adorn the Chiffon variants. Meanwhile, Satin variants have solitary pink, purple, or blue blooms with a deep red eye.

Rose of Sharon exists in a variety of sizes, most of which are pretty big. Satin and Chiffon variants reach a height of 8-12 feet and are typically taller than broad. As a result, they’re ideal for hedging, screening, or planting near a tall, bare wall where a splash of color will change everything.

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)


The Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) is a classic herbaceous perennial with a conspicuous and stunning flower show and lovely, rich dark green foliage that provides weeks of brilliance beginning in early to mid-summer.

Because of the abundance of cultivars displaying varying flower sizes and types, levels of compactness, and bloom duration, there is a Shasta Daisy for just about every garden. Shasta Daisy plants like moist, well-drained, rich soil.

  • Leucanthemum × superbum ‘Becky.’ – ‘Becky’ grows taller than most other Shasta varieties, reaching 3-4′ high. An abundance of 4-inch sized flowers of white petals with yellow centers occurs from mid-summer to early fall. Another thing you’ll like about Shasta Daisy’s stiff stems is that they don’t require staking. These plants can reach a height of 4 feet and a width of 3 feet. It would look lovely planted with ‘Snow Lady,’ a shorter variety that blooms sooner, for a more extended display of color. ‘Becky’s cut flowers are of exceptional quality. This plant thrives in Hardiness Zones 4-9.
  • Leucanthemum ‘Crazy Daisy’ – ‘Crazy Daisy’ will stand out in front of your house with its semi-double and double cream-white blooms with yellow centers. This bush will look particularly lovely in perennial borders and beds. Plant Crazy Daisy if you want cuts that are strong and erect and are taller than 26 inches. Crazy Daisy survives in hardiness zones 4 to 9. This bush will attract lots of butterflies, but it is resistant to deer and rabbits.
  • Leucanthemum ‘Banana Cream’ – ‘Banana Cream’ produces large 4-5″ lemon yellow blooms with a creamy white center. In the summer, the bloom period is extended. This variety was a mix between ‘Broadway Lights’ and ‘Sunny Side Up.’ Banana Cream is a prolific grower with dark green, disease-resistant leaves. It looks great in containers or the garden, and it grows to approximately 18 inches. This plant is hardy in zones 5-9.
  • Leucanthemum ‘Brightside’ – This plant is Becky’s seed strain. From late spring until summer, huge, pure white daisies bloom. Taller than 3 feet and hardy in zones 5-9. This bush will undoubtedly draw in all the butterflies! It can use some shade, especially in hot summer regions or when planted in relatively dry soils. To encourage more bloom, remove dead flower heads. To promote vitality, separate clumps as needed (every couple of years).
  • Leucanthemum ‘GoldFinch’ – If you like yellow, you’ll like this flowering bush! ‘GoldFinch’ is as yellow as a Shasta Daisy can get. It’s a darker yellow than ‘Banana Cream,’ plus its flowers will last longer. This front yard bush is a true treasure. With a lengthy flowering time, compact form, with beautiful semi-double blooms that fade from brilliant lemon yellow to ivory white over time. Its height can get up to 2 ft (90 cm). It is hardy in zones 5-8.
  • Leucanthemum ‘Victorian Secret’ – Even under high heat, this neat, compact cultivar has gently ruffled long-lasting blooms without the smell! Taller than 14 in (35 cm). Hardiness zones 5 to 9 are suited for this plant, blooming in June, July, and August.

Cavatine Dwarf Japanese Pieris (Pieris japonica ‘Cavatine’)


Pieris japonica ‘Cavatine’ is a tiny, flowering shrub with evergreen leaves. The ‘Cavatine’ plant is an excellent front yard plant that may reach a height of 2 feet (0.6 m). The cream-white blooms provide a splash of color to the dark green background. This low informal hedge plant is also known as the lily-of-the-valley shrub.

In your front yard, dwarf ‘Cavatine’ bushes thrive in direct sunlight or part shade. They are drought-tolerant plants. Japanese Pieris foundation plants thrive in zones 6–8.

Pieris spp., similar to rhododendrons, contain grayanotoxins I, II, and III (polyhydroxylated diterpenes). These chemicals latch to sodium channels in the heart, skeletal muscle, and nerve cells, keeping them depolarized. In cows and goats, the hazardous dosage of the green plant is 0.2-0.6 percent of the animal’s weight.

Creeping Gardenia


Creeping gardenia is a low-growing bush that grows 2 feet tall and 2-3 feet broad. It blooms with beautiful, scented white blossoms in July. Sun exposure ranges from moderate to full.

A study found that peat moss is the best growing medium for Creeping Gardenia.

If you want a taller shrub, Frost Proof is another wonderful Gardenia. It reaches a height of around 5 feet.

Boxwood (Buxus) Shrub – A Great Foundation Plant


You will find Buxaceae species in the tropics, subtropics, and temperate zones all over the world.

