Attractive bushes add a finishing touch to the front of your home. Their presence makes landscaping look more manicured, and their protective covers provide housing for nesting birds. Many types of shrubs require pruning and extra maintenance, which consume a lot of precious time in today’s hectic world. Thankfully, there are some low-maintenance bushes that add beauty and symmetry to front-yard landscaping but require little maintenance in return.
The burning bush (Euonymus alatus), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, offers bright, fall color that brings vibrancy to your landscape. Native to Asia, this large, flat-topped shrub can grow up to 10 feet tall, depending on the variety. Burning bush turns flaming red in autumn, but it stays rich green in the spring. The bush handles a variety of climates, soils and sunlight hours. Its only real preference is that soil be well-drained.
The butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii), hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9, is a flowering shrub that blooms midsummer to fall. It gets its common name from myriad butterflies that feast on its nectar during flowering time. Blossoms vary in color but may be shades of pink, violet-red, purple-blue or white. Varieties can grow up to 10 feet tall and wide when given full sun and moist soil. Though not picky about its environment, butterfly bush prefers a layer of mulch to help conserve the moisture it prefers. In some climates, butterfly bush may be considered invasive.
Evergreen hollies bushes (Ilex spp.), hardy from USDA zones 3 through 9, tolerate varying environments and soils, but they all thrive and fruit best in full sun. Once established, they handle drought though moist soil is preferred. Mulching hollies helps retain moisture and evens soil temperatures for a healthier holly plant. Annual winter pruning keeps them compact and provides branches for holiday decor. To produce berries, hollies need a female bush and a male nearby. Enjoy the deep evergreen color of holly bushes year round.
The oleander bush (Nerium oleander), hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10, is another type of evergreen shrub that produces fragrant summer flowers. The blooms vary in color from apricot to reds, pinks, yellow or white. Oleander varieties grow up to 12 feet tall and withstand dry or marshy soils. Annual pruning creates a denser, bushier effect, but the plant does very well on its own. Though beautiful, all parts of this plant are poisonous if ingested. Oleander may be invasive in some regions as well.
- National Gardening Association Plant Care Guides: Oleander
- Virginia Cooperative Extension: Evergreen Hollies (Ilex spp.)
- Yardener: Planting Butterfly Bush
- National Gardening Association Plant Care Guides: Butterfly Bush
- Fine Gardening: Burning Bush -- Euonymus Alatus
- University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension: Burning Bush
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Plant Finder