The Q&A Archives: Shrubs In Front Of Ac Unit

Question: I live in zone 5 and would like to plant shrubs to hide a large, unsightly air conditioner unit. Is there something hardy that can take the blower of the unit? It is in direct sun. Any suggestions are much appreciated. Sincerely, Stephanie

Answer: One of the best solutions I've seen, one that can be used year-round is ornamental grasses. They are amazingly tough and since you have full sun, they would thrive. They will tolerate the dry air blowing on them and can be left through the winter for a screen as well. Some possibilities are any of the Miscanthus sinensis cultivars. If you want an annual plant, you could use Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'. Most garden centers carry all types of grasses. The Plant Information service at Chicago Botanic Garden (847-835-8262) can give you specific sources in your area. Good luck!

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