(Part 4 of a four-part series on Trees, Accent plants, and Landscaping)

With so many beautiful flowers, shrubbery, and trees to choose from, selecting the right plants for your landscaping can seem a bit overwhelming. The majority of us choose a plant because we like its appearance; however, for a plant to thrive and survive in your yard, you have to look beyond the visual aspect. The soil conditions, climate, and the design of your landscape all need to be considered when choosing the right plants for your landscape.

When the right plant is planted in the right place with ideal growing conditions, the following results:

• The plants establish themselves quickly, growing and getting strong (bulking up).
• They produce healthy root systems and steady top growth.
• They can withstand insect and disease attacks. A plant that is in the wrong place will not be healthy or strong. When a bug comes along,     whether an insect or a disease, the wrong plants are perfect specimens for infection.

Plan Before Planting

To ensure you are planting the right plants in the right places, you need a plan. A plan, for which plants will thrive in your landscape, is the key to success when choosing plants. Investing your time in planning before planting results in using less time maintaining the plants you choose. Additionally, you save money by not having to replace the plants that did not survive because they were not suitable for your yard.

A good place to start is with the USDA Hardiness Zone Map. This map provides information pertaining to your zone and reveals whether or not plants can survive the winter in your area. Filling a landscape with plants that are hardy to your particular zone almost guarantees successful plant survival.

Follow the Light

On a day when you are home all day, observe your yard for sunlight, ideally every hour. Take notes so you remember which areas of your yard receive full sunlight and which are in partial shade. When shopping for plants, you will know if the plant you are considering for a particular space will flourish there.

Dig a Little

Different plants require different types of soil; therefore, you need to know what type of soil you have. All soil consists of three types of weathered rock particles – sand, silt, and clay. It is how these three particles are combined that define your soil’s type – how it feels to the touch, how it holds water, and how it is managed, among other things. One of the great characteristics about soil is that you can change it. For example, clay soil is slow-draining soil and can be made faster-draining and more porous by adding organic matter like compost. However, before you decide to go to the expense of changing your soil, research the types of plants that grow in the soil you have. You just might find something that you love and that thrives there, as well.

Size It Up (or down)

Plants need width space for spreading and headspace for growing. Look for plant tags that state how large plants will grow in ideal conditions. Plan for this and make sure you have the space the plant needs. Tall plants can be an eyesore in the wrong place; however, in the right place, they can form a privacy “fence” or a vibrant backdrop for other plants. Plants that are too small may disappear from sight if surrounding plants or hardscaping dwarf them.

No Green Thumb Required

There are many, many plant choices you can make for your landscape, that suit you and add curb appeal to your home. With a little research and careful planning and planting, your plants can thrive. If you need assistance choosing the right plants for the right places, call Hyatt Landscaping, Inc. at 704-888-5390. We are a family-owned company with over 30 years’ experience in the landscaping industry. Offering services including but not limited to custom landscape design, installation, grading, drainage, irrigation, landscape lighting, and outdoor living spaces, we will be more than happy to help you.