Low Maintenance Shrubs Perfect for the Front of the House

When you’re planning landscaping for the front of the house, you might be looking for slow-growing shrubs or low maintenance shrubs. These are beneficial for several reasons including less pruning, not overcrowding the space, and keeping the front of your house neat while boosting curb appeal.

Some of the favorite low maintenance shrubs include Boxwood, Dwarf Gardenia, Rosemary, and Rhododendron. You can add in a variety of sizes to add some extra curb appeal as well as flowering, evergreen, and deciduous shrubs for the front of your house.

The key is you don’t want plants that grow out of control or need constant pruning. No one wants to spend every waking moment trimming invasive plants or cutting back trees. You also want to be mindful of the root systems and be sure you’re using plants that won’t disrupt your foundation or sidewalks.

And as always – check your planting zones to know what’s best for your climate.


Low Maintenance Shrubs that are Perfect for the Front of Your House

Boxwood

low maintenance shrub - boxwood

Boxwood shrubs are a tough and dependable year-round shrub that is most known for its uniform green leaves. Boxwoods also offer small white flowers that bloom in the spring.

  • easy care and disease resistant
  • zones 5-9
  • partial to full sun needed
  • well-drained soil
  • 1-12 ft tall and 1-5 ft across
  • slow growing-no more than 12 inches per year

Rhododendron

Low maintenance shrubs for the front of the house - rhododendron

Rhododendrons are shrubs that have dramatic, multi-colored flowers that appear on top of irregular foliage. There are hundreds of species of rhododendrons that can be used as nice and sturdy backdrops for many types of flowers and foliage plants.

  • zones 4-10
  • partial sun needed
  • acidic and coarsely textured soil
  • 2-12 ft tall and 2-8 ft across
  • blooms from spring to early summer
  • shallow rot systems
  • need to be planted 2-6 ft apart
  • evergreen

Rosemary

Rosemary is not only an herb, but it is an evergreen plant that adds interesting foliage to your shrubs in the front of the house. It’s easy to grow and can take the heat as well.

  • full sun needed
  • loamy or sandy soil
  • blooms in summer
  • zones 7-11
  • 1-8 ft tall and 2-4 ft across

Juniper

Junipers are rugged and dependable shrubs that are easy to grow. There are different species of Junipers for every type of climate. They produce berries from fall into winter. Look for the low growing varieties such as Wilton or Nana for the front of a house.

  • zones 2-10
  • full sun to partial shade
  • evergreen
  • drought resistant
  • good idea for ground cover for the front of your landscaping as well as hillsides
  • well-drained soil
  • low growing Juniper grow from 6 inches to 2 feet high and can spread up to 8 feet

Lilac

Lilacs are taller, scented shrubs that have good cut flowers. Lilacs are best used when they are their own showy shrubs or as a background shrub.

  • zones 3-8
  • full sun needed
  • well-drained soil
  • 5-20 ft tall and 6-12 ft across
  • attracts wildlife
  • easy to grow
  • blooms late spring to early summer, but not evergreen
  • plant around 15 ft apart

Camellia

  • zones 6-9
  • partial shade, particularly need a break from the afternoon sun
  • 2-20 ft tall and 2-10 ft across
  • well-drained soil
  • bloom from mid-fall to early spring

Azalea

Azaleas are shrubs with vibrant colors to light up shady or dark spots. They produce many different bell or star-shaped flower colors ranging from white, pink, red, purple, lavender, and orange.

  • zones 4-8
  • partial to full sun
  • acidic, moist, well-drained soil
  • blooms from early spring to early fall
  • evergreen

Hosta

Hostas are perfect low lying plants for the front landscaping areas of your house. They come in a variety of striking green shades from chartreuse to dark green. You can layer in Hostas in front of taller plants for increased variety.

  • partial sun
  • zones 3-9
  • well-drained soil
  • 1-3 ft tall and 1-8 ft across
  • blooms between May and September

Sunshine Ligustrum

Low maintenance shrubs - ligustrum

Ligustrum is a stunning bright yellow/green shrub that is perfect as a foundation plant. Pair it with plants with darker foliage for a striking contrast.

  • zones 6-10
  • can grow 3-6 feet tall and around 3 feet wide so give it plenty of room when planting
  • full sun preferred
  • well-drained soil
  • evergreen with bright yellow-green foliage

Gardenia

One of my absolute favorite plants with a heavenly smell is a Gardenia. There are a few varieties you can choose from – some grow tall and some are dwarf versions that stay low to the ground. Either way, you’ll have amazing scents when they bloom!

  • zones 8-11 – these prefer warmer climates
  • prefer morning sun and afternoon shade
  • dark green glossy foliage with white blooms – blooms in early summer
  • dwarf varieties grow around 2 feet tall, others around 8 feet
  • dwarf Gardenias are prolific bloomers
  • evergreen

Fire Power Nandina

Fire Power Nandina is a great choice for landscaping the front of your house. It is a low growing shrub and has beautiful red leaves in the fall and winter.

  • zones 6-9
  • grows slow and up to 2 feet tall and wide
  • green foliage gives way to bright red leaves in fall and winter
  • drought tolerant
  • can tolerate both full sun and full shade

Cryptomeria (Globosa Nana) or Dwarf Japanese Cedar

I’ve seen these called both ways, but either way you say it, it’s an incredibly low maintenance shrub. It has bright green foliage and is evergreen.

  • evergreen
  • zones 5-9
  • full sun, but can tolerate shade
  • mature height between 4 and 6 feet and spreads between 4 and feet as well
  • beautiful almost droopy cedar foliage that adds interest to your yard
  • deer resistant
  • low maintenance and does not require pruning

There are so many choices for foundation plants or low maintenance shrubs that are perfect for planting in the front of your house.

Try pairing a few with different color foliage or blooms as well as choosing varying heights. For example, 2 Gardenias on the side of a walkway, Azaleas lining the front, and a bed of Ligustrum mixed with Firepower Nandina. That combo would be a striking look.

Make sure to give each plant plenty of room to grow when first planting. Pay attention to your spacing and planting guides and you should have a beautifully landscaped area for years to come.

And if you need more planting ideas, check out these fast-growing privacy trees, plants that love shade and also fast-growing evergreen shrubs and trees.

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