Overused Foundation Plants & Native Alternatives

MGNV - Public Education logoMany of the shrubs used in typical foundation plantings, such as euonymus, cherry laurel, and Asian azaleas have been overused in our local landscape. Others, such as privet, nandina, and burning bush are considered invasive in Northern Virginia. Learn how to broaden your plant choices from a palette of alternative native shrubs that can add beauty and diversity to your home garden while providing nectar, pollen, and fruit for local insects and birds.

This free online class was offered by Extension Master Gardeners.

Speaker: Elaine Mills, an experienced Extension Master Gardener and a creative force behind the resource Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic. Elaine is a co-coordinator of the Glencarlyn Library Community Garden, a Virginia Cooperative Extension Demonstration Garden in Arlington, Virginia.
Zoom session, recorded July 10, 2020


Video of Presentation

  • 3:13 Issues with Typical Plantings
  • 6:32 Advantages of Native Shrubs
  • 7:50 Native Alternatives to Invasive Shrubs
  • 30:36 Native Alternatives to Other Non-Native Shrubs
  • 42:20 Other Attractive Native Shrubs
  • 46:52 Best Practices
  • 53:55 Foundation Plantings with Native Shrubs
  • 58:29 Resources

Additional Resources

Handout – Overused Foundation Plants & Native Alternatives

Addendum: Additional Details and Answers to Chat Questions