Tips for Landscaping With Shrubs

Shrubs dress up your home's landscape with a lush green look. The variety of shrubs available allows you to find a plant that works well with your home's design, the climate and your personal preferences. Adding shrubs to the landscape involves more than just digging holes and placing the shrubs in them. Create a landscaping plan for the shrubs before you purchase and plant them and keep in mind some of these basic tips.


Identify your purpose for the shrubs. Many shrubs are decorative in nature. Shrubs can also serve as a privacy barrier for the home. A row of privacy shrubs works well along a sidewalk or to divide the land from the neighbors. Keep the purpose in mind as you select the type of shrubs and when you choose the shrub location. Shrubs can also help increase the energy efficiency of your home by blocking sun and wind.


Selecting shrubs requires looking at several factors. Your growing zone is one of the most important considerations. The USDA defines the plant hardiness zones, which are based on the climate and conditions in the area. Use the interactive map listed in the Resource section to identify your zone before you purchase your shrubs. Make sure the shrubs you want work well in your zone. Also consider the desired look you want from the shrubs. Some shrubs flower while others don't. You'll also find that the look of the leaves (or needles), the size of the plants and the rate of their growth varies depending on the type of shrub.


The placement of the shrubs impacts how well they fit into the landscape design. The placement also determines how well they grow, provide privacy or increase the energy efficiency of your home. Look at your home's landscaping from across the street or road to get a good look at the shrub placement options. Avoid placing the shrubs too close your home's foundation, sidewalks or other structures. As the shrubs grow, so do their roots, which can cause damage to these structures. The height of the shrub is also a concern if you're placing it near a window. Be aware of the sunlight requirements of the shrubs you choose and place them in a spot that affords them the right amount of sunlight.

Keywords: landscaping plan, selecting and planting shrubs, shrub placement, yard design, landscape architecture

About this Author

Shelley Frost is an Iowa-based writer specializing in parenting and education topics. She started writing for online publications over two years ago. Her work can be found on websites such as and Frost holds a B.A. in elementary education with a minor in reading.