Finding the perfect plants for your front yard isn't always as easy as it seems. For example, do you want to plant shrubs in front of your home but don't know how tall they should be? Is it better to have your shrubs grow super tall in front of your house or keep them shorter?
Luckily, we've done some research into these questions and have the answers below.
Depending on what you're after, the shrubs in front of your home may need to grow somewhat tall. However, homeowners generally keep their front-yard shrubs between six and ten feet tall.
One thing you want to consider is where your shrubs are located. If they're near the sidewalk in front of your home, they should grow tall, while ones under a window shouldn't get big enough to block your outside view.
As we start this article, we will cover all things growing and maintaining shrubs in front of your house. Whether you need more privacy, have an overbearing shrub species, or need extra tips and tricks, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!
How Tall Should The Shrubs In Front Of A Home Be?
In general, you want the shrubs in front of your house to be tall enough they give you privacy. For example, we recommended between six and ten feet for your greenery.
With that said, you shouldn't grow your shrubs so big that you can't see what's happening outside. Suppose your windows are around 5-6 feet from the ground.
In that situation, we recommend keeping your shrubs at six or less feet tall. That's so you can still see the outside from your home, which is safer than not knowing.
Additionally, you don't want your front yard shrubs to become so large they block an entrance or sidewalk. Especially if you live in a city with street-facing sidewalks/ramps, you could get a fine for letting your plants take over.
Furthermore, some experts even recommend some privacy shrubs grow between 15 and 20 feet tall: so this can become quite the project.
How Close To A House Should You Plant Shrubs?
Now that you know what size your home's front yard shrubs should be: how close can you plant them? Since some shrub species have aggressive roots, you don't always want a plant right on your home's exterior.
For example, Washington State University recommends the following distances for front-home shrubs:
- Small shrubs - at least 2 feet from a house foundation
- Medium shrubs - about 3 feet from a home foundation
- Large/tall shrubs - roughly 4-5 feet away from the foundation
So, if you have a larger growing shrub species in front of your home, you want to leave around five feet. It's always better to have your bushes too far from the house than too close, as they can cause damage.
Especially if you plant many of the same aggressive shrubs near your home, that could be a recipe for disaster as the plant ages and matures.
You want to remember that not only are your shrubs growing above ground, but they're also forming stronger, larger roots beneath the surface.
It could also be worth it to plant your taller shrubs out in the open, where they can mature into massive plants without obstructions. More room is better!
Can I Keep The Shrubs Small In Front Of My House?
Yes! You can keep the shrubs smaller if you prefer a manicured and more manageable aesthetic for your front yard. Most people will do this to ensure they can view the street/rest of their property.
As mentioned above, letting the shrubs in your front yard become too expansive could do more harm than good. Not only will massive shrubs block your view, but they could damage your home.
In addition, if you plant a smaller-growing shrub species outside your front door/window, you won't need to do much pruning.
The main concern with front yard bushes and greenery is the pruning schedule: which can become unbearable with certain shrub species.
Therefore, planning and growing small plants in front of your home will relieve you of extensive upkeep as the years go on. You can also find endless flowering shrubs that stay small, so this is perfect for flower lovers.
Experts recommend planting shrubs that stay between three or four feet in the front yard if you want a shorter, manicure look.
Do Shrubs Look Good Right In Front Of A House?
Yes, if you choose the right species and keep your bushes maintained, they should look great in front of your property. Most times, front yard hedges can give your home an elevated look.
On top of the aesthetic charm, these shrubs can also give you extra privacy from neighbors or cars passing by. For example, do you live on a busy street and have people drive/walk by throughout the day?
In that situation, you can plant privacy shrubs in front of your home, let them grow to around eight or more feet, and the problem's solved!
Again, you want to be careful where your plants are in relation to your foundation or city-owned property, but overall, we say this is a great solution.
Sometimes, you don't have to do much to achieve a gorgeous front yard landscape, so planting a few full-sized bushes may also be an idea.
Even smaller shrubs can provide your home with a pleasing look, almost creating an entryway or gate for your home.
Do Shrubs Help Block Noise?
If you plant dense enough shrubbery in front of your house, it can help lessen street noise and other sound pollution. In general, shrubs in front of the surrounding property will help block noise.
According to Garden Goods Direct, stems, leaves, branches, and bark effectively absorb sound. They also mention how planting larger-scale plants around your home can increase security and privacy (on top of blocking annoying sounds from nearby).
Interestingly, many cities use dense shrubbery to block sounds for businesses and residences. So, planting dense shrubs may give you an added layer of sound blockage and protection if you live near a busy city or highway.
Of course, this will take some maturing for your plants before any major difference happens. The larger and denser your shrubs become, the better they can absorb sound pollution and keep it out of your home.
Furthermore, you might consider creating a sound/privacy wall around the front, sides, and back of your house using greenery, which should significantly impact the overall noise you hear.
What Types Of Shrubs Look Best In Front Of A Home?
For anyone convinced to plant shrubs in front of their home, we recommend some species over others. These include:
- Mountain Laurel
- Crepe Myrtle
Although these are just a few good shrub species for the front of your home, they all should be easy to maintain and grow. Depending on the plant, you might need more water, sun, or soil acidity, but overall, shrubs are pretty easy to cultivate in front of a home.
That's because the sun shines better toward a house's front than the backyard. Especially if you have dense tree growth towards your home's back end, keeping most of your shrubbery in the front is a great idea.
On top of that, you also want to factor in your growing zone, which will affect the shrubs you can successfully grow. For example, if you try and plant a tropical shrub in Minnesota, it won't likely make it past one growing season.
That can become an issue if you want noise buffering or privacy, as you can't depend on a shrub for only a year. Evergreen perennials are what we recommend, as they tend to grow just about anywhere.
Again, this varies by state/region, but try and find a hardy shrub regardless.
AMERICAN PLANT EXCHANGE Wintergreen Boxwood
This boxwood comes in a three-gallon planter, grows indoors and outside, should bloom during winter, prefers USDA zones 4-9, is pollution-resistant, and should grow pretty quickly.
Black Lace Elderberry
This live black lace elderberry comes in a one-gallon container, weighs roughly 6.5 pounds, grows outdoors, should bloom through the summer, is hardy in USDA zones 4-7, and comes grown to about one-year-old.
Can I Use Shrubs As A Fence?
Yes! As long as you grow a large/dense enough species, your shrubs should make the perfect fence. As we mentioned earlier, some shrubs can block noise as they grow larger, doubling as a privacy wall/fence for your home.
According to experts, some shrubs can be manicured into proper hedges, while others can grow wild into dense privacy fences. Regardless, you do want to try pruning your shrubs in the shape of a fence.
Since some people prefer a natural look, using your shrubs can make for the perfect alternative to a traditional fence. Furthermore, species like arborvitae, English laurel, Red tip photinia, bamboo, etc., can work nicely as privacy borders or fencing.
So, if you want to skip the fence install and go green, why not use a dense shrub?!
To Finish It Up
Whether you need new shrubs for the front of your home or haven't tried this, it's always good to know how big they should get. We found that you want to generally keep front yard shrubs between six and ten feet tall.
That's because if your shrubbery becomes too big, it could block your view of the street or surrounding area. In addition, we recommend creating a wall using shrubs, which can be perfect for privacy and stopping noise pollution.
Sometimes, it takes a few dense shrubs to make a major difference.
While we have your attention, check out these related garden posts!