Sure, the way your home shows on the inside is a big deal when you’re getting ready to sell — but what’s happening on the outside is important, too. Your home’s curb appeal (or lack thereof) will be among the first impressions your home makes to a potential buyer — and if you don’t want your landscaping to detract from that impression, there are a few plants and trees you’ll want to avoid.
Don’t plant invasive species
Invasive plants are species that are not native to the area and possess qualities that can overwhelm the local ecosystem. These sorts of plants grow quickly and create a difficult environment for the native plants trying to grow around them. For example, the Bradford pear tree produces beautiful white flowers when in bloom and creates a picturesque scene — but it easily spreads its seed and suffocates the plant life around them.
Environmental site Bridging the Gap offers an alternative: the “downy service berry,” a native tree that produces a small red fruit that is edible for both humans and wildlife, and boasts showy white blooms in April. The Japanese barberry is another invasive species that is aggressive enough even pests hate them. An invasive plant will give a new homeowner a number of headaches, so steer clear of planting them, especially when you know you’ll soon be selling your home.
Too many trees is a turnoff for a home buyer
We all like a little shade, but having too many trees can actually lower a home’s curb appeal. An overload of trees can make the home look closed off, reducing its curb appeal. Landscape architect Gregg Spadaro told Kristen Mosier at BobVila.com that, “too many trees close to the footprint of the house put you at risk for storm damage, while a lack of open space is a drawback for families with young children.”
So, if you have a choice, plant some shrubbery and a few trees for privacy and shade, and leave it at that.
Plants with spikes can scare away families
Outside of plants that take over the physical space of your yard, there are the few that are particularly concerning for families. Plants that have sharp edges and prickers can be difficult for families with young kids who are likely to spend endless hours running around the yard.
Large cacti, like the prickly pear, can grow 1.52 m tall and 10 inches wide with prickers that can hurt any child or curious pet (not to mention adults). Avoiding cacti is difficult for homeowners who love desert-style landscaping, but softer options like the silky thread grass, a big bushy desert shrub, or Helen von Stein lamb’s ear, which has “large fuzzy silver leaves,” are all lovely alternatives.
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