Low-Maintenance Shrubs for Foundation Plantings

Groundcovers for Front of Border

Paxistima canbyi – Canby Paxistima – North American Native


Hardiness Zones: 3 to 7
Height: 1 ft Spread: 5 ft
Type: broad-leaved evergreen shrub
Growth Rate: less than 12 inches

Comments: Canby Paxistima is a cold tolerant, spreading,
broad-leaved evergreen that can be used as a ground cover.
The plant forms mats of green foliage. The flowers are not
ornamental. Provide a sunny growing area and a well-drained
soil. This is one of the few broad-leaved evergreens that
can be used on high pH soils.

Front of Border

Taxus baccata ‘Repandens’ – Spreading English Yew

Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ – Variegated Winter Daphne

Sarcococca hookeriana var humilis (sometimes just S. humilis) – Dwarf Sweetbox (or Sweetbox)

Back of Border

Skimmia japonica – Japanese Skimmia

Leucothoe axillaris – North American Native

Leucothoe fontanesiana

  1. ‘Girard’s Rainbow’ – foliage emerges white, pink and coppery on this selection, maturing to green streaked with cream; less vigorous than the species, but handsome;
  2. ‘Mary Elizabeth’ – dwarf form with finely-textured, narrow foliage that bronzes in winter.
  3. ‘Nana’ (perhaps the same as ‘Compacta’) – a dense, dwarf form reaching 2′ tall and wider;
  4. ‘Scarletta’ – easy to find in commerce, notable for its deep red new growth and bronzy-purple winter hue;
  5. ‘Silver Run’ – variegated form that appears to be hardier than ‘Girard’s Rainbow’, offers foliage marked with creamy white area.