15+ Best Bushes to Plant in Front of Your House: 2024 Guide

Last Updated on May 10, 2024 by Kimberly Crawford

Why settle for a dull front yard when you can spice it up with some lively bushes? Picking the right green pals isn’t just about boosting your home’s curb appeal—it can also bump up your property’s value big time. But hey, not all bushes are created equal, so how do you pick the winners?

When you’re on the hunt for the best bushes to plant in front of your house, think about what these plants gotta deal with. Are they sunbathing beauties or shade lovers? How much primping and pruning are they going to need? And let’s not forget, they’ve gotta look good!

So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting to dip your toes in the dirt, I’ll guide you through choosing bushes based on their growth habits, maintenance needs, and, of course, how snazzy they’ll make your front yard look.

Let’s get your garden glowing with some top-notch bush choices that make the neighbors say, “Wow!”

In this article

brushes to plant in front of house 6

Factors to Consider When Choosing Bushes

Climate and Hardiness Zone

Hey, you gotta make sure your new green buddies can handle where they’re living, right? Picking bushes that match your area’s climate and hardiness zone isn’t just smart—it’s a must.

If you’re in a chill zone, don’t go planting something that prefers the beach-like warmth. It’s all about making sure these plants can tough out your local weather, whether that’s scorching summers or frosty winters.

Sunlight and Water Requirements

Now, let’s talk about the thirsty and sun-loving needs of bushes. Every plant has its own likes. Some are sun worshippers, while others thrive in the shade. And when it comes to water, it’s the same deal.

Some bushes are pretty low-maintenance, needing just a sip here and there, while others might be a bit more demanding. Matching sunlight and water requirements to what you can provide makes a huge difference. It keeps them looking fresh and healthy without you breaking a sweat.

Maintenance Levels

Okay, so how hands-on do you wanna be with your bushes? If you’re not into regular pruning and fussing, choose bushes that are more or less self-reliant. But if you don’t mind a bit of yard work, you might opt for something that needs a bit more TLC.

Remember, the right maintenance can make or break how these bushes boost your curb appeal.

Growth and Space

Last thing—you need to think about how big these green giants are gonna get. It’s all fun and games until a bush starts blocking your windows or cramping your front door.

Understanding their growth patterns and how much space they’ll need can save you a ton of headaches later. Plant them where they can grow into their full, beautiful selves without crowding the neighborhood.

Best Bushes To Plant In Front Your House

1. Boxwood (Buxus spp.): Ideal for Structured Designs, Low Maintenance

Key Features

NameBoxwood (Buxus spp.)
USDA Hardiness Zones4 to 9
Flower ColorNon-showy, small
Light RequirementFull sun to partial shade
Soil NeedsWell-drained, adaptable to most soils
Water RequirementModerate, more in extreme heat
Mature Size2-12 ft. tall, 2-8 ft. wide
Deer ResistanceYes

Boxwoods are the MVPs when you need some neat, green edges in your yard without breaking a sweat.

These bushy buddies are champs at keeping their cool, looking crisp and clean all year round. They’re pretty chill about where they grow but give them a spot that drains well, and they’re good to go.

Care Tips

Water them enough to keep the soil from going dry, especially when it’s hot out. They aren’t too picky about water but don’t let them turn into a puddle party. Snip and trim to keep them in shape. Think of it like a quick haircut—it keeps them looking their best.

2. Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.): Offers Beautiful Blooms and Shade Tolerance

Instagram: @historybythesea

Key Features

NameHydrangea (Hydrangea spp.)
USDA Hardiness Zones3 to 9
Flower ColorBlues, pinks, purples, whites
Light RequirementPart shade to full sun
Soil NeedsMoist, rich, well-drained soil
Water RequirementHigh, consistent moisture
Mature Size3-15 ft. tall, 3-12 ft. wide
Deer ResistanceNo

Hydrangeas are like the divas of the garden world with their big, bold blooms that can jazz up any shady spot.

These flowery show-offs love a bit of the spotlight but will do just fine in the shadows too. Give them rich, comfy soil that stays moist, and they’ll reward you with a color show that’ll knock your socks off.

Care Tips

Keep the soil moist but not soggy—hydrangeas are thirsty but they can’t swim. They love a good drink during dry spells.

Cut back the old flowers and dead branches to help them put on a show next season. Think of it as prepping your garden’s stage for another blockbuster performance next year.