Low-growing, dense boxwood shrubs are excellent for foundation planting for your front yard.
Boxwood shrubs naturally come from Europe and Asia. These evergreen landscaping plants have many branches and a bunch of uses, especially for the front area of your house.

Boxwood is a relatively easy-to-maintain foundation plant that offers lush, thick evergreen leaves and bushy growth. These low-maintenance shrubs are simple to shape, and most varieties don’t go much taller than 3 or 4 feet.

Numerous kinds of boxwood may be grown in full sun, moderate shade, or full shade. Zones 5–9 are ideal for the hedge plants. Boxwoods flourish on well-draining soil and are drought resistant in most cases.

Boxwood does not do well in extreme heat and cold. They are particularly vulnerable to foliar desiccation as a result of the dry winter air. A reddish-orange to brown color shift anywhere near the midrib or inner section of the leaf is a common sign of winter damage on boxwood.

Some of the nicest boxwood shrubs for planting in your front yard are as follows:

  • Common Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) – The common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) is an excellent choice for foundation planting. The petite boxwood has evergreen foliage and is drought resistant, growing to a height of 2 to 3 feet (0.6 – 1 m). It thrives in bright sunlight to partial shade and uniformly moist, well-drained loamy soil. It can thrive in various soil types and even in full shade, but it will be less prolific and have fewer leaves than if planted in ideal conditions. Plant common boxwood for traditional short hedges, shade, sun ground cover, or a container doorway plant.
  • Green Beauty Japanese Boxwood (Buxus microphylla var. japonica) – The glossy lanceolate leaves of the ‘Green Beauty’ boxwood have rich foliage. This trouble-free compact foundation shrub thrives in both the sun and the shade. Zones 6–9 are ideal for cultivating this plant.
  • Boxwood ‘Winter Gem’ (Buxus microphylla ‘Winter Gem’) – ‘Winter Gem,’ or Japanese Boxwood, is native to China and Japan. It is a rounded foundation plant that grows up to 4 feet tall (1.2 m). The boxwood ‘Winter Gem’ has tiny glossy green leaves that stay green all year. Zones 6–8 are appropriate for this plant.
  • English Boxwood ‘Dee Runk’ (Buxus sempervirens) – This is a perfect corner plant or entrance plant because it is a tall boxwood shrub. Buxus sempervirens are mainly cultivated for aesthetic purposes. The evergreen shrub has a vertical columnar growth and reaches about 7 feet (2 meters). All-year-round color for your front yard is provided by ‘Dee Runk’ boxwoods. And if you want to make a foundation planting hedge, you can easily shape this quickly growing plant. Zones 6–8 are acceptable for the English boxwood ‘Dee Runk.’
  • Green Pillow Boxwood – The ‘Green Pillow’ boxwood is a relatively small broadleaf shrub that makes a good foundation plant. The thick shrub has the appearance of a pincushion pillow. This boxwood grows up to a foot tall as a foundation plant and survives in zones 5–8.
  • Buxus ‘Green Gem’ – Buxus ‘Green Gem’ is a tiny landscape shrub with a circular mound of small, oval, dark green foliage. Low hedges are made possible by the compact growth habit of this bush. However, keep in mind that Buxus ‘Green Gem’ is one of the cultivars prone to boxwood blight, identifiable as black leaf spots, black stem lesions, and defoliation.

Redosier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

dogwood shrub

This species, often referred to as red willow, is a deciduous shrub with rich red stems that make it attractive even after losing its foliage. The Latin-specific epithet sericea (meaning: silky) accurately describes the soft texture of the plant’s foliage.

It has white blooms in late spring, which are succeeded by tiny white berries that adorn it in late summer and fall, and are consumed by no less than 18 bird species, including bobwhite quail and ruffed grouse.

Redosier dogwood grows quickly, reaching heights of seven to nine feet when fully grown. Pruning it once a year is adequate, although cutting it down to ground level helps keep the vivid red of its younger stems. Its fibrous root structure helps to prevent erosion.

Furthermore, it is resilient and beautiful even when it looks bare in the winter, and it can be propagated by cuttings, making it a low-cost option for sizeable plantings.

Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei) – Fantastic Foundation Plant.


Wintercreeper bushes (also known as Climbing Euonymus, Japanese Euonymus, Spreading Euonymus, and Wintercreeper Euonymus) have golden yellow and green leaves. They are excellent plants for the front of your house. Wintercreeper cultivars reach a height of 1 to 2 feet (30 – 60 cm), making them suitable for covering foundations, edging, ground cover, and garden borders. These cold-hardy, brilliantly colored plants thrive in both the shade and the sun.

You will find wintercreeper bushes in zones 5 through 9. Consult with your state before planting them near your foundation, as they are deemed invasive in certain regions.

For foundation planting, here are several wintercreeper shrubs to consider:

  • Euonymus fortunei ‘Moonshadow.’ – In bright or shady front yards, the lush yellow and green foliage offers magnificent foundation cover. The ‘Moonshadow’ wintercreeper reaches a height of 3 feet (1 meter) and a spread of 5 feet (1.5 meters).
  • Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold.’ – With its golden and vivid green leaves, this wintercreeper will liven up your front yard. Planting around foundations in shady sections of your yard is wonderful.
  • Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety.’ – This low-growing evergreen bush with green and white variegated leaves makes an excellent ground cover. You can use Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ as a foundation plant, low hedge, or grow along walls in brightly sunlit front yards.

