Lawn & Garden

The 14 Best Shrubs for the Front of the House

Add curb appeal, boost your property value, and enhance your home’s personality by planting these attractive shrubs.
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best shrubs for the front of the house - front yard landscaping


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Shrubs are the foundation plants that enhance a home’s curb appeal and personality. Carefully select the best shrubs to add privacy, block street noise, and transform a house into an inviting home with natural beauty.

While you’re at it, planting the right landscaping shrubs in front of your house can actually increase its property value. Past studies have shown that well-landscaped homes can sell for 5.5 to 12.7 percent more than they might otherwise be worth. A mature landscape incorporating the best shrubs for the front of the house can boost curb appeal, so consider the following shrubs for your front landscape.

1. Boxwood

best shrubs for the front of the house - round box wood shrub

With its glossy leaves, the boxwood is one of the most popular low-maintenance evergreen shrubs. One option is Franklin’s Gem Boxwood, which reaches about 2 feet tall. Because of its short stature, this boxwood can be planted in front of taller shrubs or along walkways for year-round greenery that won’t overtake the sidewalk. Meanwhile, Winter Gem is a slow-growing boxwood shrub reaching 6 to 8 feet tall, but it can be easily pruned to shape.

Best For: A manicured, neat appearance in partial or full sun.

2. Azalea

best shrubs for the front of the house - pink azalea bush

A deciduous cousin of rhododendron, the azalea features dense, dark foliage crowned in the spring by vibrant—sometimes fragrant—blooms of white, purple, pink, red, yellow, or orange. Accepting full sun or partial shade, azaleas prefer rich, moist but well-draining soil in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9. Most are small or medium in size at 3 to 6 feet tall, but they can be pruned for shape, size, and structure. They typically add a natural, informal style to landscapes.

Best For: Added bursts of spring color.

3. Rhododendron

best shrubs for the front of the house - large rhododendron shrubs

Because rhododendron varieties are evergreen and have larger leaves, these perennial shrubs are sometimes used in privacy hedges. Like their azalea relatives, rhodies are low-maintenance woody shrubs that prefer partial shade or dappled light, with some wind protection, in zones 5 to 8. They produce flower clusters in white, pink, purple, red, or orange in the spring.

Best For: Specimen or screening plants.

RELATED: 10 Colorful Shrubs for a Standout Winter Garden

4. Hydrangea

best shrubs for the front of the house - hydrangea bushes

For showy, long-lasting blooms in white, pink, blue, or purple (depending on your soil’s pH) from summer through fall, the hydrangea can’t be beat. Most are deciduous, with lush green foliage. Their natural form lends an informal look, but varieties that grow taller at about 3 to 5 feet high and wide can be pruned to shape. This easy- and fast-growing shrub prefers partial shade, dappled light, or morning sun in zones 5 to 9.

Best For: Informal landscapes or cottage gardens.

5. Rose

best shrubs for the front of the house - red rose bush

Roses, beloved symbols of love and beauty, are some of the most popular shrubs for full sun in zones 3 to 9. Many hybrids are available in colors ranging from white to pink, red, lavender, orange, and yellow, and the flowers are single or double. Heirloom cultivars are often fragrant. Most rose bushes grow 3 to 5 feet tall and spread up to 3 feet. Knock Out Roses are known to be particularly easy to grow. Pruning roses can be tricky due to their thorns, and some varieties are susceptible to disease.

Best For: Pairing with foliage plants.

6. Juniper

best shrubs for the front of the house - juniper shrub

Junipers are evergreen low-growing shrubs that thrive in full sun. Some varieties such as Blue Star have an aquamarine or blue tint to their foliage. Spreading up to 4 feet, junipers are perfect for foundation planting. While many types grow slowly, they can reach up to 6 feet tall. They tolerate most soils, are drought-tolerant, and are known to be low-maintenance evergreen shrubs in zones 3 to 9.

Best For: Low-effort winter color.

7. Yew

best shrubs for the front of the house - yew hedge border

A soft-needled, slow-growing evergreen conifer, the yew is usually counted among low-maintenance shrubs for shaded areas, although it can also handle full sun. Its dense foliage and ability to grow to 20 feet tall makes it a popular privacy hedge choice in zones 4 to 7. However, some dwarf varieties are shorter and yews are easy to prune to size or shape, endearing them to gardeners who value formal landscapes. Red berries punctuate their finely textured green foliage. All parts of the yew plant are toxic.