3. Azalea (Rhododendron spp.): Bright Spring Flowers and Evergreen Options


Key Features

NameAzalea (Rhododendron spp.)
USDA Hardiness Zones4 to 9
Flower ColorVaries widely (pink, red, white, purple)
Light RequirementPartial shade preferred
Soil NeedsAcidic, well-drained
Water RequirementModerate, consistent moisture
Mature Size2-8 ft. tall, 2-8 ft. wide
Deer ResistanceRarely bothered by deer

Azaleas are the show-offs of the spring garden, bursting with bright colors that can light up any shady spot.

They’re pretty flexible and come in both deciduous and evergreen varieties, so you’ve got options no matter what your garden vibe is. They dig acidic soil—think coffee-lovers, but for dirt.

Care Tips

These plants are like that friend who always has their drink just right—not too hot, not too cold. Keep their soil moist but not waterlogged. They’re not into wet feet. A bit of mulch can help keep their roots cool and happy. Pruning right after they bloom keeps them looking tidy and ready to show off again next season.

4. Forsythia: Early Spring Bloomers, Vibrant Yellow Flowers

Instagram: @auringonlaita

Key Features

USDA Hardiness Zones5 to 8
Flower ColorBright yellow
Light RequirementFull sun to partial shade
Soil NeedsNot fussy, well-drained
Water RequirementModerate, drought tolerant once established
Mature Size8-10 ft. tall, 10-12 ft. wide
Deer ResistanceGenerally deer resistant

When spring is just stepping through the door, Forsythia bushes are already throwing a bright yellow party.

These guys are the first hint that warmer days are coming, lighting up with golden blooms before most other plants have even got their leaves sorted. They’re pretty chill about where they grow, as long as the water drains away nicely.

Care Tips

Forsythias are low-fuss when it comes to care. Give them a sunny spot, and they’ll reward you with a yellow blaze each spring. They like a good drink during the first growing season to set down roots, but once they’re settled, they’re good at dealing with a drought.

A yearly trim after they bloom keeps them from turning into a tangled mess, so you keep those sunny vibes going strong.

5. Lilac (Syringa spp.): Fragrant Flowers in Late Spring

Instagram: @muza114

Key Features

NameLilac (Syringa spp.)
USDA Hardiness Zones3 to 7
Flower ColorVarious shades of purple, white, and pink
Light RequirementFull sun
Soil NeedsWell-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline
Water RequirementModerate
Mature Size5-15 ft. tall, 5-12 ft. wide
Deer ResistanceDeer resistant

Lilacs are like a blast from the past, bringing that old-school charm with their heart-melting fragrance every late spring. These bushes become the star of the neighborhood when they bloom, drawing both eyes and noses.

They offer a variety of colors, from deep purples to light pinks and even whites, making them versatile for any garden backdrop.

Care Tips

To keep your lilacs happy and healthy, plant them in a sunny spot where they can bask in at least 6 hours of sunlight a day—they’re sun worshipers at heart. They’re not too picky about soil, as long as it drains well.

Water them regularly, but don’t overdo it; they don’t like soggy feet. After bloom, trim the spent flowers and shape the bush to encourage growth for next year’s show.

6. Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum): Striking Foliage, Variety of Sizes

Japanese Maple

Key Features

NameJapanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
USDA Hardiness Zones5 to 8
Leaf ColorVarieties include red, purple, green
Light RequirementPartial shade preferred
Soil NeedsAcidic, well-drained
Water RequirementConsistent moisture
Mature Size10-25 ft. tall, varies widely
Deer ResistanceSomewhat deer resistant

Japanese Maples are the drama queens of the plant world, showing off with dazzling leaves that can turn any garden corner into a focal point.

Their leaves change colors with the seasons, providing a year-round display of natural artistry. These trees come in various sizes and shapes, making them perfect for both large landscapes and small garden nooks.

Care Tips

These maples thrive in a bit of shade, especially in the hotter parts of the day, which keeps their leaves from burning. They like their soil like their coffee—slightly acidic and well-drained. Keep the soil consistently moist but not wet to promote healthy growth.

They’re a bit high maintenance compared to other plants, but the breathtaking views they offer year-round are well worth the effort. Pruning in late summer or early fall can help maintain their shape and encourage vibrant leaf production.

7. Spirea: Season-Long Interest with Minimal Care

Instagram: @pinacolada_garden

Key Features

USDA Hardiness Zones3 to 8
Flower ColorPink, white
Light RequirementFull sun to partial shade
Soil NeedsWell-drained, adaptable to many types
Water RequirementModerate
Mature Size2-6 ft. tall, 2-6 ft. wide
Deer ResistanceGenerally deer resistant

Spirea shines as a low-maintenance hero in the garden. This bush keeps the color coming all season long with its waves of pink or white flowers. Perfect for gardeners who want to pack a punch without the fuss. It fits just about anywhere, from borders and beds to container gardens.

