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Foundation Plants – What’s good for Growing around the Base?

Foundation Plants – What’s good for Growing around the Base?

Foundation plants do more than just cover the ground around the area where the house meets the ground. They are the most important element in making that transition between hardscape and landscape.

Examples of Good Foundation Plants

1. Hydrangea (Hydrangea Macrophylla)

Growing to a height of 3-5 ft. and spreading out to almost the same distance, this foundation plant is best for front and center locations. This is because hydrangea has thick foliage and large blooms and it does a great job in hiding plain foundation walls. 

The color in which they bloom depends on the alkalinity of the soil. In neutral soil, the blossoms would be pink and lavender while in acidic soil, they would bloom a mesmerizing deep blue. 

2. Encore Azalea (Rhododendron Encore hybrids)

These grow to a height of about 3-5 ft and spread to almost the same distance too. Encore azalea is ideal for sunny spots, which would prove too hot for the other kinds of azaleas. 

They bloom in spring and again in late summer to early fall. They will bloom in different colors; either pink, white, red, or purple. The ideal soil for planting these plants would be slightly acidic and with plenty of compost. 

3. Catmint (Nepeta)

Rather short, these foundation plants only grow to about 10 to 48 inches in height. They spread to 12-24 inches and are perfect when you need to add drought-tolerant/hardy color in a foundation. It is a simple plant to maintain due to the fact that it can do well without much water, as long as the soil is well drained. It blossoms in purple-blue color.

4. Laurel “Otto Luyken” (Prunus Laurocerasus)

Maximum height is 3 ft. and they spread around to 6 ft. These give green foliage all year round including in the winter. Its flowers are white and spiky and they appear in spring. In the late summer, it produces tiny black fruit. 

5. Blue Angel Hosta

This one reaches a height of 2-3ft and spreads to be 3-4ft. It is best planted in shaded areas, and it enjoys the moist soil covered with mulch. Blue Angel Hosta is a perennial plant with lavender to white flowers shaped in the form of a bell.

Take care when using this foundation plant though. It tends to grow clumpy and it can easily overwhelm the house. As a safety measure, you could try dividing it every 2-3 years.

6. Knockout Rose (Rosa “Radrazz”)

This one reaches a height of 4ft and spreads out to about 4ft. It has continuous blooms, which means that your house will be looking good right from spring to first frost. They have the added advantage of being disease resistant and easy to care for; unlike its fussy rose cousins. This plant can be attacked by the rose rosette disease. To minimize chances of it catching this virus, make sure you advise the client to cut it back during late winter.

There are endless options for the foundation plants you could use for a house. Whatever options you go for though, make sure it matches the house and it serves the purpose it is intended for. Also, make sure you advise the homeowner on how to care for the foundation plants so that they do not overgrow and overpower the house, as some are very capable of this.

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