Best For: Any space that calls for an attractive evergreen.

8. Euonymus

best shrubs for the front of the house - yellow shrub

Another of the shrubs for shade in the front of the house, Euonymus is a low-maintenance hardy shrub genus that can grow up to 15 feet tall. Of the more than 175 varieties, Burning Bush is probably the most familiar cultivar, thanks to its fiery red fall foliage that makes it among popular yard plants. These fast-growing shrubs can be left to grow freely in zones 5 to 9, easily topping 6 feet, or they can be manicured to shape or to form a hedge.

Best For: Accentuating the yard with beautiful foliage or forming a compact hedge.

RELATED: The 15 Best Trees and Shrubs to Grow for Backyard Privacy

9. Holly

best shrubs for the front of the house - holly bush

This holiday favorite is a low-maintenance evergreen shrub with dark-green, glossy, notched leaves and bright red winter berries that attract birds. Some holly cultivars can grow to a staggering height of 30 feet, forming a trimmable privacy hedge, while others remain low-growing shrubs. Many holly varieties grow slowly and do well in full sun or partial shade. Mature hollies are drought-tolerant and can handle a variety of soil types.

Best For: Producing pretty berries in winter and small flowers in spring.

10. Weigela

best shrubs for the front of the house - pink weigela bush

One of spring’s most colorful shrubs, Weigela features yellow, white, pink or red funnel-shaped blooms. Some cultivars have variegated or purple leaves, adding to the colorful display. The sun-loving Weigela can grow up to 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide and can be pruned, but flowers bloom on the previous year’s branches. Dwarf varieties are less likely to obscure windows on the front of the house.

Best For: Spots with full sun, moist to well-draining soil, and plenty of room to spread.

11. Inkberry

best shrubs for the front of the house - inkberry evergreen bush

The inkberry is a low-growing evergreen featuring dark green foliage and long-lasting tiny white flowers that fade into dark blue berries favored by birds. Growing to a height of only 3 to 4 feet, this slow-growing shrub has a mounding habit that lends itself to formal gardens. It can be grown in containers on a sunny or partially shaded front porch in zones 4 to 9, but because it also tolerates poorly draining soil, it’s suitable for a pond or river edge.

Best For: Foundation planting or container gardening.

12. Forsythia

best shrubs for the front of the house - yellow forsythia hedge

The bold yellow flowers of the forsythia herald the coming of springtime in many areas. Once its foliage appears to dim the yellow buds’ brilliance, this fast-growing, low-maintenance shrub blends into the landscape through fall. Deciduous forsythia can grow up to 10 feet tall and wide, although its arching branches can be pruned to shape, making it an excellent choice for hedges. It’s tolerant of poor soils, moderate drought, and partial shade, but plant it in full sun in zones 5 to 8 to see its golden glory.

Best For: Locations with ample space to spread.

13. Spirea

best shrubs for the front of the house - white spirea hedge

Spirea is one of the easiest and most popular shrubs in zones 4 to 8. This fast grower can be used as a specimen plant or featured in groupings as a hedge or border. Bridal wreath spirea produces tiny bouquets of sweet-smelling white flowers on loose, arching branches in the spring, while Japanese spirea features purple flower clusters that last through summer. Different cultivars can grow up to 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide, but they can be pruned. They prefer full sun and well-draining soil.

Best For: Masses of cascading flowers in spring or summer (depending on the cultivar).

14. Viburnum

best shrubs for the front of the house - white viburnum bush

A fast-growing native shrub genus that produces large “balls” of fragrant white flowers is the Viburnum. Reaching as tall as 30 feet and up to 15 feet wide, this woody shrub must be planted where it has room to grow, but it can be successful as a foundation plant, screen, hedge, or border in zones 2 to 11. It needs a minimum of 6 feet from a house to give it room to mature. Across over 150 species of Viburnum, foliage ranges from glossy green to dull dark green, but Viburnum turns scarlet or purple in the fall. Different cultivars like partial to full sun, with well-draining, moist soil.

Best For: Large, fragrant, showy blooms.

RELATED: 12 Fast-Growing Shrubs to Plant This Fall