Care Tips

Spirea isn’t fussy. It likes a sunny spot but can handle a bit of shade. As for soil, as long as it drains well, your spirea will be content.

Water them regularly, but they can tolerate a bit of drought once established. After flowering, give them a quick trim; this encourages them to rebloom and maintain a neat shape.

8. Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana): Unique Winter Blooms

Witch Hazel
Instagram: @tom_de_witte_

Key Features

NameWitch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
USDA Hardiness Zones3 to 8
Flower ColorYellow
Light RequirementFull sun to partial shade
Soil NeedsWell-drained, acidic to neutral
Water RequirementModerate
Mature Size15-20 ft. tall, 10-15 ft. wide
Deer ResistanceSomewhat deer resistant

Witch Hazel is one of those winter wonders that offers a splash of color when most other plants are taking a nap. Its unique yellow flowers appear in the dead of winter, bringing a burst of cheer to chilly landscapes.

Care Tips

Witch Hazel loves sunlight but appreciates a bit of afternoon shade in hotter areas. It prefers acidic to neutral soil that’s well-drained. Regular watering helps keep it happy, especially when young.

Witch Hazel doesn’t need much pruning; just tidy it up a bit in early spring if needed. It’s a great choice for adding interest during the colder months and works well as a natural privacy screen.

9. Holly (Ilex spp.): Evergreen, with Berries for Winter Interest

Key Features

NameHolly (Ilex spp.)
USDA Hardiness Zones3 to 9
Berry ColorRed, yellow, black, white
Light RequirementFull sun to partial shade
Soil NeedsWell-drained, slightly acidic
Water RequirementModerate
Mature Size2-50 ft. tall, 2-25 ft. wide
Deer ResistanceGenerally deer resistant

Holly is a robust evergreen that not only adds greenery all year long but also spices up the winter scene with its colorful berries. These plants are versatile, with varieties ranging from small shrubs to large trees, and they can really bring a garden to life during the colder months when color is scarce.

Care Tips

Holly plants thrive best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. They prefer well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Regular watering is important, especially in dry conditions, to keep the plant healthy and stress-free.

Pruning should be done in winter or early spring to maintain shape and encourage new growth. Remember, hollies are dioecious, so you’ll need both male and female plants if you want those vibrant berries!

10. Rhododendron: Large Blooms, Variety of Colors

Instagram: @man_tac

Key Features

USDA Hardiness Zones4 to 8
Flower ColorWhite, pink, red, purple, yellow
Light RequirementPartial shade preferred
Soil NeedsWell-drained, acidic
Water RequirementModerate to high
Mature Size2-25 ft. tall, 2-25 ft. wide
Deer ResistanceSomewhat deer resistant

Rhododendrons are a favorite among gardeners for their spectacular large blooms that come in a dazzling array of colors.

These shrubs are particularly loved for their ability to thrive in shady spots where other plants might struggle, making them a fantastic choice for adding a burst of color to dimmer parts of the garden.

Care Tips

Rhododendrons need a sheltered spot with dappled shade, avoiding intense afternoon sun which can damage their leaves. They thrive in acidic, well-drained soil that is kept consistently moist.

Mulching helps retain moisture and keeps their roots cool. Regular watering during dry periods will keep them at their best, especially when they are blooming.

Pruning is seldom necessary, but if done, it should be immediately after flowering to ensure the plant has time to produce buds for the next season.

11. Rose Bushes (Rosa spp.): Classic Beauty, Requires More Care

rose bushes
Instagram: @our_norcal_nest

Key Features

NameRose Bushes (Rosa spp.)
USDA Hardiness Zones3 to 11
Flower ColorWide range including red, pink, white, yellow
Light RequirementFull sun
Soil NeedsWell-drained, fertile
Water RequirementRegular, consistent
Mature Size1-7 ft. tall, depending on variety
Deer ResistanceNot deer resistant

Rose bushes are the quintessential symbol of classic beauty in the garden, known for their stunning blooms and captivating fragrances. They come in a vast array of colors and styles, making them a favorite for both new and experienced gardeners looking to add a touch of elegance to their outdoor spaces.

Care Tips

Roses thrive in full sun, requiring at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. They prefer well-drained, fertile soil and benefit from regular feeding with rose-specific fertilizers to encourage robust growth and blooming.

