Tuesday, October 20, 2015

FAQ: How far should I plant hollies from the house?

Photograph of Ilex cornuta shrub

Q. How far should I plant hollies from the house?

A. Typically, foundation plantings are installed too close to structures making building maintenance and pruning difficult. Humidity between the plants and buildings encourages mold and mildew on windows and walls. Tall plants growing too close can rub and damage soffits. Furthermore, ornamental trees and large shrubs can undermine and compromise the integrity of foundations.

To figure planting distance, determine the mature height and diameter of the species you intend to install. At minimum, determine the height and diameter you intend to keep it. Divide the diameter by 2 to figure the radius. Add at least 3’ to the radius. That point should be the center of your planting hole.

“But I don’t want the plants to be that far out in the yard,” you might protest. Well, choose smaller plants.

“I’ll keep them pruned,” you might convince yourself. Maybe you will; maybe you won’t.

“My neighbors’ foundation plantings are closer to their homes,” you might exclaim. Well, that’s their problem.

Design your foundation beds to a generous size. Your foundation plants can realize their potential. Your landscape will appear fuller and richer. 

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