Low-maintenance bushes are some of the best ways to enhance the aesthetics of your yard without too much hassle. Just several of these lovely shrubs will be more than enough to fill your garden beds, adding splashes of color to your outdoor spaces.
Keep reading to learn top-tier tips, landscaping ideas, and the best low maintenance shrubs for your loving home.
Why Choose A Low-Maintenance Shrub
Planting low-maintenance shrubs saves you tons of time from your gardening task. Compared to other outdoor plants, bushes often require minimal watering, pruning, and fertilization. So, even if you’re a busy mom like me, you can have a hardy yard with curb appeal without investing too much time in your garden.
If you’ve been a plant parent for a considerably long time, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say gardening isn’t always cheap. Certain plants require tons of water and fertilization, and others will require you to buy lots of pesticides just to protect them from pests.
Luckily, bushes are the key to avoiding spending hundreds of dollars on your dream yard. Since they require very little maintenance, you won’t need to invest in excessive fertilizers, pesticides, or premium-priced soil.
Shrubs have a versatile appearance, making them a perfect addition to any garden. Whether you’re looking for one with vibrant flowers, uniquely-shaped leaves, or colorful foliage, you’ll be able to find shrubs suited for your dream garden.
However, remember that their versatility extends beyond their appearance.
These plants can be used to design your garden in numerous ways, providing creative freedom for the landscape artist within you. For example, you may use bushes as stand-alone focal points or utilize them as elegant lawn borders.
Top 5 bushes For Your Low-maintenance Landscape
This easy-to-grow shrub blooms with stunning white flowers throughout summer, fall, and winter, giving your garden a refreshing look year-round. Native to North America, Annabelle Hydrangeas grow best in full sun or partial shade environments, but aren’t fussy about the soil you plant them in.
The Annabelle Hydrangea’s mature height reaches 5 feet max, and its spread ranges from 3 to 5 feet. Note that you only need to prune this bush once a year, during the early spring.
With their frond-like dark green leaves and fragrant yellow flowers, Marvel Mahonia bushes are another must-have for a unique-looking garden.
Their flowers appear during the cold months, lasting until late winter or early spring, making them valuable for bringing color and vibrancy to your lawn even when most flowering plants may be dormant.
At maturity, this evergreen shrub grows 4 to 6 feet in length and spreads 3 to 4 feet. Despite its bigger-than-average size, Marvel Mahonia is low maintenance and extremely easy to grow.
It’s drought-tolerant and generally doesn’t require pruning unless you want shrubs that look more dense. Marvel Mahonias grow best in light shade, but can tolerate direct sunlight or completely shaded locations.
If you want naturally rounded, colorful, and low-growing shrubs for the front of your house, you can never go wrong with the Japanese Spirea. These shrubs are well-known for their fall color, specifically golden, orange, and red leaves that gradually change in hues throughout the year.
Japanese Spirea thrives in full sun, producing clusters of lilac, purple or pink flowers during early summer. These bushes are pollinator-friendly but are virtually pest and disease free, making them easy-care landscaping shrubs ideal for outlining borders or part of low-hedge designs.
With a height of up to 10 feet and clusters of small pink flowers, the Weigela Florida is a captivating landscaping shrub that can draw attention at any time. It grows well in full sun to partial shade, allowing you more flexibility in positioning this bush around your home.
The Weigela Florida requires little to no watering unless the climate’s exceptionally dry. Prune and fertilize this bush in early spring to get a healthy growing plant that can naturally fend off common pests and diseases.
As their name implies, Dwarf Gardenias have a low growth habit, only reaching up to 2 to 3 feet in height. They’re well-known for their stunning white flowers that bloom during late spring or early summer, and are a great choice when deciding on low-border plants for your lawn.
Pruning Dwarf Gardenias is simple and easy due to their low growth. All you have to do is snip their spent flowers just below the leaf nodes and tidy up sprawling branches.
These low maintenance flowering shrubs thrive in full sun exposure. However, keeping them in partial shade, particularly during warmer months, is advisable to prevent scorching their leaves.
