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Low Maintenance Foundation Plants: The Ultimate Guide

low maintenance foundation plants

If you're looking for ways to spruce up the exterior of your home without spending hours maintaining it, then low maintenance foundation plants may be just what you need. Foundation plants are shrubs and bushes that are planted around the base of your house, providing a natural barrier between your home and the outside world. In this guide, we'll explore some of the best low maintenance foundation plants that are easy to care for and will add curb appeal to your property.

The Benefits of Low Maintenance Foundation Plants

Before we dive into the different types of low maintenance foundation plants, it's worth highlighting some of the benefits they offer. First and foremost, these plants require minimal upkeep, which means you won't have to spend hours tending to them each week. Additionally, they can help to reduce energy costs by shading your home from the sun, and they can even improve air quality by absorbing pollutants. Plus, they'll make your property look more visually appealing, adding value to your home in the process.

Types of Low Maintenance Foundation Plants

Now let's take a look at some of the best low maintenance foundation plants to consider for your home:

Boxwood Shrubs

Boxwood shrubs are a classic choice for foundation planting due to their dense foliage and compact size. They're also highly versatile and can be shaped into a variety of designs, from simple spheres to intricate topiaries. Boxwoods are hardy and resistant to pests and disease, making them an ideal choice for low maintenance landscaping.

Spirea Bushes

Spirea bushes are another popular option for foundation planting due to their beautiful blooms and low maintenance requirements. There are several different varieties of spirea, each with its own unique characteristics. For example, the Bridal Wreath spirea produces cascading white flowers in the spring, while the Goldflame spirea has eye-catching pink foliage that turns a vibrant orange-red in the fall.

Barberry Shrubs

If you're looking for a foundation plant that will add some color to your landscape, barberry shrubs are an excellent choice. They come in a range of hues, from deep red to bright yellow, and feature small, spiky leaves that provide year-round interest. Barberry shrubs are also highly resistant to pests and disease, making them a low maintenance option for any homeowner.

Japanese Yew

The Japanese yew is a slow-growing evergreen that's perfect for foundation planting. It has a dense, bushy habit and can be easily pruned into a variety of shapes and sizes. Japanese yews are tolerant of a wide range of soil types and require minimal watering, making them a great choice for low maintenance landscaping.

Caring for Low Maintenance Foundation Plants

While these plants are low maintenance, they still require some care to ensure they thrive. Here are a few tips for caring for your low maintenance foundation plants:


Most low maintenance foundation plants only need to be watered once a week, or even less frequently in cooler weather. Be sure to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other issues.


Generally speaking, low maintenance foundation plants don't require much fertilizer. However, if you notice that your plants aren't growing as well as they should be, you may want to apply a slow-release fertilizer once a year.


Pruning is an important part of maintaining the appearance and health of your foundation plants. Most low maintenance varieties require only occasional pruning to remove dead or damaged branches, or to shape the plant as desired.


Q: Can I plant low maintenance foundation plants myself, or should I hire a professional?

A: It's certainly possible to plant these shrubs yourself, but if you're not familiar with landscaping and gardening, it may be best to hire a professional. They can help you choose the right plants for your property and ensure they're planted correctly.

Q: How much sunlight do low maintenance foundation plants need?

A: The amount of sun required will vary depending on the specific plant. Generally speaking, most foundation plants prefer partial to full sun, but there are some varieties that can tolerate shade.

Q: Can low maintenance foundation plants attract pests?

A: While it's always possible for pests to be attracted to any plant, low maintenance foundation plants are generally resistant to pests and disease.

Q: When should I prune my low maintenance foundation plants?

A: Pruning times will vary depending on the specific plant, but in general, it's best to prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

Q: Are low maintenance foundation plants expensive?

A: The cost of these plants will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of plant, its size, and where you purchase it from. However, many low maintenance foundation plants are relatively affordable and can be a cost-effective way to improve the curb appeal of your home.

Low maintenance foundation plants are an excellent choice for homeowners who want to add some natural beauty to their property without spending hours on upkeep. By choosing the right plants and following a few simple care tips, you can enjoy a beautiful landscape that requires minimal effort. Whether you opt for classic boxwood shrubs or colorful barberry bushes, these low maintenance plants are sure to add value and visual appeal to your home.

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