Highly Successful Plants for Apartment Buildings

March 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm
Town Place
Residents' patio at Town Place Suites

Creating an attractive and functional landscape around apartment buildings presents unique challenges. As with any residential setting, the goal is to create a beautiful, warm, and welcoming environment. However, unlike residential homes, apartments house far more people and therefore require a landscape that is capable of withstanding high amounts of traffic from residents, visitors, and passersby.

Considerations for Selecting Plants for Apartment Building Landscapes

Some of the key considerations when selecting plants for these environments are:

  • Durability: They must be able to stand up to abuse and traffic.
  • Low Maintenance: Plants that sheer well and tolerate heavy pruning tend to show better in commercial environments where maintenance is less frequent.
  • Low Water: By selecting plants that require less water to thrive, it is possible to lower the ongoing cost to maintain the landscape at your apartment complex.
  • Readily Available: It is important to select plants that can easily be replaced should they be damaged or fail to thrive.

Suggested Plants for Apartment Building Landscapes

Here at E-Landscape, we have a considerable amount of experience designing and installing landscapes for apartment buildings and multi-family housing and have found that certain plants do well in these settings. Some of our favorites include:

  • Plum Yew: These small, coniferous trees and shrubs are great ornamentals. Their long, dark green needles make them attractive as foundation plantings where they provide year-round interest and, once established, thrive with relatively little maintenance.
  • Japanese Barberry: An incredibly hardy plant, the Japanese Barberry can take sun or shade, wet or dry, and stands up well to traffic. In addition, deer and rabbits tend to avoid this plant. The Barberry’s thorns are an excellent deterrent to pedestrian traffic and therefore can be used to control the flow of movement around a property.
  • Knock Out Roses: The most widely sold rose in North America, the Knock Out is known for its ability to produce consistent, colorful blooms from Spring until frost. These plants are easy to grow, low maintenance and disease resistant. Because of their versatility, Knock Out roses can be planted individually among shrubs, annuals and perennials in mixed beds and borders, or in large groups to create a colorful hedge.
  • Inkberry Holly: A slow-growing, evergreen shrub, the inkberry holly has narrow, glossy, spineless leaves and tiny black fruits. The Inkberry is more casual in form than the spinier hollies and can be used in borders, around ponds, as foundation plantings, or in woodland gardens.
  • Euonymus: This species comprises about 170-180 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs which boast small groups of dark green and/or yellow leaves with a glossy coating. This is a fast grower that requires little maintenance. It’s green and yellow coloring makes it a great accent plant.
  • Panicum family of grasses: Panicum is a large genus of about 450 species of grasses. In general, Panicum tends to be low maintenance and easy to grow. We have been switching from grasses in the Miscanthus family, many of which have been deemed invasive, to those in the Panicum family in order to promote native plant use.

Contact us directly for more information on designing or installing the perfect landscape for your multi-family dwelling!