As you walk along any suburban streets, you will come across homes with overgrown grass and others with carefully trimmed plants and flowers.
Lovely gardens take effort to maintain. Plants must be correctly soiled, fertilized, and pruned, while trees must be regularly watered and trimmed. Why would people add these additional tasks to their busy schedules?
There are nine reasons why you should grow plants and trees around the house:
- Adds beauty to the house
- Provides privacy
- Increases property value
- Improves air quality
- Regulates home temperatures
- Attracts wildlife
- Provides fun activities for your family
- Improve mental health
- Reduces erosion
As you can see, there are many reasons why people grow plants around their homes. Let’s have a look at each one in more detail.
1. Adds beauty to the house
We are naturally drawn to nature, including botanical gardens and natural landscapes. Most of us enjoy hiking along mountain trails and taking in the fresh air that mother nature provides. So why not bring that natural environment to your own home?
Planting flowers and trees around the house uplift our mood and mental well-being. The next time you stroll along the streets, take notice of those homes with and without plants in the front yard. Which homes are more visually appealing?
Adding greenery to the house makes visitors feel more welcome and enriches the appeal of your neighborhood.
2. Provides privacy
Growing tall plants or trees in front of windows will provide you with natural privacy without installing awkward barriers or covers. If you live in an apartment unit, privacy plants for the apartment balcony, such as the Hollylocks plant, provide towering blooms to block out neighboring eyes.
Some trees, such as the Emerald Green Arborvitae, are perfect for dividing between neighbors. The Boxwood plant provides a thick privacy plant that acts like a fence.
Plants also conceal ugly parts of the house. In older homes, cracks are likely to be present along the concrete walls, which can be covered with some tall plants. Be careful about using trailing plants as green covers, such as the English Ivy, because Ivy roots can damage house foundations.
3. Increases property value
Planting flowers and trees in well-thought-out spots around the house could increase the value of your property.
According to SFGate, a well-landscaped home with strategically placed plants and trees has significant price advantages over those with no landscaping. This advantage can range from 5.5% to 12.7% depending on the type of landscaping and the home’s original value.
If you’re considering growing plants to increase the value of your property, consider the climate you’re living in. For example, if you live in a tropical area, then citrus trees, exotic blossoms, or anything fragrant will likely boost your property value.
However, be careful when growing plants and trees with invasive or sprawling root systems.
For instance, Mr. Tree Services recommends avoiding planting the Bradford Pear tree because the tree grows tall very rapidly. The quick growth makes it hazardous during windy and stormy weather conditions.
4. Improve air quality
Everyone knows that plant life absorbs carbon dioxide and hazardous chemicals in exchange for oxygen. While it’s unlikely that a single home with garden features will make any significant impact, imagine what a difference an entire neighborhood embracing plants could make.
Take, for instance, Honolulu City in Hawaii is 33% parkland and is one of the top 25 cleanest cities in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association. A city’s density of plant life makes a big difference in air quality for all.
5. Regulates temperature
Tall plants and trees provide sun protection for the house, which leads to benefits such as:
- Increasing paint longevity
- Reducing the heat during summer
- Reducing the electricity bill
- Reducing direct sun damage to house furniture such as sofas
- Reducing direct sun damage to human skin
- Reducing reflected light and sun glare damage to the human eyes
When choosing a tree to provide shade, consider whether a deciduous or evergreen tree is best for you.
Deciduous trees will become dormant over winter and lose their leaves. This gives you the benefit of receiving some light during the cold winter months. Although, you may need to invest time and money to collect those fallen leaves.
The other option is evergreen trees that maintain their leaves throughout the year. These provide you with consistent shelter regardless of weather conditions.
6. Attracts wildlife
Another good reason to grow plants around the house is to attract important pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Many beetles and bugs benefit the garden by eating pests like aphids.
For example, the Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) is a fast-growing shrub that is irresistible to butterflies. The Butterfly Bush is a perennial, which gives the homeowner a year-round sight of beautiful butterflies!
For bird lovers, growing trees in the front or back yard give pleasing therapeutic chirping sounds to wake up to. And for those that enjoy more vocal bird calls, consider specific trees that attract wild parrots. Though, you may want to consider the potential disturbance for your neighbors, especially in dense suburbs.
7. Provides fun activities for your family
Growing fruit trees at home provide more than just free edible food for the family. It offers fun fruit-plucking opportunities for young kids and allows parents to get them involved in making delicious jams!
Most fruit trees are easy to maintain, allowing kids to water them without overwatering issues (unlike some houseplants that are susceptible to root rot). The adults can help out with the pruning and fertilizing. As fruit trees are generally perennials, you don’t need to replant them every year, provided that weather conditions are favorable.
8. Improves mental health
Several studies show that plants reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression while increasing happiness hormones in the body. Ever since the covid-19 pandemic in 2020, many of us were imposed stay-at-home restrictions and took up gardening as a leisure activity.
Maintaining plants around the home allows people to pause from their hectic lives and engage with nature. It pulls us away from technology and social media, recalibrating our focus and mental well-being.
The best time to plant new flowers is in the early morning. If you’ve never tried doing some light gardening before work, give it a go, and you might be surprised at the mental boost you’ll experience to start your day.
9. Reduces erosion
Planting trees can benefit homes that are susceptible to soil erosion and landslides. Homes built on loose soil can damage their foundations or be swept away altogether.
Using a tree system at vulnerable locations around the house is essential in managing run-offs. The canopies help reduce excess water moisture entering the affected area. The extensive root system of trees helps take up water and create conditions in the soil that promote infiltration.
Homeowners realize that growing plants and trees around the house provide benefits far exceeding the costs. Some of us enjoy the process of planting, repotting, and watering plants, while others prefer paying someone else to water the garden. Everyone will have their own reasons to maintain a landscape for their home, whether for aesthetic purposes, enriching our health, or adding value to the property.