Pines, Ferns, Or Shrubs? - Knowledgebase Question

Yonkers, NY
Avatar for Puffins2u
Question by Puffins2u
June 12, 2000
I was thinking about planting a pine, shrub, or fern close to my brick house but I was affraid of picking a wrong kind that would damage the house after years have gone by, from the roots. Also, living in New York I'm looking for something that would stand the cold winters and that's not hard to take care of. What plants would you advice as the best?
Kristina Puffins

Answer from NGA
June 12, 2000
In many cases small baby plants are put in place only to cause problems later when they begin to reach their mature size. You are wise to consider this planning aspect now. In selecting a planting for along a building, it is important to consider the growing conditions such as soil type and lighting, then determine the best ultimate size and height of the planting, then finally select the actual plant to use.

For a shady location, hardy ferns or hostas would make a nice summer display but will leave bare ground all winter. In a hot sunny location you might use evergreens such as mugo pines, junipers or some form of dwarf conifer, but keep in mind that some of these will require annual attention to keep them in bounds.

For a sunny or partly sunny location you might enjoy smaller, colorful deciduous shrubs such as the dwarf red or golden barberry or the smaller, summer flowering spireas.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

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