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What Tall Plants Can Be Planted Near a Foundation?

When planting around a foundation, it is important to plant plants or trees that will not disturb the foundation itself. A common mistake is to plant large trees whose root systems, over time, can unsettle the foundation, this mistake can be costly for the homeowner and may result in replacing the foundation.

Choosing plants and trees with a non invasive root system is a great way to add beauty and privacy around the home or patio that you are landscaping. When choosing tall plants for around your foundation keep in mind your location and plants that are native to your area.

Sunny or Shade

Designate the area you intend to plant in. If it's a sunny spot, your tall plants need to be sun-loving varieties; if shady, then shade-loving plants are the perfect choice for you.


Choose small, flowering trees with a non-invasive root system such as royal poinciana, which offers orange to red flowers in summer and creates a beautiful umbrella-shaped crown for some shade. Another great choice is the flower dogwood tree, which grows well in all gardening zones with little to no maintenance.


Deciding on a shrub instead of a tree is best if privacy is desired around your foundation; keep in mind the height of the fully-grown shrub so you don't block a window or a walkway. The most commonly used shrub is the emerald-green Arborvitae, which is an evergreen, cone-shaped plant.


Using flowering plants such as rosemary, barberry and aucuba are a great idea for foundation planting. You will enjoy quick growth, and a variety of colors and scents. These plants are commonly used around a foundation as a non-invasive choice for a long-term landscaping solution.

Foundation Landscape Plants

Tall foundation plants, including small trees and large shrubs, can be positioned at the corners of a house or in front of blank walls between windows. It can also be pruned to specific shapes for greater formality. Where foundations are low or or non-existent, foundation plantings can consist of groundcovers, or be treated as standard garden borders with mixed plantings of annuals, perennials and small trees. It is hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9. Repeat-blooming annuals, such as sun-lovng California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), hardy in zones 6 to 10, provide color at the front of the planting layout. Roots can also damage foundations. Care should be taken when positioning foundation plants to allow for access for maintenance such as window washing, painting or repairs.

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