‘Orange Rocket’ Barberry

Tournasol7, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Opening with vivid coral fresh growth and developing into ruby-red leaves that will keep the show running into the fall, this simple to care for ‘Orange Rocket’ Barberry will add a touch of spectacularly colored foliage to your front yard.

This deciduous shrub thrives in USDA Zones 5a to 9b and can withstand full sun to partial shade. It’s an upright bush that grows to be approximately 4-feet tall and 1.5-feet broad when fully grown.

You can certainly liven up space in front of your house with the fantastic colors of this bush! You can use it as a border, hedge, or striking accent plant.

The plant will be drought tolerant once grown and can withstand a wide range of weather conditions. The plant, like other barberries, has small thorns on it. As a result, you may utilize them as a barrier plant as well.

Kaleidoscope Abelia (Abelia x Grandiflora ‘Kaleidoscope’)

Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kaleidoscope Abelia is a member of the Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle) family. It has brightly colored, golden yellow variegated leaves and only grows 2.5 feet tall and 3.5 feet broad.

Kaleidoscope Abelia’s foliage changes as spring give way to summer: the interiors of the leaves stay green and deepen somewhat, while the borders become a golden yellow color. It’s also the time when it blooms. Throughout the plant’s surface, the slightly rosy-tinted buds develop into tubular white flowers.

It can withstand direct sunlight, and Zones 6-9 are perfect for this plant.

Plant in large groups as a front yard fixture for stunning year-round color. What’s nice about this bush is it can survive being planted in containers and spacious beds! You won’t have a problem caring for this plant as long as you keep it in moist, rich, acidic soil with good drainage.

Rhododendron – Front Yard Landscape Foundation Plant


Rhododendrons are evergreen flowering bushes that look great in the front yard. Almost all rhododendron bushes are excellent foundation plants since they reach 2 to 4 feet. Rhododendrons, which are evergreen, are ideal for planting around foundations in full sun or light shade. Rhododendron bushes bloom in the spring and provide beautiful flowers.

But keep in mind that Rhododendron is toxic when ingested. Grayanotoxin, a diterpene present all over the plant (mainly leaves and pollen), causes poisoning when it comes in contact with your food. Risk factors include eating Rhododendron nectar grayanotoxins-contaminated honey and drinking Rhododendron tea.

Have a look at some of the nicest rhododendron shrubs for foundation planting in the front yard:

  • Rhododendron ‘Hino Crimson – The rhododendron ‘Hino Crimson’ is a beautiful blooming plant for your house’s front area. The short bush has glossy evergreen leaves and beautiful dark pink blooms, reaching just 2 to 3 ft. tall. Plant in zones 5–9. Acidic, rich, humusy, moderately moist, well-drained soils in partial shade are ideal for growing this plant. It likes dappled sunlight or shaded open areas. It will also nicely accept morning light with midday shade.
  • Rhododendron ‘April Rose’ – You will undoubtedly love Rhododendron ‘April Rose’ for its cold hardy nature and big, funnel-shaped springtime blooms, which are a little fragrant. It’s a semi-dwarf bush with lovely purplish-red flowers and broad green leaves. In the fall, the elliptical, flat, dark green leaves turn a reddish-brown color. Zones 4-8 are perfect for this front yard plant. It grows 3 to 4 feet (1–1.2 meters) tall.
  • Rhododendron ‘Bow Bells’ – This tiny, broadleaf evergreen shrub is coated in beautiful clusters of fragrant pink flowers when in bloom. Throughout the winter, the glossy, dark-green foliage maintains its shade. This plant grows best in the sun to part shade.
  • Dwarf Indica (Gumpo) Azalea (Rhododendron eriocarpum) – This woody, dwarf blooming shrub matures approximately 2 feet tall and is evergreen in most regions. If the soil doesn’t drain properly, full sun can burn the foliage and cause the roots to rot. With good upkeep and a healthy plant in the right area, there should be minimal issues.
  • Rhododendron ‘Blue Tit’ – Blue Tit is a renowned dwarf hybrid plant with a rounded, bushy form. You will enjoy seeing its funnel-shaped, lavender-blue flowers! Expect to see these gorgeous flowers in the middle of April. This plant does well in full sun and partial shade.
  • Rhododendron ‘Dora Amateis’ – Every spring, this stunning tiny shrub blooms with loads of funnel-shaped white flowers. The bushy, low-growing foundation plant thrives in both the shade and the sun. Dora Amateis is well-known for its ability to attract bees. Bees can’t resist its nectar-pollen-rich flowers. Zones 5–8 are suitable for this front yard bush.

