Foundation Plantings

If you’re looking for an easy way to improve the look of your home, consider planting shrubs and trees near the foundation. There are several species of shrubs and trees that can thrive near the foundation of your home. Please remember to take note of the mature spread and consider the root zone when planting along your home’s foundation.

Recommended shrubs to enhance your home or hide your foundation

Colorful shrubs are great way to accent your home’s outer appearance. Consider the color, size, and texture of the plants as well as the number needed to accent the architectural lines of your house. With careful planning and placement, the landscape will visually direct guests to the entrance of your home.

One concept to consider is a simple design. Remember, sometimes less is more. You also need to recognize microclimates, how each shrub will look during the four seasons of the year and the form and function of the plants in your design.

The number one mistake homeowners make is to plant shrubs that are too tall and require extensive pruning. If you plan on planting under windows or around porches, the shrubs should accent the area, not cover it.  We recommend planting shrubs that are proportional in height to the size and scale of the windows.

Ornamental Foundation Shrubs

Top Personal Picks: Yellow Mollis Azaleas, Glossy Abelia, Dwarf Russian Almond, and Blue Hydrangea

Russian Dwarf Almond

Blue HydrangeaGlossy Abelia

Evergreen Foundation Shrubs

Top Personal Picks: Gloden Globe Arborvitae, Bar Harbor Juniper, Green Velvet Boxwood, and Korean Boxwood

Gloden Globe Arborvitae

Use trees near the foundation of your home to enhance your property.

Planting trees at the corners of your house helps give the illusion of extending your house or making it appear larger. But take caution when you plant trees around your foundation or house: You will need to take the tree’s spread at full maturity into consideration. You should plant the tree half of its total spread from your house so that branches will not rub against the structure. Also, you need to remember that the roots will surpass the spread, and you don’t want them pushing against the foundation of your home.

Another great place to enhance your property is to place a tree near the main entrance.  Placing a tree in this location offers a great visual clue about where visitors should go.

Foundation Trees: Personal Favorites

Ann Magnolia, Emerald Arborvitae, Purpleleaf Sandcherry, and Sargent Crabapple

Emerald Arborvitae

Finally, you may want to check with your County Cooperative Extension Agents. They are more familiar with your climate, soil, what trees and shrubs grow best in your area, and what diseases and insects are a problem in your area. Find your local extension office.



1.  Local County Extension

2.  Foundation Planting Basics,,1592703-2,00.html




6.  University of Missouri Extension – Landscaping Your Front Yard

7. University of Nebraska Extension – Home Landscape Design


Ben is an employee of the Arbor Day Foundation. My favorite types of trees are flowering trees and my favorite tree is the Japanese Red Maple.

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