5 Great Low Maintenance Shrubs for the Mid-Atlantic Region

August 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm

There’s an old saying that goes, “A bush is a shrub that just doesn’t know any better.” A shrub is kept smart and attractive with care, pruning, and mulching. Shrubs are selective – fit for their environment and purpose. If you are responsible for commercial landscape design and installation decisions – builders or general contractors, property managers or owners, consider these low-maintenance Mid-Atlantic shrubs.

Mid-Atlantic favorites

Mid-Atlantic office buildings, shopping centers, apartment houses, and condos prefer full service providers like E-Landscape Specialty Solutions for design, installation, and maintenance. They like the following shrubs for curb appeal, shape, color, and easy care:

Dwarf Nandina Firepower

Dwarf Nandina FirepowerNandina is a hardy shrub that does well throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. The problem with this bamboo-like plant is that it is invasive and will take over. However, the Dwarf Nandina Firepower (Nandina domestica) is non-invasive. It pretty much tops out at two feet in partial sunlight and well drained soil. It grows slowly and does not take up much space. But, the added thrill in the Firepower is its extraordinary display of color in the fall. Its usual green leaves – touched with deep burgundy and light greens – explode with variegated pinks, crimson, and purples.

Barberry Crimson Pygmy

Barberry Crimson PygmyThe Barberry Crimson Pygmy (Berberis thunbergiiis) a small naturally rounded barberry that looks great up front or along the edges of the landscape. It demands plenty of sun to reach its full blood-red beauty. It produces a small white flower in the spring and attractive seed pods through the winter. Easily maintained, it is also deer resistant, perhaps, because of short spiny barbs.

Hailey’s Comet

Haley's CometMuch taller is the Hailey’s Comet (Illicium floridanum), another deer-proof shrub that will even do well in the share. Its rich dark green leaves give off a strong but pleasant fragrance if bruised. And, the rhododendron-like leaves bear red star-shaped from May into summer.

Chinese witch hazel

Witch HazelThere is always something going on with the Chinese witch hazel(Hamamelis mollis). It will grow to 12 feet, depending how it is shaped and maintained. It looks great as a solitary or against a brick or stone wall. It has flowers, fruits and leaves – often all at the same time. The citrus-scented flowering tendrils shift from brilliant yellow to orange in a fall display.

Ruby Spice

Clethra alnifoliaRuby Spice (Clethra alnifolia) is a shade tolerant mid-height flowering shrub. It maxes out at 6-feet and is dense with dark 4-inch leaves. It is a “summersweet” that attracts butterflies (and bees) to its 6-inch long tall cylindrical flowers. Extremely fragrant, they loom throughout July and turn to dark seed capsules in the fall and winter.


Now, Mid-Atlantic folks do love their azaleas, hydrangea, and forsythia. But, these beauties do not always make the best ornaments for commercial landscaping because they need so much fussing and cleanup. For commercial landscaping, plants that are low maintenance, add texture and color, and are of varying in height work best. Just look at projects like Hamel Builders Corporate OfficeQuarry Lake at Greenspring, and The View at Mill Run.

Specialty solutions

As a commercial landscaping firm specializing in the Mid-Atlantic region, our team here at E-Landscape knows which plants will work best in this region, and we know how to care for shrubs such as those profiled here. If you’re interested in sprucing up your commercial property while also reducing the amount of maintenance required, give us a call!