What Are the Best Non-Invasive Root Systems for Planting Near Home Foundations?

As homeowners, you are always looking for ways to beautify your home both inside and out. One common method is through the strategic use of landscaping. Plants, trees, and shrubs can add a significant aesthetic appeal, provide shade, and even contribute to privacy. However, there’s one crucial aspect often overlooked when selecting plants for your yard – their root systems. Planting trees and shrubs with aggressive root systems near your home foundations can lead to significant problems, including structural damage. But don’t let that deter you. This article will guide you through some of the best non-invasive root system plants you can safely plant near your home foundations.

Selecting the Right Plants for your Home

Before we delve into specific plant species, it’s crucial to understand what factors to consider when choosing plants to place near your home foundations.

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Firstly, you need to be aware of the expected size of the plant at maturity. A small sapling can grow into a large tree with an extensive root system that can potentially interfere with your home’s foundation. Plants that tend to have non-invasive root systems are typically smaller species.

Secondly, consider the plant’s water requirements. Some plants have roots that will seek out water sources aggressively, which can lead to structural issues if they find their way into your home’s foundations.

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Lastly, always consider the overall health of the plant. A healthy plant is less likely to seek out new sources of nutrients and water aggressively, reducing the potential risks to your property.

Small Trees and Shrubs

Small trees and shrubs are a fantastic addition to any home landscape. They provide beauty, shade, and sometimes even fruit, all while maintaining a root system that won’t threaten your home’s foundations.

Dogwood trees are an excellent choice. At full maturity, they typically reach a height of 15-30 feet, making them relatively small. Their root system is shallow and does not spread aggressively, making them safe to plant near home foundations. Plus, their stunning flowers in springtime are an added bonus.

Japanese Maple trees are another good choice. Known for their brilliant fall colors, these trees grow to around 15-25 feet tall. Their root system is non-invasive and they thrive in locations with good drainage and partial shade.

If you prefer shrubs, Boxwood shrubs are an excellent choice. They have a very shallow root system that won’t interfere with your home’s foundations. Plus, they are easy to shape and prune, giving you more control over your landscape design.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses can provide a different aesthetic to your garden while also being foundation-friendly.

Fountain Grass is a popular choice. It grows in clumps, and its roots do not spread aggressively, making it safe for foundation planting. Plus, its feathery plumes in the fall make a stunning ornamental display.

Blue Oat Grass is another excellent choice. It’s a cool-season grass with an extensive, yet non-invasive root system that helps in soil stabilization. Its blue-grey leaves and golden flowers can add a unique color palette to your landscape.


Perennials are plants that live for more than two years and are an excellent investment for your garden. They usually have non-aggressive root systems that are safe to plant near foundations.

Hostas are a great choice. They are shade-loving perennials with a compact root system. Their large, beautiful leaves come in a variety of colors, from vibrant greens to calm blues.

Daylilies are another safe bet. Their root system is not invasive, and they are renowned for their vibrant flowers that come in a range of colors. Plus, they are low maintenance and exceptionally hardy, making them an excellent choice for novice gardeners.

By keeping these points in mind, you can create a lush, vibrant landscape around your home without worrying about damaging your foundation. Remember, it’s all about finding the right balance between aesthetics and practicality. The health and safety of your home are as important as its beauty. Choose wisely and your home and garden will provide you with joy for years to come.

Annuals for a Pop of Seasonal Color

Annuals, plants that complete their life cycle in one year, are a great way to add vibrancy and variety to your garden. They are often used for their bright and colorful flowers, which can provide a pop of color to your landscape. Just like perennials, annuals typically have non-invasive root systems, making them safe to plant near your home’s foundation.

Marigolds are a favorite choice among homeowners. They showcase bright yellow to deep orange flowers that not only add color but also repel pests. Their root system is compact and non-threatening to home foundations. Moreover, they are relatively easy to care for, requiring full sun and well-drained soil.

Petunias are another excellent option. They come in a wide range of colors and sizes, making it easy to match your home’s exterior. Their root system is shallow and does not spread out aggressively, reducing any risk to your foundation. Plus, petunias are hardy and can thrive in various climates, making them a versatile choice.

For those seeking a unique look, Coleus is a great option. This annual plant is known for its colorful, variegated leaves rather than its flowers. It has a compact root system that is non-invasive, making it safe for planting near home foundations.

Vines and Climbers

Vines and climbing plants can add a romantic and whimsical touch to your home. They can climb up trellises, fences, or even the side of your home, creating a living wall of foliage and flowers.

Clematis vines are a popular choice for this purpose. This vine grows in a contained manner, with its roots not known for being invasive or overly expansive. They are available in several colors and can add an aesthetically pleasing look to your exterior.

Boston Ivy, despite its name, is not a true ivy and lacks the invasive roots associated with many ivy species. It’s renowned for its lush foliage that turns a beautiful shade of red in the fall.


Landscaping near your home doesn’t have to be a risky business. By choosing plants, shrubs, and trees with non-invasive root systems, you can create a stunning landscape without worrying about potential damage to your home’s foundation. Remember to consider the plant’s expected size at maturity, its water requirements, and its overall health before making a selection. With the right choices, you can enjoy the beauty of your garden and the security of your home simultaneously. Whether you opt for small trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, perennials, annuals, or climbers, there’s a vast array of options available to you. Choose wisely and enjoy the benefits of a well-planned, foundation-friendly garden.

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