Dwarf Yew Shrubs


Dwarf yew shrubs are a popular choice for a front yard, evergreen landscaping bush because of their soft needles and thick growth. Many compact yews grow erect and thrive in clear daylight. Yew dwarf shrubs make beautiful foundation plants, great hedging plants, and decorative border shrubs.

They are usually not prone to insect and disease pests, plus they offer a beautiful, dark green color all year. While their leaves look so much like needles, they are essentially thin, linear-shaped, and flat with a glossy sheen to them. Yew plants seem to be either male or female, with the female producing fleshy, red berry-like seed cones called arils.

Some yews that are good for foundation planting:

  • English Yew (Taxus baccata ‘Repandens’) – This is a low-lying, spreading ornamental foundation plant. English yews can reach a height of 2 to 4 feet and a width of up to 15 feet. This hardy English yew has curving branches and drooping lateral stems that spread widely. It has two levels of long, deep green, sickle-shaped needles, and berries only grow on more mature plants.
  • Anglo-Japanese Yew (Taxus x media ‘Densiformis’) – The Anglo-Japanese yew is a common cross between Japanese yews (Taxus cuspidata) and English yews (Taxus baccata). They’re frequently utilized as foundation plants, specimens, grouped, or hedges when appropriately cut. Early in life, yews are very narrow, but as they grow older, they become broader. They are robust and durable, adaptable to urban areas, and one of the few evergreens that can withstand extremely shady conditions. This yew cultivar has thick foliage made up of glossy green needle-like leaves and grows close to the ground. The bushy yew reaches a height of 3 to 4 feet.
  • Japanese Yew ‘Bright Gold’ (Taxus cuspidata) – This dwarf foundation bush has a spreading growth habit and reaches a height of 4 to 5 feet, although shearing and pruning can keep them at a manageable size. The cultivar’s newly growing needles are golden yellow with green stripes, with the color vibrancy peaking during the spring growth flush and lasting through the winter thanks to late-season cutting. In zones 4–7, the foundation plant thrives in full sun or moderate shade.
  • ‘Densiformis’ yew – The ‘Densiformis’ yew is an excellent option for planting in shaded regions in your front yard or garden. Anglo-Japanese yew has the ideal features for a foundation plant: it’s drought-tolerant, easy to care for, and has evergreen foliage. Anglo-Japanese yews flourish in full sun, moderate shade, and full shade in zones 4–7, making them ideal for growing in front of your house.

Inkberry Foundation Plants (Ilex glabra)

Homer Edward Price, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For foundation planting, we also like inkberry shrubs like the ‘Shamrock’ (Ilex glabra ‘Shamrock’). Inkberries are native evergreen bushes that produce blackberries in the fall and blooms in the summer. The dense, dark green leaves of the Inkberry ‘Shamrock’ cultivar provide year-round color in your front yard. Plants of the inkberry ‘Shamrock’ variety reach 3 to 4 feet.

Inkberry bushes thrive in both full sun and light shade. The bushy foundation plants thrive in a variety of soil conditions and tolerate damp soils. In zones 4–9, these shrubby, short, low-maintenance plants flourish.

The most significant disadvantage of inkberry holly in the landscape is its propensity for losing lower leaves and becoming exposed at the base. If you start to see your plants exhibit leafless bases, don’t be reluctant to trim them aggressively. In reality, this type is a fire-resistant plant that can withstand being fully chopped down to the ground. You should not perform such drastic pruning every year; rather, do it in late winter, if at all. Pests are rarely a significant issue.

Other inkberry foundation plants include:

  • The ‘Gem Box’ inkberry – This foundation plant, which resembles boxwood, has tiny dark green leaves, compact growth, and can withstand wet soil and bright sunlight. You’ll like having this bush for its nice, neat-looking growth habit, which is a rounded shape. It looks magnificent in the landscape, rich and thick to the ground!
  • Inkberry ‘Strongbox’ – Inkberry ‘Strongbox’ is a dense, low-growing shrub with tiny leaves and lush foliage that can reach a height of 3 feet (1 meter). Like ‘Gem Box,’ ‘Strongbox’ is a desirable bush in your front yard because of its compact form that would always look nice no matter what season. Except that this cultivar is slightly tougher and more disease-resistant.

Red Tip Photinia (Photinia x fraseri)


Fraser’s Photinia is a big, evergreen bush or small tree that can reach 20 feet in height. After P. serratifolia but before P. glabra, this bush blooms in the middle of spring. This plant is likewise in the middle of the two in terms of size. Many individuals find Fraser Photinia’s fetid flowers repulsive. A new leaf is a vibrant reddish-bronze hue, and you will see reddish buds throughout the year.

This plant can withstand alkalinity, as well as dryness and salt spray. It is susceptible to pests and diseases and is intolerant of damp environments.

Arborvitae Foundation Plants (Thuja)


Dwarf arborvitae bushes have lush, evergreen leaves and make excellent foundation plants. The word arborvitae is Latin for “tree of life.” Increased blood pressure and a fever reduction are two effects.

Arborvitaes, especially small ones, thrive in full sun in front of your house. As corner plantings or entry plantings, you can grow larger upright, dense arborvitae trees. Zones 3–7 are suitable for arborvitae bushes.

