A plant pro reveals his top 5 picks.
At this time of year, many of us are starting to spruce up our homes for the season, both inside and out. Besides bringing flowers and fresh foliage to the front yard, the warmer weather also means more visitors stopping by. To make sure your front yard is making the best possible first impression, you'll want to start with some wow-worthy outdoor plants. To find out which varieties are the most show-topping (and the easiest to care for), we reached out to Justin Hancock, a horticulturist at Costa Farms, for his top 5 picks. Plant these gorgeous, colorful plants this spring and watch how they instantly update your home's curb appeal.
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Colorful Gerbera Daisies
Why do these bright and cheery daisies land a spot at the top of the list? According to Justin Hancock, they're "perfect for cutting in vases and adding tons of cheer to the front yard." Better yet, they'll bloom in all types of weather. "Some varieties can be a little fussy, but Garvinea varieties bloom nonstop in all types of weather (whether it’s 40 or 100 degrees)."
Beautiful, Flowering Mandevilla
Mandevilla is our favorite type of outdoor plant: the type you can just plant and then forget about. "It blooms nonstop, with trumpet-shaped flowers of red, pink, or white, and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Mandevilla holds up to heat and drought, plus deer and rabbits don’t eat it," says Hancock. If you have a fence or trellis in the front yard, opt for the climbing variety, or if not, choose the mounding variety that typically stays under 15 inches tall.
If your yard is surrounded by large trees, consider hosta, a tried-and-true favorite for shaded spots. There are hundreds or varieties available, so search around for one that fits your home's style. "Miniature varieties grow only a few inches across; giant types can grow to 6 feet tall and wide at maturity. Look for varieties with blue, chartreuse, or green leaves, often variegated with white or gold," recommends Hancock.
Vibrant Blooming Pentas
"Pentas is a tropical perennial grown as an annual in most areas. Thanks to its tropical roots, it continues blooming nonstop, even as the mercury soars and humidity makes going outside uncomfortable." Basically, it's the ultimate plant when you want to enjoy blooms even during the hottest days of summer. And good news for those who live in areas that never experience frost: this option will bloom all year long.
Hardy, Dramatic Hibiscus
If you're looking for big, dramatic (up to 12-inch-wide!) blooms, you've met your match. Hanock suggests looking for perennial hibiscus varieties in shades of red, pink, or white. "It loves heat, tolerates drought, and doesn’t mind wet soil, either," making it the ideal plant for a hot and dry climate.