Planting and care tips
Find The Right Spot
Some bushes grow best in full sun, while others thrive in shaded areas, so it’s important to research the specific bush you want before you proceed to plant it. Ensure you’re choosing the right area for your outdoor plant from the get-go. Many bushes grow quite large, so they can’t be easily repositioned like other plants.
Consider The Maturity Size
When purchasing a bush, it’ll most likely appear small and compact. However, don’t ever decide to plant your bushes in locations based solely on their current size. Be aware of the maturity size of the bush you choose so you can plant it in a space that fits the maximum expected height and width it can reach. This way, you won’t have to worry about overcrowding your garden later on.
Don’t Forget To Prune
Pruning your bushes isn’t just for aesthetic purposes. It also maintains your plant’s health by removing its dead and unhealthy parts, and encourages your bush to bloom. When using bushes as lawn borders, pruning also prevents your plant’s sharp branches from hurting people or damaging property.
For most bushes, you only need to prune once yearly after your plant finishes its flowering season. However, this isn’t always the case, so make sure to research the specific pruning requirements of your bushes.
Despite being easy-care plants, bushes still need some level of care and attention to grow as healthy as possible. It’s important to regularly inspect your bushes weekly, or at least every two weeks.
While inspecting, look for signs of diseases, pests, or underwatering. By catching problems early on, you can effectively maintain the health of your bushes and prevent long-term damage.
If you’re interested in planting bushes, but aren’t too sure how to incorporate them into your outdoor space, here are some easy-to-follow landscaping ideas perfect for both novice and expert plant parents.
Use As Foundation Plants
One of the classic ways of incorporating bushes into your landscape is to use them as foundation plants. You do that by planting your shrubs along the house wall to cover the concrete foundation of your house.
When opting for this landscaping style, I highly recommend measuring your planting area’s height and width allowance. This ensures that your plants won’t overcrowd each other when they reach their full size. Similarly, you won’t risk having a tall, full-grown bush unwantedly blocking the view from your window.
Mimic Nature’s Layered Style
Wild plants always look like puzzle pieces fitted together when they’re in a group because, in nature, plant heights vary. Tall ones at the back, medium-sized ones in the middle, and low-ground bushes in front. That’s the general arrangement idea you should keep in mind to create an eye-catching jungle-like garden theme in your yard.
Since bushes vary in size, you can mimic this layered style by using a variety of shrubs. But for a more striking effect, don’t shy away from incorporating trees, perennials, and other plant varieties when layering your garden.
Benefits Of Low Maintenance Shrubs In Your Yard
If you’re still unsure whether low maintenance shrubs are worth it, consider the benefits these plants can bring to your home sweet home.
Enhanced Curb Appeal
Bushes are one of the best shortcuts to enhance curb appeal quickly. Thanks to their diverse texture, colors, size, and uses, these plants can instantly transform the look of your outdoor space.
The best part?
Low maintenance bushes are adept at adapting to seasonal changes. Some change colors, while others bloom during specific months of the year, giving your curb a unique look for each passing season.
Increased Property Value
On top of simply improving the aesthetics of a house, attractive gardens create the impression that the entire property has been well taken care of. Hence, according to multiple real estate studies and surveys, well-maintained landscapes often increase the house’s selling value by 5% to 10%.
Some of the common mistakes include planting in the wrong location, using improper pruning techniques, under-watering, and not providing enough fertilizer. Understanding your bushes’ maintenance requirements is important to avoid these mistakes and ensure their proper growth and health.
On average, bushes last for 10-15 years, and after that, their health and aesthetics will diminish. However, their life span can be extended with proper care and maintenance.
If you notice your bush has discolored or yellowing leaves and dead/dried branches, these are often signs of underwatering, too much sun exposure, or environmental stress.
When talking about low maintenance landscapes, bushes should be included in the conversation. These plants are affordable to maintain, amazing at enhancing curb appeal, and extremely versatile. If you still can’t decide which plants to add to your dream garden, consider adding low maintenance bushes.