The following are some of the best arborvitaes to plant around the foundation:

  • Thuja occidentalis ‘Fire Chief’- The thick feathery leaves of this small shrub become golden yellow in the spring. In the fall, it steadily changes into green and red. This arborvitae grows slowly and is ideal for foundation plantings, short hedges, and borders. In zones 5–9, in full sun to part shade, the arborvitae ‘Fire Chief’ grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet.
  • Thuja occidentalis ‘Little Giant’ – The small evergreen species, Thuja occidentalis ‘Little Giant,’ is an excellent choice for foundation plantings, as a specimen or a hedge. The arborvitae features soft green feathery leaves and a compact dome form. Little Giant needs full sunlight to live, and it has to be planted in zones 3-8. It’s a nice bush to have if you want lots of birds in front of your house.
  • Thuja occidentalis ‘Hetz Midget’ – This is a needled evergreen that belongs to the family Cupressaceae. This Thuja is a lovely compact globose shrub with soft, feathery leaves and a flattened crown. If you want a great foundation plant, place this classic low-maintenance arborvitae around the front of your house. This bush will survive in full sun to part shade on typical, moderate moisture, well-drained soils. Although it tolerates a broad range of soils, it likes damp, neutral to alkaline, well-drained loamy soil. And it does not like drought. It thrives in full sun in hot summer climes, but it also loves some moderate afternoon shade.
  • Dwarf Golden Oriental Thuja (Thuja orientalis ‘Aurea Nana’) – This is a miniature evergreen shrub with delicate needle leaves and golden-yellow foliage in flattened sprays. To make it conceal your house’s foundations, plant in sunny or slightly shaded front yards. Grow in full sun on rich, moderately moist, well-drained soils. In hot and dry weather, make sure to water your plants regularly. These plants open up more as they mature. In youth, the scale-like yellowish-green leaves in flat sprays become deeper green as they age. In the winter, the foliage may become a bronze color.

Catmint (Nepeta racemosa)


Nepeta spp. or catmint is a flowering plant belonging to the Lamiaceae (mint family). This plant is well-known for attracting cats. Want to know why? The compound nepetalactone, a vaporous iridoid that also scares away insects, is responsible for this occurrence.

Catmint bushes give you spikes of tiny blue or purple blooms that look best when clustered together. It resembles a blue-purple cloud touching the ground and is frequently cultivated in huge numbers because of its relaxed nature.

On 24-inch-tall stems that may grow to 3 feet wide, ‘Walker’s Low’ has fragrant blossoms that are a mixture of lavender, blue, and mauve. You’ll see the plant bloom in early summer, and if you deadhead the flushes, they will last until autumn.

It thrives in Hardiness Zones 4-8. The cultivar ‘Blue Wonder’ is excellent if you want small, darker blue flowers and a more compact form; this dwarf, mounding, bushy plant can live in Zones 3–8.

Dwarf Spruce

dwarf spruce

Dwarf spruce bushes provide your front yard with a lot of curb appeal. Moreover, dwarf spruce bushes are easy to care for!

Spruce conifer shrubs are evergreen, low-growing bushes that thrive in bright sunlight. They’re ideal for foundation planting because of their bluish-green hue, needle-like leaves, and widespread growth. Zones 3–8 are suitable for spruce trees and shrubs.

Some of the nicest Dwarf Spruce bushes for planting in front of your house are:

  • Picea pungens ‘Glauca Globosa’ – This little spruce is shown as a globe-shaped, blue-grey-needled, rigid bush in photos. The slowly growing dwarf evergreen will mature to a height of 3 to 4 feet (1 – 1.2 meters).
  • Dwarf Black Spruce Shrub (Picea marina ‘Nana’) – The dwarf black spruce shrub (Picea marina ‘Nana’) is a charming spherical foundation plant that grows barely 2 feet (60 cm) tall. It likes fertile soil, although it will still survive in poor soil.
  • Dwarf Norway Spruce (Picea abies ‘Tompa’) – The ‘Tompa’ spruce cultivar has a conical form and grows to a maximum height of 3 feet (1 m). In a sunny front yard, use as a foundation or entry plant. This plant thrives in Hardiness Zones 4-7.
  • Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’ (Bird’s Nest Norway Spruce) – This foundation plant has an oval form with a flattened top. Its flat top has a minor depression in the center, giving it the look of a bird’s nest. The foliage of the ‘Bird’s Nest’ spruce is thick and light yellowish green. The low-growing conifer reaches a height of 3 to 4 feet (1–1.2 meters). It is hardy to zone 2.
  • Picea abies ‘Little Gem.’ – Little Gem is a well-loved and sought-after dwarf conifer. It’s an excellent focus for a rock garden, being a small evergreen spruce shrub with thick needle-like leaves and a form of a flattened globe.
  • The Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’) – This is a pyramid-shaped foundation conifer. Its attractive appearance and light green leaves make it perfect for landscaping in corners, as entryway plantings, or as an aesthetic complement to other foundation bushes.



