What are Foundation Plants?
Foundation plants are shrubs planted in front of the house to conceal the naked foundation of the house. Shrubs planted in front of the house usually improve the curb appeal of the house. Foundation planting adds a manicured look to the lawn and helps the home to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding greenery. The photo below shows a home without foundation plants, looking bare and incomplete. A row of boxwoods in front of the house will greatly improve the curb appeal helping the home blend in better with the garden.
How to Choose Plants for Front of the House?
When choosing plants to be planted in front of the house, you should consider the size of the plant. I’d advise against planting large shrubs and trees in front of your house. First of all, large shrubs and trees planted in front of the house can block the natural sunlight coming into your house. You want to get as much sunlight into your house so avoid planting large shrubs and trees around the house. You also should consider the height of the windows, you don’t want shrubs to grow too tall to block the windows.
Second, shrubs and trees planted too close to the house can cause roots to harm the foundation and underground pipes. Shrubs too close to the house can also cause mold to grow on the siding.
And finally, come Fall, deciduous trees planted in front of the house will leave a lot of leaves in the gutter! Size matters when you are deciding on what type of shrubs to plant in front of the house.
What are the Best Boxwoods to Plant in Front of the House?
Boxwoods are excellent foundation plants for the front of the house. It gives the house a manicured look. Small and mid-sized boxwoods are best for front-of-the-house foundation plantings. You don’t want large boxwoods that will block windows in front of the house.
Which Side of the House is Best to Plant Boxwoods?
The north side of the house is the best side to plant boxwoods. Boxwoods don’t like direct sunlight, too much direct sunlight can kill your boxwoods. That’s why planting boxwoods on the north side of the house will prevent boxwoods from getting too much direct sunlight.
The next best side to plant boxwoods is the west side of the house, followed by the east side of the house. Planting boxwoods on the south side of the house should be avoided since it will be too much direct sunlight for your boxwood.
5 Best Boxwoods for Foundation Planting
Below you will find 5 best boxwoods for foundation planting.
1. Sprinter Boxwood (Buxus microphylla)
Sprinter boxwoods are good foundation plants. They are cold tolerant, fast-growing boxwoods with glossy, green leaves. Sprinter boxwoods can grow 2 to 4 feet high and 2 to 4 feet wide. It can tolerate full sun to part shade conditions.
2. Green Velvet Boxwood (Buxus ‘Green Velvet’)
Green Velvet boxwood is good for front of the house foundation planting. Growing in a round shape, it is a mid-sized boxwood, growing to a height of 3 to 4 feet and spread of 3 to 4 feet. Green velvet boxwoods have glossy, dark green evergreen leave. Plant Green velvet boxwood in full sun to partial shade, Perfect for foundation planting.
3. Jensen Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Jensen’)
Jensen boxwoods are good foundation plants. It is a mid-sized American boxwood variety that grows in a round, compact shape. Jensen boxwoods can grow to a height of 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. It looks good planted in a row in front of the house. Plant it on the side of the house with partial sun and protected from the wind.
4. Vardar Valley Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Vardar Valley’)
Vardar Valley Boxwood is another good option for front of the house foundation planting. It has blue-green leaves and is one of the most cold hardy boxwoods. Vardar Valley Boxwoods can grow to 2 to 3 feet in height and 3 to 6 feet in width. It grows well in full sun to shade so it’s ideal if you have a shaded side that needs foundation plants. Just know that Vardar Valley boxwoods are wider and grows horizontally rather than tall and round.
5. Green Gem Boxwood (Buxus microphylla var. koreana x Buxus sempervirens )
Green Gem boxwoods are good foundation plants. They are round-shaped boxwoods growing to 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet side. It has excellent winter hardiness and is resistant to winter burn. Green Gem boxwoods have oval, glossy dark green leaves. It holds its color well in the winter. Green Gem boxwoods likes full sun to partial shade, plant it in the north or west side of the house protected from wind.
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How Far to Plant Boxwoods from the House?
Boxwoods are often planted in a row in front of the house. Boxwoods are good foundation shrubs, giving the house a manicured look. However, don’t plant boxwoods too close to the house. Planting boxwoods too close to your house can harm boxwoods.
Boxwoods should be planted 2 to 3 feet away from the house. Dwarf boxwoods should be planted 2 feet from the house while larger boxwoods such as Winter Gem boxwoods should be planted 3 feet from the house.
Don’t Plant Boxwoods too Close to Downspouts
Never plant boxwoods too close to downspouts. The water accumulation from the downspout will kill your boxwood. If you have boxwoods near downspouts, move them immediately and replant it in another location.
How Far Apart to Plant Boxwoods for Front of House?
Compared to boxwood hedges, if you are planting boxwoods in a row as a grouping, you can have a little more space between boxwoods. In general, boxwoods planted as foundation plants in front of the house should be planted 2 to 3 feet apart. Use the boxwood spacing calculator below to figure out how far apart to plant boxwoods. We have adjusted the Boxwood Spacing Calculator for planting boxwoods in a row and not hedges.