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What Tall Plants Can Be Planted Near a Foundation?

By Tammy Wood ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.


About the Author


Tammy Wood has been writing for more than 15 years, and has been published in the Chicken Soup For the Soul books, "Parenting" magazine and several websites. Wood serves as the director of online marketing for 12 organizations and creative director for BTC Interactive, a newsletter and article archive. She received a degree in business management from the University of Washington.