What you need to know when planting foundation plants round your home!
A standard foundation landscape should be good for about 12 to 15 years before it needs to be updated or removed. Trees and shrubs become over grown for the area or stop looking good about 12 years in. Plants that grow too large have roots that are beginning to bump up against the foundation wall and need to be dug out.
Using the best foundation planting tips to begin with allows your landscape to look its best for years to come.
- Anchor the corners of your house. Best plantings are shrubs, conical (slim shaped) evergreens or understory (low understory growing) trees such as redbud, dogwood, serviceberry, etc.
- Stay low under windows. Measure ground to the bottom of the window area. Staying within 2/3's of that size is best, but that is the maximum height you want for plants to reach. Windows should always be completely visible. Taller growing plants will eventually hide them becoming a security problem as well as needing to be removed sooner.
- Go for contrast. If you plant a red flowering or red leaf shrub in front of a red brick wall, it will disappear. Instead go for contrast. Plant a yellow or lime green leaf shrub in front of that brick wall. Or, even a variegated leaf shrub. Use the red leaf plants for foundations against light color walls (blues, grays, yellows, cream, white) or regular green leaf foliage plants that have brilliant fall colors.
- Stay in proportion. Small or narrow front houses look best with smaller growing trees, shrubs and perennials. Two story, large or long houses look better anchoring with larger plants, combining both large and small growers in the middle.
- Keep away from the house. Plant your shrubs, low growing trees and perennial plants a safe distance from the foundation. Planting right up next to the foundation limits plant growth for many reasons such as roots will often only grow in one direction, rainwater run off from roof and downspouts can over water as the area doesn't always drain as well, lime generally leaches out from the concrete foundations and is absorbed into the plants and no air circulation to give a few issues. Plant small growing shrubs at least 24 inches from the foundation wall. Smaller understory trees should be planted no less that 3 to 4 feet from the anchoring corners.
- Add spice along side your foundation plantings. Once you've planted your basic foundation plantings, add some color or spice to the area. Perennials, groundcovers and grasses work beautifully for this. It's a great way to add varying heights, colors, textures and fragrance to your foundation. Plus, perennials, grasses and groundcovers can be moved to another location within your yard if you decide you want a change. Consider foundation shrubs and trees as your basic furniture pieces for a room and perennials, groundcovers and grasses as your drapery, pillows and other what-nots that you change out inside your home.
- Mulch in early spring and again in late summer to early fall. Select an organic shredded bark mulch. Leave the lava stones for grills and firepits and the pea gravel for walkways. A good shredded mulch around the foundation of your home will help to keep weed seeds from germinating, it will decompose and build up the soil underneathe it which in turn provdies nutrients for your plants...so they grow better. Mulch aids the soil in holding moisture and during winter helps to stabilize the ground temperatures protecting your plant investment.
Follow these 7 tips in planting foundation plants and you'll be enjoying your landscape for years to come.
Check out our selection of foundation plants!