Salvia is the most extensive genus of plants in the Lamiaceae family (mint family), with approximately a thousand shrub species, herbaceous perennials, and annuals.

From summer through fall, it erupts with pink, white, or purple flowers and green foliage. ‘Ostfriesland’ is tiny purple salvia that grows 18 inches tall and broad in USDA Hardiness Zones 4–8.

Bayberry (Morella pensylvanica (Mirbel) Kartesz)

Bayberry, or Morella pensylvanica (Mirbel) Kartesz, is a high-density deciduous shrub with a rounded form that reaches six to ten feet tall.

You can easily cultivate Bayberry in bright sunlight to partial shade on ordinary, dry to medium, well-drained soils. This bush prefers moist, sandy, or peaty, acidic soils but will grow in various soils and environments, such as unhealthy soils, wet soils, strong winds, drought, and salty conditions. Northern Bayberry can even resist fire.


Using Yarrow in Your Garden

Are you looking for the perfect plant to fill in the borders of your garden and brighten it up with colorful, showy blossoms that are dummy-proof to maintain and super resilient? Look no further; the Yarrow plant is virtually care-free and produces hundreds of radiant flowers throughout the spring and summer months. They look great in the garden and make an excellent addition to any bouquet. Maybe you should consider Using Yarrow in Your Garden.

This beautiful flower will look like a large circular bloom showing off to the summer sky from a distance. However, at a closer look, you will note that the Yarrow flower is a cluster of tiny flower heads all packed together, standing tall on a long sturdy stalk with soft feathery leaves.


Yarrow comes in almost every color in the rainbow, with the most common colors being white, yellow, pink, purple, red, or rose.

As an added bonus, the yarrow plant is a deterrent for insects and mosquitos as well as rabbits and deer, so they can be used throughout your landscape to help deter these pests.

These blooms are perfect pollinators, so be ready for the influx of bees and the added magical touch to your garden with all the butterflies they attract.

For hundreds of years, the yarrow flower has also been used for its medicinal properties, cosmetics, and sometimes even magic.

Beware that the yarrow grows so well it can be invasive and take over, so be conscious of what you are planting it next to and be ready with your shovel if it starts to overstep its boundaries.

Although there are over 100 species of the genus Achillea, the most common yarrows grown are:

  • A. clypeolata (moonshine yarrow).
  • A. filipendulina (fern leaf yarrow).
  • A. millefolium (common yarrow).
  • A. ptarmica (pearl yarrow).
  • A. taygetea (Egyptian yarrow).

Wild yarrow

You can find this popping up in meadows, along country paths, and even the backyard. Yarrow growing in the wild can have large flower heads with clusters of either white or yellow tiny flowers. This is technically the same plant as common yarrow; it is just listed as wild due to where it is located.

Common Yarrow

Derived from the group Achillea millefolium are many different types of what are known as the common yarrow. The rainbow of colors that you can find in this group is endless. From the bright, vibrant reds, like paprika and rust, to the soft pastel shades of apricot and salmon, there is something for everyone in this group of multiple cultivars. Perfect for cut flower enthusiasts because it compliments any flower arrangement.

Dwarf Yarrow

Unlike its peers, the dwarf yarrow (dwarf woolly yarrow, Achillea x lewisii), as its name suggests, lies closer to the ground and is perfect for rock gardens or to add some color to the edge of a path or driveway. This version of the yarrow has light yellow, low-lying flowers.

Hybrid Yarrows

Named after Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, the award-winning Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’ is a spectacular yarrow that is extremely easy to grow and produces excellent results even if you neglect it. From late spring to late summer, the pleasantly aromatic three feet in height, Coronation Gold is a gardener’s favorite, boasting bright yellow flowers.

Fernleaf Yarrow

Another significant aspect of the yarrow is its feathery light green-grey foliage, which the Achillea filipendulina yarrows are noted for. These yarrow flowers can be as tall as five feet. Some popular varieties include; Cloth of Gold, Parkers Variety, and Gold Plate.

How to Grow Yarrow Plants

The Yarrow plant needs little preparation, and once you have germinated the seeds, it’s a matter of raking some soil and popping them in the ground to watch them grow.

Yarrow plants bloom from June to September, so the ideal planting period is early spring, just after the last frost.

Growing from Seed

The yarrow plant is very easy to grow; you are in for a treat from planting to maintenance.

If you choose to grow from seed, the best way would be to start the seeds indoors, 6-8 weeks before you plant them outside.

Plant them in a seed tray, right on the top of the soil.

The optimal soil temperature is 15 to 18°C (60 to 65°F).

Be sure that the soil is not too damp to avoid any roots rotting.

Observe the germination process, which should take about 1-2 weeks. You can cover the seeded area with plastic wrap after the first week to speed it up.


You can either transplant these seedlings into pots until they are larger using high nitrogen fertilizer, or you can plant the seedlings straight into the ground about ½ an inch deep. Be sure that the last frost has well and truly passed.

