How to Choose the Best Plants for Low-Maintenance Curb Appeal

by Alex ThatcherMay 11, 2016

Pick the Right Plants for Your Home

Maybe you’re looking for ways to attract homebuyers, or perhaps you just want to give your home a fresh new look. Either way, plants can really give your home that extra bit of curb appeal that you need to separate your home from the pack, or to make it stand out in your neighborhood.

So what exactly is curb appeal? It’s that ineffable yet undeniable “it-factor” that makes passing dog walkers stop and stare, and house hunters bookmark your home on real estate sites, holding out hope that you just might, one day, decide to put it on the market.
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But there are so many options at your local home and garden store. How can you narrow it down and find the best companion plants for your home?

Choose Plants That Will Grow With You

One of the smartest moves you can make is to research the growing patterns of any plant, tree, or shrub you’re considering planting. For foundation plants, you’re better off going with slow-growing ones such as boxwood, cape plumbago, or dwarf fothergilla. They’re pretty carefree, and they make an excellent frame for the work of art that is your home.

If you buy a plant that grows too quickly, your home could end up looking like a little kid wearing daddy’s shoes.

Perennials: The Gifts That Keep on Giving

If you’re a consummate gardener, then you might enjoy the challenge of planning a new garden display every year. But for those who want a low maintenance option (or aren’t sure their home will sell anytime soon) perennials are probably a better bet.

Plant them once, and they’ll be back year after year, providing you with visual flair, and in some cases, fresh-cut flowers, too. For extra visual panache, choose blooming varieties that match or complement your home’s exterior or accent color. Tulips are a perennial favorite (couldn’t resist), but you’re free to choose whatever inspires you, whether it be blue lobelia, dwarf zinnia, lavender, veronica, rosemary… the list goes on and on. Don’t go too wild though; you’ll want to stick to a unified color palette to achieve the best results.

Lawns: Yes or No?

There is no denying that a spacious, well-kept lawn is a treat for bare feet, but when it comes down to it, lawns can be a bit of a pain to maintain. There’s always some unwelcome weed threatening to take over your fussy monoculture, and lawns require an awful lot of water and mowing to keep them looking good.
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Is it time to minimize your lawn? Well, that’s up to you. We’d recommend replacing grass beneath your trees with ground cover that does well in the shade. Surround the ground cover planting with a stylish border to keep it in check. Ferns, violets, and hostas are all ideal for border planting that has some shade. If you do replace your lawn everywhere, you’ll reduce your mowing time and give your home a whole new verve.

It’s All About Composition

Great curb appeal doesn’t happen by chance. Plenty of planning goes into making a home look its best. Just haphazardly placing new plants wherever is a bit like dressing in the dark; there’s an outside chance that it will work out well, but generally speaking, it’s not such a good move.

Take a picture of your home from each side. If you’re handy with photo editing software, you can play around with different options digitally before breaking out your gardening gloves. If not, you can always print the picture and hand-draw some flowers here and there. The important thing is to get a clear picture of the finished product so you can then take the steps to make it happen.

Lookin’ Good!

“Hey there, your house looks amazing! Is it for sale?” That’s what passersby will say once you have your home’s curb appeal sorted out. And because you’ve chosen low-maintenance plants, the fact that it takes very little work to maintain can be your secret.

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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging expert by day and a writer by night. She loves working in the home and interior design sphere, and is fascinated by what makes people light up when they walk into a room. When she isn't arranging flowers and making sure furniture looks appealing and cozy for prospective buyers, she loves to write about any and all things home and design related, from DIY to organization tips.

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