The Best Driveway Shrubs
When considering the best types of shrubs for planting along your driveway, you must factor in the plant's size. Shrubs that grow too large can become impossible to see over or around, making for a potentially dangerous situation. In cold climates where road salt may wind up on your driveway to deter ice and snow buildup, the shrub's resistance to salt also plays a part in your selection.
Most juniper species are tolerant of salt, a fact that makes a shrub such as creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) a good choice for a driveway planting. Growing only to 2 feet tall but capable of spreading out as it matures to 8 feet, this evergreen will provide you with ample color year-round. Creeping juniper can grow in gravelly soil that often is present along driveways, especially those that are unpaved. Creeping juniper, hardy to USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 4, will produce a blue cone similar to a waxy berry. The shrub is not difficult to transplant and it comes in multiple cultivars suitable for lining your driveway. One is the Prince of Wales, growing to just 6 inches, while the other, Andorra juniper, is taller, growing to 18 inches.
Able to withstand extreme cold as far north as Zone 2, the bush cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa) will not flourish south of Zone 7. Salt resistant and growing to no more than 5 feet, this shrub works well along a driveway. Bush cinquefoil features attractive and showy yellow flowers that will bloom from June to early fall. These will bring butterflies calling in search of their nectar. Bush cinquefoil has many upright branches and its leaves are compound in nature, with a bluish-green tint. The shrub is an easy one to grow, is low maintenance and will develop even in soil of low quality.
- Most juniper species are tolerant of salt, a fact that makes a shrub such as creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis) a good choice for a driveway planting.
The floribunda rose is a deciduous shrub that grows low to the ground, often less than 2 feet tall. The Electric Blanket cultivar (Rosa korpancom) is one that you can plant in mounds along your driveway. The species is suitable for growing in Zones 5 through 9. Electric Blanket produces pink flowers that first bloom in May and continue blooming up until the first killing frost. This hybrid of the floribunda rose will do best along those sections of your driveway that receive full sun, although it will withstand some light shade. When asking for this species, avoid the tree form if you wish to plant it along your driveway, as that type will grow too high for such a purpose.
John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.