Hydrangeas give you a lot of bang for your curb-appeal buck. They’re easy to grow, need little care and put on a spectacular show when they bloom. Most of these flowering shrubs prefer morning sun with afternoon shade and are hardy in Zones 4 or 5-9. 'Invincibelle Mini Mauvette', shown here, is hardy in Zones 3-9 and takes full sun. Tip: If you use lush, leafy hydrangeas to camouflage an unsightly foundation, leave a couple of feet between the plants and the house, so they have room to spread.
Catch a buyer’s eye with sweeps of azaleas planted in beds or around your mailbox or porch. Most are hardy in Zones 6-9 and need filtered sun or a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. The shrubs come in a variety of colors and sizes. Tip: If your budget is tight, put a few dwarf azaleas in containers near your entrance, or choose reblooming types that flower in spring and again in summer. Pictured here: Encore Azalea 'Autumn Carnation'.
Rose aren't attractive in the winter, and even when they're blooming, they often need pruning, fertilizing and spraying. But some roses, like the Knock Out family, are low-maintenance, which many homebuyers know and appreciate, and they produce spectacular flowers from spring until frost. Tip: Smaller Drift roses, which mature around 18" tall, are also easy to grow and make a pretty groundcover for sunny spots.
Bare spots under your trees don’t make a good impression when you want top dollar for your home. Tuck shade-loving hostas into those areas, or use them around shrubs and in borders. Their flowers aren’t showy, but their leaves, which come in shades of green, gray, blue, cream, and yellow-gold, are standouts. Choose small, medium or large varieties; most are hardy in Zones 3-9. Tip: Add containers of shade-loving begonias and impatiens for pops of color. Shown here: Shadowland 'Autumn Frost’ and Shadowland 'Coast to Coast'.
Sun-loving daylilies add cheerful color to your home when they're planted in masses. These tough perennials tolerate heat, drought and many pests and diseases. Grow early, mid- and late-season varieties, and you’ll have a flower show that lasts for weeks. Tip: If your home doesn't sell, divide the clumps after the flowers fade and you'll have extra daylilies to plant. This variety is Rainbow Rhythm 'Going Bananas'.
Inexpensive annuals are easy to establish, and they make good fillers when your bulbs, perennials or flowering shrubs stop blooming. For fast curb appeal, pop them into containers, hanging baskets or window boxes for splashes of color. Marigolds, petunias, and geraniums are popular and easy to grow. Tip: If you're selling in the cooler months, try flowers like pansies and mums or ornamental kales and cabbages. Supertunia 'Bordeaux', pictured here, blooms profusely until frost.
Deutzias are also wonderful shrubs to grow for year-round interest and curb appeal. In the spring, they produce clusters of small, white or pinkish flowers, and in the winter, their leaves drop to reveal attractive, peeling bark. Give them a spot in sun to part shade. Tip: Buy the largest sizes you need and can afford, so you don't lose valuable selling time while they grow. This variety is 'Nikko'.
Don't forget to see your mailbox as a potential buyer will see it. If it's a plain Jane, dress it up with a mix of plants. Try evergreens like compact inkberry hollies, graceful ornamental grasses and other perennials and colorful annuals like coleus and lantanas. Be sure to choose plants that like the same basic growing conditions. Tip: avoid plants that need frequent waterings, unless you have a faucet nearby.