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Desert Shrubs and Ornamental Trees to Plant Close to a House

High Desert Blogging Editor, Angie

Angie beside an oleander at Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures

Options of shrubs or ornamental trees to plant next to a high desert cottage require careful planning. After much time spent on the Internet reading gardeners’ comments on what should or should not be planted next to a house, the list of options narrows.

People are quite opinionated about what to plant or not to plant. For instance, I’ve heard so many stories about the oleander bush. It’s an evergreen that grows as a bush or a tree and can survive in most soils. I learned that it’s best not to plant an oleander next to a house or septic tank as its roots will take over. Apparently, it’s almost impossible to pull up the tree once its roots are established. So the oleander is out for an ornamental bush next to a house. It does make a beautiful privacy fence, though. But oleanders are poisonous, a strong argument against planting these beauties that grow easily and are found all over the high desert. A lot of plants are poisonous and are not meant for eating like azaleas and rhododendrons. For more information on the toxin of oleanders, look up the site.

The Japanese Maple tree is gorgeous with its vibrant color and can be planted near a front door. Plant in partial sun with eastern exposure to produce the most vibrant colors. Another idea is the pyracantha evergreen with its orange-red berries and white flowers. Plant the cypress tree for dense privacy. It’s a popular fast growing evergreen. Decide if you want evergreen or deciduous trees and shrubs or both.

Cindy from Perfection Landscape says:

“the most important thing when choosing plants for any location is to understand the nature and growth habits of the plant. Most people pick the wrong plants for their landscapes just because they like them or the big box store sells them and they think that makes it ok. Don’t impulse buy. Find out what soil, nutrients and weather conditions the plant THRIVES in. Thriving is very different than kinda surviving. Look for those conditions to match yours. Know the plants mature size and the plant’s ultimate size. Most untrained people put their plants too close to buildings and foundations and end up either constantly trimming said plant or taking it out when it gets too big for the location.”

What are your ideas on which shrubs and trees, preferably evergreen to plant near a house in the high desert? Comment below.



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