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How And What To Plant Around House Foundation

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Deciding on landscaping for your yard can be a tough process, but deciding what to plant around a house foundation can be especially tricky. Root systems have to be taken into account, and then there's spacing to worry about. But don't worry, because we did all the research for you.

Here are 5 plants that are fabulous choices for around a house foundation:

  1. Juniper
  2. Cherry laurel 
  3. Stonecrop
  4. Allium
  5. Catmint 

If you still have some questions about planting around a house foundation, don't stress. Keep reading to find out what makes these plants so special. There are also notable plants that should be avoided, which will be discussed later. 

Foundation of a house under construction, How And What To Plant Around House Foundation

1. Juniper (Common And Creeping) 

Juniper is so versatile that it can grow in soil, sand, and clay-like environments. Some species of juniper are also salt tolerant. This makes it a great foundation plant.

Here, we will be focusing on two different species of juniper. If ingested by household pets, there may be signs such as vomiting or diarrhea. That is the extent of the damage, however, you may want to swap plants if your pets continuously try to ingest it. 

Creeping Juniper growing on the side of the house

Common juniper is a landscape shrub that grows to about 4 feet tall. This plant does not spread as well as creeping juniper does, but it is just as hardy. Since this plant is an evergreen, it will remain a beautiful green all year long, even if it snows!

Creeping juniper is sometimes called The "blue rug" because of its blue tint and horizontal growth. It is drought resistant and can survive harsh winters.

Creeping juniper can also be used to add texture to flower beds, or it could be paired next to outdoor stairs. This shrub makes for a great house foundation plant because it also prevents erosion, and it can grow on a steep hill as well. 

How To Plant Juniper

The rules for planting juniper around the house foundation will vary between species of juniper. Common juniper should be planted about 2-4 feet apart. Creeping juniper needs quite a bit of space to roam, so don't plant too many close together. Try 5-6 feet of distance between those shrubs. 

2. Cherry Laurel 

Gorgeous blossoming cherry laurel at the garden

To begin with, this plant is toxic when ingested. We're not saying that children just grab tree leaves and eat them, but things would not be going well in the instance that something like that happened. If the plant drops anything in the yard, your housepets will need to be trained not to eat it! 

The benefits of planting cherry laurel on your house foundation include attracting butterflies, being salt and air pollution tolerant, it provides ground cover, and it has beautiful white flowers in spring.

Although it is a shrub, it appears more treelike. It can reach up to 25 feet in height, making it a good plant if you want privacy in the backyard. The plant can be grown along a fence as well. 

How To Plant Cherry Laurel

This evergreen shrub likes moist soil and does best in USDA zones 5-9. It should be planted in a sunny spot as well. The base of the trunk should be slightly above the ground level when first planted.

If you are planting several of them, try to keep them 3 feet apart. You can plant it as close as a foot and a half away from the house. If that's what you're going for, be prepared to trim it once in a while! Otherwise, move it back a few feet to give it space to grow. 

3. Stonecrop

Gorgeous Sedum flowerhead blooming early in the morning

Sometimes called "sedum," these plants are very easy to take care of. There are variations in species that prefer to creep low like shrubs, and then there are some that will prefer full sunshine to grow big and tall.

The leaves are small, round, thick, and glossy. They look similar to a shorter and different color jade succulent. They are rarely struck with disease and are also known for being drought resistant. 

How To Plant Stonecrop

When planting a stonecrop, be sure the plant is not submerged too deeply in the soil. This plant prefers to be in more shallow soil.

In addition, many people pair sedum plants with small pebbles or mulch to prevent weeds from growing nearby. Stonecrop does not do well in moist soil or clay, so be sure this is in an area where the soil will dry out appropriately. 

4. Allium

Allium giganteum flower heads blooming at the garden

Bees and butterflies love allium plants! These flowers shoot up and look like lollipops in your front yard. Allium is your best bet if you're looking for a grounded flower that doesn't spread too quickly.

These beautiful plants are easy to take care of and attract lots of pollinators. It is important to attract pollinators in our gardens to keep a balance in nature. 

If the allium stems begin to droop, that may be a sign that there is not enough soil drainage. Be sure you are not watering the allium on your house foundation after it is planted. Grounded flowers often do not need extra water and get what they need from the rain.

In addition, if the flowers become too crowded, it is important to thin them out. Just carefully remove every other or every second other plant. They can be replanted in a different location or gifted to someone. 

How To Plant Allium 

Since these plants bloom in spring and summer, you'll want to plant them in fall. They can be planted 4-8 inches deep in the soil and should be at least 6 inches apart from each other.

If you are planting them from bulbs but can't use them immediately, please store them properly in a dry area. Otherwise, plant the bulbs a few inches deep into the soil in a sunny area. Water thoroughly once, then wait for them to bloom.

5. Catmint 

Up close photo of a Catmint flower at the garden

Sometimes called "cat's meow" or "cat's pajamas," catmint comes in several lovely colors—violet, blue, and white. This flower was chosen because of how effortlessly it grows.

There is no need for fertilizing, and catmint can be trained to be drought resistant. The difference between the two species listed is that "cat's meow" will grow several feet taller than "cat's pajamas." Also, hummingbirds adore these flowers! Lastly, catmint does not self-sow and will not spread on its own. 

And, no, cats are not attracted to catmint. It is perfectly safe for them, though! 

How To Plant Catmint

Catmint should be planted in a full or partial sun area with good drainage. As stated earlier, this plant can be trained to be drought resistant.

For the first year, it should be watered and well drained though! A sign of overwatering is having few or floppy flowers. Mulch around the base of this plant will also prevent weeds from attacking them. 

Plants To Avoid Around House Foundation

Cottonwood

Cottonwood trees grow quicker than many other trees, and that makes them a great candidate for new homeowners.

However, the rapid growth means their limbs are not as strong as other plants. One bad rainstorm could leave your house in danger! In addition, cottonwood trees produce fluffy seeds in the warmer seasons. Unfortunately, those prone to allergies will want to stay away from these trees. 

Weeping Fig

Weeping fig plants have strong roots that damage house foundations and pipes. They have even been known to damage sewer pipes.

An aggressive root system combined with how deep their roots go does not make this a good choice. They do make for decent indoor plants though! If you still choose to plant a weeping fig on your property, be sure to do so at least 30 feet away from the home. 

Sweetgum

Sweetgum tree

Sweetgum trees have beautiful star-shaped leaves. Their leaves are very good markers of the seasons, making them an eye candy favorite. Sadly, the downsides of planting sweetgum trees on the house foundation outweigh its beauty.

In the fall and winter, these trees drop spikey clusters everywhere! These seed pods are difficult to just sweep away because they cling to everything. Technically, they are the fruit of the tree. They're an excellent snack for squirrels, but they are not so great for your yard. 

In addition, sweetgum trees have an aggressive root system. Sometimes, the roots will continue to grow even after you cut them down. They grow rapidly and they don't stop at anything. Unfortunately, that means cracked sidewalks and damaged house foundations. 

In Closing

Foundation of a house under construction

There are a lot of plants to choose from when designing your yard. Some trees don't make the cut due to their aggressive root systems. Others will drop unwanted waste that is difficult to clean up. But you can always count on these plants:

  • Juniper
  • Cherry laurel
  • Stonecrop
  • Allium
  • Catmint

Try to avoid placing trees too close to the house because it can damage the foundation and pipes. Opt for more shrub-like plants that can be trimmed to your liking. Or, plant different kinds of flowers to attract pollinators! Happy planting!

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