They love dry sandy soil with clay for ideal results. This hardy plant will even cope with being beside the sea; the salty ocean air can’t faze the yarrow. Yarrow plants can handle drought, but they will not tolerate wet soil.

They are not thirsty little flowers and only require about ½ an inch of water a week. Depending on the area, you could potentially go an entire summer without having to get the hose out, but a little water will keep them vibrant and looking fabulous.


Yarrow plants are not likely to catch diseases; this is a sturdy plant and unlikely to become affected by disease or pests.

If you cut the ‘deadheads’ off the flowers in mid-summer, it will likely produce a whole other set of blooms before the season is out.

You can head to the garden center at the end of summer and pick up some post-bloom yarrow plants on sale. Bring them home and chuck them in the garden, and low and behold, with zero maintenance, you will have flowering blossoms come next summer.

Final Words

The Yarrow plant represents everlasting love, and who doesn’t want a bit of that in their world? Plant any of the vast number of yarrow species in your garden, and you will surely be happy with the vibrant, cheerful results year in and year out.


Plant Hardiness Zones and Why They Are Important

If you are considering buying some plants for your yard, it would be nice to know whether or not they are likely to survive, wouldn’t it? This is why the United States Department of Agriculture has developed the plant hardiness zones map and why this map is so important to our landscapes.

Here’s the Scenario

Okay, so let’s say you plan to revamp the landscape at your home. You’ve spent a few days on the internet looking at plant pictures, and you’ve decided that you love the look of palm trees. You have always loved Palms; you watched Beverly Hills 90210 and Californication, and you love the look of palm-lined streets. You’ve decided that you want to have them along the walk to your porch, on both sides. You have found them on google, and you are pretty sure that they are called the Washingtonia Filifera. You found a place that will ship them to you, and you are all set to get them delivered to your home; when your significant other walks in, realizes what you are doing, and says, “What are you nuts? Those will never grow in our zone!”

Our Zone?

We live in Denver, Colorado, and it seems like it would be sunny enough. What’s the big deal? A plant is a plant, right?

Right, but wrong! A plant is a plant, and before men started digging them up and moving them around, the plants didn’t know anything about zones. But, men in their infinite knowledge have decided that there should be some sort of a rating system for plants and locations so that we can all figure out where those palms will and will not grow.

So, What Happened?

Like everything else in nature, plants have evolved and adapted to their specific climatic conditions of their particular area where they grow. We humans love a moderate temperature with humidity. If we spent our entire lives outside in the elements the way the plants do, we would only be able to survive in a small portion of the world. We can’t just take a plant and stick it in the ground wherever we please and expect it to grow.

We have evolved to create fire, shelter, and air conditioning, which allows us to live in climates way outside of our outdoor comfort zone. Plants do not have this luxury. They are pretty much stuck where we put them or where they have grown.

Plants have evolved and adapted to the areas in which they have always grown. Just like in the days before horses, buses, cars, and planes, if we were born in an area, we were likely to stay in that area. Well, plants have always stayed where they were. Until, of course, we came along and decided to dig them up and move them around the world to make our surroundings look just the way we like them.

The Plant Hardiness Zone Map

We have been moving plants around for so long and pushing the boundaries of where they will and will not survive for so long; we have developed a system so that we can tell whether or not any particular plant is likely to grow in our area long before we decide to transplant it.

At least, that is the premise.

This system of classifying plants and where they are likely to survive is called the Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which is comprised of plant hardiness zones. This map is now updated and controlled by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Once we determined a plant’s ability to bear cold and heat, we created a map. The map uses the minimum temperature of a place in the last 30 years and averages it.

Each zone has a number and sometimes a letter for a sub-zone. The zones in the United States run from Zone 1 being the coldest and Zone 13 being the warmest. In Southeastern Wisconsin, we are in zone 5b, which is the same zone as Denver, Colorado. I can tell you from experience that if you want a plant to grow really well in my area, you will pick a plant that is zone 4 or less. Sure, a zone 5 might make it, but select a lower zone if you want to be sure.

How Can I Use Plant Hardiness Zones?

Now that the lowest temperatures of any area in the United States have been allocated a zone, it is easier to figure out which plants can grow in your area. Keep in mind that just about any plant will grow in the hot summer months in most zones, so while it won’t make it through the winter, I could enjoy my California Palm tree for one summer.

Pushing the Limits

Many people love to push the limits and plant more exotic plants in their yard than what will survive. This is fine, as long as you understand that you need to stick to your zone, or maybe a bit colder if you really want that plant to live for years to come.

Being a landscaper for most of my life, I have become very familiar with the plants in my zone and have used this map extensively to help plan out successful landscapes and gardens. What I’ve learned about this map and about contracting, in general, is that it is all about expectations.

More often than not, homeowners want pretty, blooming plants in their yard, and they want something to be blooming all year round.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been shown web pages or magazine articles with pictures of what appears to be zone 6-10 and asked,” can you make my yard look like this?” The simple answer is no; I cannot.