Regular watering is crucial, especially during dry spells, to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Pruning is essential both for shape and health; removing dead or weak branches in early spring and deadheading spent blooms during the flowering season will promote further blooming.

12. Lavender (Lavandula spp.): Fragrant and Drought-Resistant

Instagram: @beatanison

Key Features

NameLavender (Lavandula spp.)
USDA Hardiness Zones5 to 9
Flower ColorTypically purple, but can also be blue, white, and pink
Light RequirementFull sun
Soil NeedsWell-drained, low fertility, alkaline
Water RequirementLow, drought-resistant
Mature Size1-3 ft. tall and wide
Deer ResistanceDeer resistant

Lavender is highly valued for its soothing fragrance and beautiful, delicate flowers. This hardy plant is particularly drought-resistant, making it an excellent choice for gardeners in dryer climates or those looking to reduce their water usage.

Its silvery foliage and vibrant blooms provide a beautiful contrast in the garden or as a border plant.

Care Tips

Lavender requires full sun and well-drained soil; it does not tolerate wet feet, so be sure to avoid overwatering. The plant thrives in low fertility, alkaline soil, which helps to develop stronger aromas in the flowers.

Minimal watering is required once established, making lavender a great low-maintenance option. Pruning back in early spring or after flowering can help maintain its shape and promote vigorous growth, ensuring blooms year after year.

13. Barberry (Berberis spp.): Vibrant Foliage, Thorny Deterrent for Animals

Instagram: @camilliabloomsbury

Key Features

NameBarberry (Berberis spp.)
USDA Hardiness Zones4 to 8
Foliage ColorRed, orange, yellow, green
Light RequirementFull sun to partial shade
Soil NeedsWell-drained, tolerant of most types
Water RequirementLow
Mature Size2-8 ft. tall, 2-6 ft. wide
Deer ResistanceHigh due to thorns

Barberry stands out with its vibrant foliage that adds color to your garden throughout the year. The thorny branches make it an excellent choice for deterring animals and adding a protective barrier. It’s adaptable to various conditions and provides striking color contrast in landscape designs.

Care Tips

Barberry plants are quite low-maintenance but perform best in full sun, which enhances the color of their leaves. They require well-drained soil and are drought-tolerant once established, needing only occasional watering.

Pruning should be done annually to shape the plant and encourage new growth. Always wear gloves when handling to avoid thorns.

14. Juniper (Juniperus spp.): Drought-Resistant and Good for Ground Cover

Key Features

NameJuniper (Juniperus spp.)
USDA Hardiness Zones3 to 9
Foliage ColorGreen, blue-green, golden
Light RequirementFull sun
Soil NeedsWell-drained, adaptable
Water RequirementLow, drought-resistant
Mature SizeVaries widely; 6 in. to 20 ft. tall
Deer ResistanceGenerally deer resistant

Juniper is a robust and versatile evergreen that serves well as ground cover, with certain varieties growing into tall trees.

It’s particularly noted for its drought resistance and ability to thrive in poor soils, making it a staple in landscapes that aim for low maintenance and year-round greenery.

Care Tips

This plant loves full sun and well-drained soil. Once established, Junipers are incredibly drought-tolerant, requiring minimal watering.

They can benefit from occasional trimming to keep their shape and prevent them from becoming too woody. Junipers are generally pest-free but should be monitored for signs of fungal diseases, especially in humid climates.

15. Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’): Small and Cone-Shaped, Perfect for Tight Spaces

Key Features

NameDwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’)
USDA Hardiness Zones2 to 8
Foliage ColorBright green
Light RequirementFull sun to partial shade
Soil NeedsWell-drained, moist
Water RequirementModerate
Mature Size10-12 ft. tall, 4-5 ft. wide
Deer ResistanceGenerally deer resistant

The Dwarf Alberta Spruce is ideal for small gardens or as a specimen plant in landscape designs, thanks to its compact, cone-shaped form.

Its dense, bright green needles and slow growth rate make it a popular choice for both formal and informal settings.

Care Tips

Dwarf Alberta Spruce thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers moist, well-drained soil. It requires regular watering, especially during dry spells, to keep the soil consistently moist.

Annual feeding with an evergreen-specific fertilizer can help maintain its lush appearance. Pruning is rarely necessary, but any brown or damaged branches should be removed to keep the plant healthy and attractive.

Design Tips for Arranging Bushes in Front of Your House

Principles of Landscape Design: Balance, Focus, Contrast

When designing the landscape in front of your house, three main principles can guide you to create a visually appealing and harmonious garden: balance, focus, and contrast.

