The number of people opting to add plants to their landscaping or home decor has been increasing over the years, and it’s easy to see why. A well-planned yard can do wonders to liven up your space, add interest and color, and greatly reduce the amount of money you spend on other home improvements, such as replacing your carpet or repainting your walls every few years.
There are tons of pros to adding landscape plants to your yard. But there are also some cons that you may not have considered when deciding whether or not to take the plunge and start adding some greenery to your garden or lawn.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of owning plants in your yard. We’ll also share some tips for owning landscape plants to maximize the effect.
Landscape Plants: What Are They?
Landscape plants are the plants used for the beautification of a certain area in your yard. The benefits of landscaping plants are numerous, and there’s a reason landscapers recommend them in every home design.
They improve our natural resources. Greenery not only filters water and reduces stormwater runoff to make your yard better for your local ecosystem but also can be helpful in removing toxins from soil and air. Additionally, landscapers recommend plants for their aesthetics. Even small touches like flowers or low-maintenance shrubs can do wonders to improve how your home looks.
At the end of the day, plants don’t just make it more pleasant to spend time in your yard. They add value to your property as well. Strategically planting certain landscape plants in your yard can make it look beautiful and peaceful, which is something a lot of busy people are looking for in a home.
With plants, however, you can never forget about two things: cost and maintenance. The expense of purchasing, planting, and maintaining new greenery goes hand-in-hand with its aesthetic benefit. If having someone else take care of things is something you prefer (or are used to because it was done by professionals when you lived somewhere else), that’s fine.
Pro: Plants Serve as Natural Air Purifier
Keeping plants around can help purify your outdoor and indoor air quality. Studies show that some common household plants can absorb pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, ammonia, acetone, toluene, and trichloroethylene from your home’s air. These are all chemicals found in household products like hairspray or nail polish remover.
In addition, houseplants have also been shown to increase productivity! So if you’re looking for an excuse to plant more greenery at work, now you have one! At least that’s what you can tell management if they give you a hard time about having too many houseplants around.
Some research suggests that keeping plants indoors may reduce pollen buildup. If allergies run rampant in your family, consider adding a few houseplants to each room of your home. With so many potential benefits, it’s no wonder why people have planted indoor plants for years as a way to promote overall health and well-being.
Con: Sometimes, Plants Are Home for Pests and Mosquitos
It can be fun to watch a hummingbird feeder or sit on your patio while you listen to birds chirping, but it’s not always as idyllic as it seems. You might be unknowingly entertaining pests like ants, roaches, moths, and mosquitos.
These critters are drawn to plants because they can find food, water, or shelter among their leaves, branches, or flowers. If you want a pest-free outdoor living space for yourself and your family members, you’ll need to eliminate these pests before they get out of hand.
If you search online, you’ll find dozens of tips for owning landscape plants, as well as the pros and cons of owning plants both indoors and outdoors.
Roaches prefer warm, moist environments, so keep your garden plants well watered but don’t overdo it. Excess moisture can attract other pests. Mosquitos are best eliminated by using chemical-free controls. There are many plants that naturally repel them. One common repellent is planting catnip near windows or patio areas.
Be sure to check your local laws about chemical use outdoors because some areas have restrictions on insecticides or pesticides so as not to harm wildlife who come into contact with them.
Pro: Plants Provide Privacy to the Landowner
Not only do landscape plants help block unsightly views from neighboring properties, but they can also keep unwanted eyes away from your home.
When used effectively, landscape plants can create a boundary for your property, especially if there is a taller structure like a fence along one or more sides. It’s important to note that landscaping plants don’t provide complete privacy by themselves. They simply act as an additional buffer between you and prying eyes.
If you want absolute privacy without any chance of being seen or overheard by neighbors or passersby, plan on using multiple techniques to make sure no one can see inside your home. When it comes to landscape plants, thick shrubbery is the best way to go. It does require maintenance, but when grown and maintained correctly, it can be a great way to get some privacy in your yard without anyone being able to see inside.
Con: Plants May Cause Mess and Dirt
Some plant choices will require more maintenance than others. Deciduous plants, like maples, oaks, and poplars, shed their leaves each fall and sometimes drop dead branches throughout winter or get infested with insects.
If you plan to have large deciduous trees (more than 10 feet tall) planted in your yard, know that you may have to haul away fallen leaves each fall or hire a landscaping crew to remove them for you. In addition, deciduous trees often shed branches as part of their natural process during windstorms or other weather occasions. These may require removal by a tree service.
Evergreens are lovely but tend to be slow-growing. They won’t provide much height quickly. Many homeowners try planting evergreens only to realize after three years that they now have a medium-sized bush in their backyard rather than the 20-foot-tall tree they’d planned on.
Do your research on landscape plants before choosing if you need height quickly. Other landscape plants, such as hostas and annuals, must be replanted every year but take minimal time and energy to maintain. There are many tips for owning landscape plants, and experienced landscapers will recommend certain plants based on what you need and how much time you have to maintain them.
Pro: Plants Have Therapeutic Effect
It’s common knowledge that houseplants can help improve moods, but a recent study even suggests that greenery has tangible health benefits.
The link between plants and human health is due to something called phytochemicals, which are natural chemicals in plants. These chemicals can help with inflammation or lowering cholesterol. When you add them to your landscaping design, you’re also boosting their therapeutic effect!
Just remember to plant varieties that require little maintenance, so you don’t have an excessive workload on your hands. There’s nothing worse than planting gorgeous flowers only to have them wither away quickly. On the other hand, maintaining your garden and landscape plants will get you outside of the house and breathe fresh air almost every day. This is especially important for people working from home who don’t have many chores outside.
Con: Plants Are Needy
It’s not uncommon for plants to suffer from a lack of nutrients or light. And if your plant is suffering, you won’t be getting all those green thumb benefits people talk about. So if you don’t have time to water them daily and fertilize them monthly, think twice before buying a plant. Or try an easy-care houseplant instead.
A Boston fern is much easier to care for than most tropical plants. But it is just as beautiful! And it can even do double duty by helping clean indoor air. You can also save money by shopping at discount stores for large numbers of small plants rather than smaller numbers of larger ones.
When you buy five $1 spider plants, for example, you get more bang for your buck than when you buy one $5 spider plant. Plus, with multiple mini-plants around your house and yard, they’ll grow into each other over time, creating an impressive patchwork garden without requiring much maintenance on your part.