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15 Shrubs You Can Plant Close To The House (With Pictures)

front yard landscape

Modern landscaping often contains a slew of different plants that are placed right alongside a house. These plants not only look great, but they have a ton of benefits as well. There are many different shrubs that can be planted directly next to a house—these are called foundation plants. This list contains fifteen of the most popular types of these shrubs and small trees that are perfect to add to any garden, even right under a window.

Here are fifteen shrubs you can plant close to your house and not worry about.

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The 15 Shrubs You Can Plant Close to the House

1. Boxwood

Image Credit: PatternPictures, Pixabay
Type Evergreen
Height 1-6 feet

Boxwoods are traditional ornamental shrubs that have appeared in home landscaping for generations. These hardy shrubs stay green all year round and provide a lot of shape and texture to any home. If trimmed, boxwoods can be kept as small as one foot tall, or you can let them grow to a more respectable 6 feet in height.

2. Inkberry

inkberry plant
Image Credit: Erika Kirkpatrick, Shutterstock
Type Evergreen
Height 5-10 feet

Inkberries are another traditional landscaping shrub that is praised for its size and shape. It is a voluminous shrub that can be trimmed to fit almost any landscape look. Inkberry shrubs are related to holly and are evergreens. Inkberry bushes can grow as tall as ten feet. If you are going to use inkberry shrubs as a foundation plant, make sure that you have enough clearance overhead to prevent crowding.

3. Mountain Laurel

mountain laurel
Image Credit: Pixabay
Type Evergreen
Height 7-10 feet

The mountain laurel is a hardy evergreen shrub that is known for its unique appearance and springtime flowers. The mountain laurel can grow up to 10 feet tall in most gardens, but in the wild, they have been found in heights upwards of 20 feet. Mountain laurel needs 6-8 hours of direct sun, but if you can keep it watered and in full sun, it is a great foundation plant.

4. Betty Prior Rose

Betty Prior Rose
Betty Prior Rose (Image Credit: David J. Stang, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Type Flowering
Height 3-4 feet

Betty Prior roses are known for their long flowering season and fragrant aroma. The flowers are a bright shade of pink and will bloom for months on end. This makes them an ideal foundation plant that will thrive close to the house. Not only are these roses pretty, but they also help to trap soil around their base which prevents the ground from shifting near your house.

5. Holly

holly tree close up
Image Credit: Pixabay
Type Evergreen
Height 4-10 feet

Holly is an extremely popular ornamental bush that is found all over the world. Holly is known for its unique leaves with their sharp edges and their distinctive red berries. Holly retains its alluring deep green color year-round and makes for a perfect decorative foundation plant to install near the boundaries of your home.

6. Juniper

Common Juniper
Image Credit: Pixabay
Type Evergreen
Height 1-8 feet

Junipers come in a wide range of heights that make them a favorite for gardens. Some juniper bushes are as short as 1 foot tall, while other varieties can balloon upwards of 15 feet in height. Most people keep their junipers around 8 feet tall. Junipers are easy to care for, and their growth makes them versatile. Whether you want it as a focal point of your front garden or a small shrub next to a door, the juniper plant has many uses.

7. Dogwood

Kousa dogwood
Image Credit: Pixabay
Type Tree
Height 3-20 feet

Dogwood trees are one of the only ornamental plants not native to Asia. Dogwoods hail from North America. Depending on the conditions, dogwoods can show as either small shrubs or tall trees. Most people who have dogwoods as foundation plants keep them short, like shrubs. Dogwoods are known for their large number of flowers that bloom throughout the springtime.

8. Crepe Myrtle

crepe myrtle
Image Credit: Pixabay
Type Tree
Height 15-25 feet

Crepe myrtles are popular ornamental trees that make great foundation plants. In the spring they bloom with stunning colorful flowers. In the winter, they shed all of their leaves leaving a haunting spindly look that is unique and striking in its own right. Crepe myrtles can be kept small and have very little spread during the winter months. If left to grow to their full height, healthy crepe myrtles can grow as tall as 25 feet.

9. Wax Myrtle

wax myrtle
Image Credit: Ramona Edwards, Shutterstock
Type Evergreen
Height 6-12 feet

Wax myrtle strikes a stately appearance. It has olive-green shrubbery, charcoal grey bark, and distinctive faint blue berries that appear in the winter. Wax myrtles have multiple trunks and grow in thin shapes that are perfect for a home garden. Wax myrtle is primarily an ornamental plant native to North America where it thrives.

