A Guide to Plant Selection in Landscaping


Landscaping is an activity that offers stress relief and a chance to express one’s creativity. If you’re passionate about this hobby, you’re probably wondering what kinds of plants you can use to get the best possible landscape for your yard.

Essentially, landscaping requires the use of several garden features like hardscapes and flora. However, plants are the most important feature of a landscape as they not only add beauty but also offer countless benefits. With the right information, you can make the most out of each plant’s health-related perks and environmental rewards in your landscape.

In this article, you will learn about the four types of plants you’ll want to incorporate in landscaping in Kirkwood, Missouri, and some tips on plant selection.

4 Types of Plants Used in Landscaping

If you’re planning to go beyond cultivating a lawn, then you would need to brush up on your knowledge of the different types of plants used in landscaping. Below are the four categories of flora you can incorporate in your next landscape project:

1.Ground cover

Aside from grass, there are several other plants that can serve as ground cover for your yard.

One example is foliage plants. Aside from offering spectacular flowering displays, these plants also have attractive leaves that can enhance landscape design. Aesthetics and ground coverage aside, homeowners also choose to add this type of plant to prevent soil erosion, as their roots help keep the soil intact.


Trees are a big part of a landscape – both literally and figuratively. Because of their stature, big trees need to be placed in the landscape layout before everything else. This will help prevent unnecessary headaches later.

Remember that, unlike other plant categories, there’s no room for error when planting trees. This is why you must remember to consider the expected growth period and size of each tree you place in your yard.

Aside from these, you also have to think about the different categories that trees are classified into, including:

  • Fast-growing shade trees
  • Flowering trees
  • Fall-foliage trees
  • Evergreen trees
  • Dwarf trees


Shrubs are also segregated according to their varying characteristics. From flowering shrubs and those that add fall color to quick-growing ones and evergreens, most of these categories are pretty self-explanatory.

However, shrub selection for landscaping is no small matter. In fact, you must first think about how this type of plant will be used before making a decision.

For instance, some shrubs serve as foundation plants as they remain compact and require very little maintenance. Aesthetics-wise, roses are shrubs that can help create a lovely landscape and leave it smelling just as good. Variants that have thorns even provide added security and protection for the property.


Vines are also popular for use in landscaping. Offering versatility and vigor to the garden, experts see vines as an excellent addition to any landscape. Even so, careful consideration and planning are still necessary.

Like shrubs, vines are classified according to their use. Some also tend to be a bit invasive and may require a lot more landscaping maintenance since they get around very quickly. For best results, consult an expert when using vines for landscaping your property.

What to Do Before Picking Plants for Your Landscape

Before deciding on what types of plants to include in your landscape, there are several things you must do first to design the best landscape and ensure that plants thrive where you put them.

Make an inventory of available sunlight

Different plants have varying needs when it comes to sunlight. Some require full sun, while others thrive in the shade. To make sure your landscape plants reach their optimal beauty, you must place them in the right area while taking the sun’s rays into consideration.

This means you’ll have to make a sunlight inventory. Take note of the areas that get the most sun and which ones are shady. Even better, include the times of day when the sun hits specific areas in your property before planning where to place plants in your landscape.

Think about the soil

Like sunlight, different plants also need the right kind of soil to survive. Think you cannot do anything with what’s already existing in your garden? Think again.

The truth is, you can change its components by making amendments as needed. For example, you can make slow-draining clay soil more porous by mixing in compost and other organic matter.

You can also change it entirely by using raised beds and filling these with a soil mixture of your choice. Raised flower beds and plant boxes also make for wonderful hardscapes that can add beauty to the landscape.

Remember that placing the wrong plant in the wrong soil can get you mixed results. The best-case scenario? The plant thrives but offers lackluster results. When worse comes to worst, it will wither and die.

Consider how they look like when they grow

As with other aspects of life, planning is a crucial part of landscaping. And in planning the landscape, you must consider how the plants you pick will look like once they reach full maturity.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when DIY-ing your landscape is choosing plants willy-nilly. If you want to get optimal results, research on how they will look when they grow. Take note of their height and width, as these might affect how you should place all the other elements of your landscape.

Choose Plants Wisely

Making an informed choice when it comes to plants is crucial in landscaping. Use this article as a guide to choose the right plants to include in your landscape design. For better results, hire landscape professionals in Fenton, Missouri, let them know how you picture your garden and watch them work their magic.

Mia Johnson
Mia Johnson is a writer with a ten-year long career in journalism. She has written extensively about health, fitness, and lifestyle. A native to Melbourne, she now lives in Sydney with her 3 dogs where she spends her days writing and taking care of her 900 square feet garden.

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