Balance involves arranging bushes and plants in a way that promotes symmetry or asymmetry, depending on your preference. Symmetrical balance creates a mirror image from one side of the garden to the other, often seen in more formal landscapes. Asymmetrical balance, on the other hand, uses different plants and objects of varying sizes, forms, and colors to create equilibrium without mirroring. This style is more casual and natural-looking.

Focus is about drawing attention to a specific part of your landscape. This could be a unique plant, a colorful bush, or a series of shrubs that lead the eye to the front door or a beautiful window. The idea is to use bushes to create focal points that catch and direct attention within the garden.

Contrast can be achieved through varying textures, colors, and shapes. Contrast adds interest and depth to your landscape. For example, planting a soft-textured, silver-leaved bush next to a rough, dark green conifer can highlight the features of each. Similarly, contrasting colors can make each plant stand out more vividly.

Tips on Arranging Bushes for Curb Appeal

Arranging bushes for maximum curb appeal not only enhances the beauty of your home but can also increase its value. Here are some practical tips to consider:

  1. Entrance Framing: Plant bushes in a way that frames your home’s entrance, guiding the eye and the path towards the main doorway. This can make the entrance feel more inviting.
  2. Layering: Create depth by planting bushes of varying heights and sizes. Start with taller bushes in the back and graduate to medium and shorter ones towards the front. This layering effect adds richness and fullness to your landscape.
  3. Repetition: Repeat similar plants and colors to create a cohesive look. This doesn’t mean you can’t have variety, but repeating key elements can tie different areas together visually.
  4. Year-Round Interest: Choose a mix of deciduous and evergreen bushes so that your front yard remains attractive throughout the year. Consider bushes that offer colorful berries, interesting bark, or fall color to extend the seasons of interest.
  5. Spacing and Proportion: Be mindful of the mature size of bushes to avoid overcrowding. Proper spacing allows each plant enough room to grow to its full potential without being stifled by its neighbors.
  6. Complementary Colors: Select bushes that have complementary colors to your home’s exterior. For example, if your house is a warm tone, cool-colored bushes can provide a striking contrast.
  7. Maintenance Accessibility: Ensure there is enough space between your home and the bushes to allow for easy maintenance. This will help in keeping both the building and plants healthy.

Maintenance Tips for Keeping Your Bushes Healthy

Proper maintenance is crucial for keeping your bushes vibrant and healthy. Below, we delve into key aspects such as pruning techniques, fertilization and watering schedules, and pest and disease management.

Pruning Techniques

Pruning is essential not only to maintain the shape and size of your bushes but also to encourage healthy growth and flowering. Here are some general tips for effective pruning:

  • Timing: For flowering bushes, prune immediately after blooms fade to avoid cutting off next year’s blossoms. For non-flowering, evergreen bushes, late winter or early spring before new growth starts is ideal.
  • Tools: Use sharp, clean pruning shears, loppers, or a pruning saw depending on the thickness of the branches. Clean tools between cuts, especially if pruning diseased plants.
  • Technique: Always cut back to a live stem or a bud that points in the direction you want the bush to grow. This directs the growth outward, improving air circulation and shape.
  • Rejuvenation: Older, overgrown bushes may benefit from rejuvenation pruning, which involves cutting the plant back to a height of 6-12 inches above the ground. This encourages new growth.

Fertilization and Watering Schedules

Providing the right amount and type of nutrients, along with adequate water, is key to healthy, robust bushes.

  • Fertilization: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring to kickstart growth. Read the product’s label for specific application rates and timing. Some flowering bushes may benefit from a fertilizer higher in phosphorus to encourage blooms.
  • Watering: Newly planted bushes need regular watering to establish roots. Once established, most bushes thrive on a consistent but moderate watering schedule. Water deeply once a week rather than a little every day to encourage deep root growth. Use a drip irrigation system or soaker hoses to minimize water waste and keep foliage dry, which helps prevent disease.

Pest and Disease Management

Keeping bushes healthy also involves proactive pest and disease control strategies:

  • Regular Inspection: Regularly check for signs of pests or disease, such as discolored leaves, wilting, or unusual spots. Early detection is key to effective management.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Use a combination of cultural, physical, biological, and chemical methods to manage pests and diseases. For example, encouraging beneficial insects that prey on harmful pests can reduce the need for chemical interventions.
  • Cultural Practices: Ensure good air circulation by spacing plants properly and pruning regularly. Remove any fallen debris and dead plant material, which can harbor pests and diseases.
  • Chemical Controls: Use fungicides and insecticides sparingly and as a last resort. Choose products that are specific to the problem and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.