10. Cherry Laurel

cherry laurel
Image Credit: Pixabay
Type Evergreen
Height 10-20 feet

Cherry laurel is an evergreen shrub that can be kept as a bush or a hedge. The versatility of the usage causes cherry laurel to pop up in many different cases. If left to grow, wild cherry laurels can grow as tall as 20 feet, but they are often kept much shorter for residential purposes. These bushes will require regular trimming to keep them in check but if you commit to the upkeep, they make excellent foundation plants for any home.

11. Hicks Yew

hicks yew shrubs
Image Credit: Amelia Martin, Shutterstock
Type Evergreen
Height 8-12 feet

Hicks yew is a very popular hedge. It can grow in classic square rows and makes for an excellent barrier bush. It also serves as a great foundational plant. Hicks yews grow at a steady rate and provide for excellent soil retention. A row of hicks yew will keep the ground stable and solid around your home, plus, it’ll add unique ornamental texture and barrier potential.

12. Star Magnolia

Star Magnolia
Image Credit: Pixabay
Type Tree
Height 8-15 feet

Star magnolias are considered small deciduous shrubs or small trees, depending on who you ask. The star magnolia is a great foundation plant because it can be kept cropped and small enough to be planted near your home with few issues. Star magnolias are known for their beautiful white flowers that bloom in late winter into spring. Small star magnolias make for unique shrubs that are sure to add to any home’s curb appeal.

13. Japanese Maple

Japanese maple trees
Image Credit: Pixabay
Type Tree
Height 2-30 feet

Japanese maples are extremely beautiful and versatile trees that can be planted very near to your home. The Japanese maple is known for its beautiful deep red leaves and comes in a wide range of sizes. The smallest varieties can be kept as short as 2 feet and have a very small footprint. That allows them to be planted right under a window. Other larger varieties are decently sized trees that can still fit into a front garden with few issues.

Related Read: 14 Types of Japanese Maple Trees that Stand Out from the Crowd

14. Ligustrum

Image Credit: Piqsels
Type Privet
Height 8-12 feet

Ligustrum, also known as privet, is a popular foundation shrub due to how easy it is to grow. Ligustrum is not picky about where it lives and will quickly grow into any space with little input or maintenance. The shrub will need regular trimmings to keep its size down as it will grow into a small tree if left to its own devices. That versatility is also why this plant is very popular as a foundation plant. It can be kept as a neat shrub or allowed to grow into a unique ornamental tree.

15. Hydrangeas

Image Credit: Kapa65, Pixabay
Type Flowering shrub
Height 10-15 feet

Hydrangeas are aromatic flowering shrubs that are extremely popular as decorative landscape features. Hydrangeas can be planted very near to the home and count as one of the most floral foundation plants available. Hydrangeas encompass over 70 species of unique flowering shrubs that are found all over the world. To pick the best variety for your area, consult your local gardening center.

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What Are The Benefits Of Planting Foundation Plants?

Foundation plants have two major benefits. First, they make for great ornamental pieces. Some of the most impressive landscaping features a variety of different plants that are all closely clustered around a house. This aesthetic greatly improves curb appeal, which can even help home values in the long run.

The other benefit is soil retention. Areas around a home without any plants can be subject to shifting and erosion, especially in areas with a lot of rain or water. Loose soil can rinse away, causing ugly washes. In extreme cases, shifting soil can even affect a home’s foundation. These plants help to mitigate those risks while also being beautiful to look at.

Japanese holly tree
Image Credit: Peter Turner Photography, Shutterstock

Top Things To Consider For Foundation Plants

The two most important things to consider when choosing a foundation plant that is right for you are clearance and sun requirements. Both of these things are heavily influenced by your home and will determine what can be planted and where. Some foundation plants can grow very tall, and planting something under an eave or close to the roofline can require special care or regular maintenance to prevent plants from growing too tall and impacting your roof.

Similarly, sunlight is a big consideration. Many plants that are placed close to a house will receive a good amount of shade from the house itself. Some foundation plants require full sun, and if you plant something in the shade that needs full sun, you will find yourself struggling to make the plant thrive. Be sure to check the sun requirements of all foundation plants.

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There are a variety of foundation plants that are good for almost any occasion, especially growing close to your house. Whether you are looking for a pop of color near your front door or are looking for a hearty hedge to shore up some loose soil, these plants have a ton of great benefits. A great compliment of foundation plants can improve home values outdoor aesthetic and keep the soil around the home compact and secure.

Featured Image Credit: romakoma, Shutterstock

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