Switching out old foundation plants for native species

Asked June 12, 2017, 7:20 AM EDT

Our 25 year old shrubs in the front of the house are now leggy and unattractive, although they've been excessively hardy. I'd like to remove them and replace them with native species. What works well for a front "foundation" plant? South facing, but fairly shady due to large trees (oak, pine, flowering plum). Thanks!

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

You will have to consider the mature height and width of the plants and the site - sun versus shade. We assume you are looking for evergreen plants.
Some options may be native azaleas and rhododendrons but they may get too large for the space. There are not big selections of native evergreen foundation shrubs.
You may decide to have a mix of native and non native shrubs. There are different types of non native hollies that may work.
If there is room, you could plant native perennials or groundcovers in front of the shrubs.
Take a look at the link for native plant nurseries https://mdflora.org/publications/nurseries.html, the link for native plant selections based on your site http://www.nativeplantcenter.net/, and a publication of native plants https://www.nps.gov/plants/pubs/chesapeake/pdf/chesapeakenatives.pdf