9 Top Curb Appeal Plants for Along Your Foundation

If foundation walls could talk, they’d beg for cover.

Star® Roses & Plants / Conard-Pyle

Concrete sure has a tough job, making sure your home stays where it’s supposed to. But let’s face it, it’s not doing anything for your curb appeal. Cover up cracks, unsightly pipes, and meh exposed walls with colorful blooms and bushes that will perk you up, too.

Here are 9 ideas for turning your front-yard eyesores into eye candy.

1. Hydrangea

Hydrangea | Best Foundation PlantingsKathryn Zbrzezny

Height: 3-5 ft.

Spread: 3-5 ft.

Zones: 5-9

Best for: Front-and-center locations where hydrangea’s thick foliage and large, loopy blooms do a great job of hiding plain-Jane foundation walls. In neutral soil expect ball-shaped, pink and lavender blossoms; in slightly acidic soil, they’ll bloom deep blue.

Tip: Keep plants at least two feet from your siding to prevent moisture problems and give them room to spread.

2. Encore Azalea (Rhododendron Encore hybrids)

Encore Azalea | Best Foundation PlantingsEric Cole

Height: 3-5 ft.

Spread: 3-5 ft.

Zones: 7-9 

Best for: Sunny spots that would fry other types of azaleas. Encore is a group of 25 hybrids that bloom in spring, and then again in late summer/early fall. Plants bloom either white, pink, red, or purple. Plant in slightly acidic soil with plenty of compost.

3. Carissa Holly (Ilex cornuta 'Carissa')

Carissa Holly | Best Foundation PlantingsDickerson Landscaping

Height: 3-4 ft.

Spread: 4-6 ft.

Zones: 7-9

Best for: Small areas. This compact plant has white blossoms in spring, and is perfect for low hedges and as a glossy, green background for your flowering perennials. It’s drought resistant but would appreciate weekly watering and mulch to keep it cool. Just don’t pile mulch next to your foundation: Moisture and bugs can get into cracks.

4. Rhododendron

Rhododendron | Best Foundation PlantingsStephen Brown/ sjb4photos

Height: 3-10 ft. (typically)

Spread: 3-6 ft.

Zones: 6-9

Best for: Planting in front of tall foundation walls and porches. Some varieties of these woody shrubs (Rhododendron ‘Nova Zembla’) can grow to 10 feet and climb the corner of your house creating a spectacular garden design focal point. Plant in partial sun; prune and fertilize after spring flowering.

Tip: Keep shrubs trimmed, so burglars don’t have a place to hide.

5. Laurel 'Otto Luyken' (Prunus laurocerasus)

Laurel | Otto Luyken | Best Foundation PlantingsDenise Dyko

Height: 3 ft.

Spread: 6 ft.

Zones: 6-9

Best for: Year-round green foliage that boosts curb appeal even in winter. Otto Luyken also produces white, spiky flowers in spring and tiny black fruit in late summer. Let the plant grow naturally for an informal look, or shape it after spring once it flowers. Water weekly and deeply during the first growing season and during dry weather.

6. Heavenly Bamboo (Nandina domestica 'Compacta')

Heavenly Bamboo | Best Foundation PlantingsClemson University

Height: 4-5 ft.

Spread: 3 ft.

Zones: 6-11

Best for: Four-season texture and color. Nandina sports bright red foliage and berries during fall and winter, making it a great accent for foundation plantings and food for birds. It does well in partial shade, but foliage grows brighter in full sun. Prune in spring to keep it tidy.

7. Blue Angel Hosta

Blue Angel Hosta | Best Foundation PlantingsCarolyn’s Shade Gardens

Height: 2-3 ft.

Spread: 3-4 ft.

Zones: 3-8

Best for: The shady sides of your house. This mounding, silver-blue perennial has lavender to white bell-shaped flowers in summer that show up on tall stalks. Like most shade plants, Blue Angel enjoys moist, mulch-covered soil. It will grow clumpy and tend to overwhelm its home, so divide every 2-3 years — free plants!

Related: Shade-Loving and Colorful Plants

8. Harland Dwarf Boxwood (Buxus harlandii)

Harland Dwarf Boxwood | Best Foundation PlantingsJoseph McCoy

Height: 4-6 ft. 

Spread: 4-6 ft.

Zones: 7-9

Best for: Adding evergreen color. This compact plant doesn’t require persnickety pruning and is more disease-resistant than other boxwoods. Harland will grow well in sun or partial shade and likes moist, well-draining soil. The miniature tree-like shape is a good mixer with other foundation plantings.

9. Knockout Rose (Rosa 'Radrazz')

Knockout Rose | Best Foundation PlantingsStar® Roses & Plants / Conard-Pyle

Height: 4 ft.

Spread: 3 ft.

Zones: 4-9

Best for: Continuous blooms that ensure your house looks good from spring to first frost. Compared with its fussy rose cousins, Knockouts are relatively disease-resistant and easy-care. But watch out for rose rosette disease, which can knock this super rose out cold. Cut back Knockouts in late winter to minimize chances of catching the virus.