The Q&A Archives: Shrubs that have roots grow straight down so they will not damage the retaining wall.

Question: I have a retaining wall at the bottom of my yard before my boat dock. I want to put some shrubs (with flowers if possible) that will have roots that don't spread too far underground. It is a all day sun location. My landscaper recommender Dwarf boxwoods....but I prefer something a little more colorful.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Answer: Small shrubs will have small root systems so I would plant something like azaleas in the area or even some ornamental grass. Ornamental grasses are clumping and the roots tend to remain directly beneath the crown of the plant. There are several different types of ornamental grasses and they are most attractive when they hold their seedheads up above the foliage and wave in the wind. Best wishes with your garden!

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