Set Your Expectations

If you are choosing plants for your landscape or someone else’s landscape, you need to have clear expectations. The hardiness zone map can help you know what to expect, but that doesn’t stop plants from being classified incorrectly.

You must always use your judgment and ask yourself if you’ve seen that plant growing in your area.

You are stuck in your zone, so unless you are going to move, don’t expect to have plants rated for the next zone higher to survive in your yard. Again, it’s about expectations. If you love that zone 6 plant and you must have it at all cost, then feel free to plant it in the most protected, sunny corner of your yard where the sun shines bright and hot, and the wind is entirely blocked. Then, before winter comes, go out there and mound the entire area thick with mulch and leaves and blankets. Then build a structure around it to protect the delicate branches and leaves from freezing, and you might have a chance to keep that plant alive.

That is, until the first year that you forget to do all of these things.

The Easy Way

Suppose you want a vibrant, healthy landscape that is low maintenance and pretty all year round that doesn’t need much help from you. In that case, plant only plants well suited for your zone and plant a wide variety of plants so that if any one type of plant gets a disease or ends up dying, it doesn’t affect your whole yard.

Humans always want to push their limits, and gardeners are no different. This is why so many people struggle and fight with their landscapes, trying to keep things alive that shouldn’t survive here. This is why people are fertilizing, watering, pruning, and protecting their plants like crazy people because they are trying to push the envelope.

Take my advice and keep it simple. Pick plants a zone lower and enjoy your yard rather than struggle with it.


So, you check the map carefully, and you see that the California Palm (Washingtonia) will not survive the winter in Denver, Colorado. The California palm grows in the Hardiness Zone 10 while Denver is in Zone 5a with a lowest temperature difference of 40 degrees (give or take).

So your dreams are shattered, but with a bit more searching, you find the Needle palm. Now the Needle palm doesn’t look much like the California Palm, but it is a palm tree, and low and behold, it says that it is cold hardy, and will grow outdoors in zones 5-10.

Heck, they even have a picture of it with snow on its leaves! You think to yourself, “Here it is; this is the palm for me!” You order up that palm tree, and you plant it in spring. It does fine all summer, but it isn’t looking so good next spring. Maybe you had a colder than usual winter? Perhaps you should have watered it again before winter hit? Or maybe, the people selling these plants realize that if they call it zone 5, they will sell more of them than if they call it zone 6 or 7, which is probably closer to what it really should be.

Lesson Learned

Either way, you might get some life out of it this second summer if you’re lucky, but chances are better that it will just slowly fade away, and you will have hopefully learned a lesson on plant zones.

Look at the map, but use some common sense. If you see a picture of that palm and think, “strange, this is a zone 5, yet I’ve never seen anything like this growing around here,” stick with your instincts.

If it is a neat-looking plant and it will grow in your area, chances are you would see it growing in your area, and chances are, the local landscapers would be planting it. There is a reason that you see the same sort of plants growing in every strip mall parking lot in your area. Because that is what survives the abuse of a barren cold parking lot full of ice, snow, and salt all winter or whatever the conditions are in your zone.

By the way, a quick search will show that the needle palm is native to coastal margins of the subtropical eastern Gulf and south Atlantic states of the United States. Yet they call it zone 5? As far as I know, palms are mostly in the Florida area and southern California; that’s about it. Why they would ever sell this palm as a zone 5 is beyond me.

Check out this map of where palms grow in the US:

Now compare that to the hardiness zone map above. It looks to me like if that needle palm is the hardiest palm around, it should probably be rated down to maybe zone 7.

So, use your common sense when picking plants and realize that the less you push the limits, the happier you will be next spring when you take that first walk around the yard to see what survived.

California Palm (Zone 10)

Needle Palm (Zone 5?)

Are Plant Hardiness Zones Enough?

Here are a few things to note about hardiness zones. They are based on the lowest temperatures only. And as we discussed, it is not just the lowest winter temperature that affects plant growth, but also the soil, the highest heat temperature, the rainfall patterns, amount of sunlight, etc. So, while the hardiness zones give us an idea of the plant’s hardiness, there are many other elements to consider. Use your common sense and consider what is important to this plant you are choosing. How many hours of sun per day does it prefer? Does it prefer a wet or dry location?

Even if you choose a zone 4 plant for your zone 5 location, you still need to plant it in a spot in your yard where it will be happy. Too much sun will kill a shade-loving plant, and too much shade will kill a sun lover. The same holds true for soil moisture. If you plant in the proper zone and the appropriate location in your yard, you will likely have no problems and a happy plant.

Keep in mind that you can always press your luck and bring those tropical plants into the house for the winter, but that entails quite a bit of work, and it doesn’t always work out as planned. The safest way to do it is to have a large heated sunroom or greenhouse. Then you can probably keep them happy. Otherwise, in the corner of your house with a small window for light is not likely to cut it. At least in my house, light sunlight becomes the limiting factor.

What is the Plant Hardiness Zone of My Area?

USDA has provided a simple tool to punch in your ZIP Code and get your Hardiness Zone.

Try the Tool here.


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