Proper plant selection is one the most important “secrets” in successful landscaping. Plants and colors are the “flavors” that bring your garden to life. They’ are elements that can be used with a purpose such as screening, shade, erosion control, dividing, focal points, noise control, etc.
Growth habits and characteristic
First, there are some common mistakes that people make about plant selection. Usually, this is simply because of a lack of knowledge of the growth habits and characteristics of individual plants. When planting the following is what needs to be considered:
- The size each plant reaches at maturity
- The plant’s light requirements
- The plant’s heat and wind tolerance
- The plant’s soil preference
When planting if you do not consider the above it can result as a costly mistake with your plants dying, planting too close to your house and then outgrowing your designated spot and even worse cracking the house’s foundation.
These huge plants were planted when they were tiny little cute sprouts without any consideration given to the characteristics of the mature plant. This and all plant selection mistakes are usually the results of impulse buying (what looks pretty at the nursery) and a simple lack of planning and knowledge.
Rule #1 – Don’t plan your garden or landscaping at the nursery or garden center. Do a little homework. Know a little about the plants before you buy them and take them home.
You can use the plant databases page for reference. You’ll save a lot of time and frustration being able to look up plants according to your specific zone, type of plant, color, characteristics, by name, and so on.
Another common mistake in choosing the right plants and propagation is made in the area of zoning. It is extremely important to know which planting zone you live in and plant accordingly.
Primary considerations for selecting landscape plants
- Height and Width are figured by the mature size a plant will reach in both upward and outward directions. Not calculating this can cause serious problems in the future.
- Form is the shape of the plant and how it will occupy and accent space. Form and shape are considered as columnar, round, vase, weeping, oval, creeping, etc.
- Texture is the fineness or roughness of plants. It can also be categorized in terms of leaf thickness and shade(light or dark) of plants. As a rule, plants with finer textures should be used in greater numbers than plants with coarse textures.
- Seasonal interest and color are figured by the special features a plant has at different times of the year. Foliage, fruit, flowers, Winter color, changing colors, etc
Secondary considerations for selecting landscaping plants
- Insect and disease resistance
- Moisture tolerance
- Drought Resistance