If we were to discuss plants with structure, we could say they have the same purpose as a fireplace, a beautiful painting, or a window in your home. Architectural plants are focal points of your yard, and they are often snowy and big.
However, when they are small, they can be dramatic, stylish, and bold. Architectural plants can go a long way towards improving design flaws your garden may have. That’s why we have prepared a couple of tips that can help you boost your garden architecture and choose the right plants.
How to work with structural plants?
If you have a relatively large budget, start with large plants. Even though they are more expensive, mature plants offer instant style and form. Also, you should consider the plant’s eventual size and ensure it has enough space to grow; otherwise, you may have to remove it sometime in the future.
Keep in mind the size of your garden and avoid overcrowding if you are dealing with small spaces or choose structural plants for small gardens. Also, include some supporting plants that point out the primary structural plants, but keep the supporting plants to a minimum. If there are too many of them, they might distract the viewer’s attention.
Last but not least, consider why you need architectural plants. Select plants based on your climate, and ensure they have proper growing conditions, like enough water, soil, sunlight, and fertilizer.
Quick planting tips
As we already mentioned, the size of the plant is an essential factor to consider. Some of these architectural trees and plants tend to grow quite big. So, make sure to plan enough space when they mature. The majority of these plants look great when they are planted with some distance between them.
Now comes sun exposure and soil requirements. For example, just because some plants may look great in your herb bed, it doesn’t mean they can handle the full day of sunlight. Don’t forget the primary plant care.
You also need to decide whether your architectural plant will be the star of your bed or yard. The more attention the plant draws, the more dramatic effect you create. In that case, keep the supporting plants at a minimum. On the other hand, if you want to create a more casual look but with a focal pop, add more texture and colors to your bed.
After some time, many people forget about trimming. However, you want your plants to look nice; they need proper trimming from time to time.
The most common structural plants to grow
There are so many plants that can offer a strong structural presence to your garden, from topicals and sedums to cactuses and palms. Of course, if you live in a zone that can support them, we strongly suggest looking into those types.
However, don’t skip perennials because they have a broader range and can withstand different climates. You aren’t limited like with the first category.
Now, let’s check some popular structural plants!
This structural plant is great for any time of the year, and when in full bloom, they give a spectacular show. You will notice six feet high beautiful stalks of flowers that will last for weeks in June, offering your garden something special. Leaves can be variegated, red, or green, and all Yucca wants is plenty of sun and well-drained soil. However, they are drought resistant as well.
New Zealand Flax
Another beloved plant among gardeners, New Zealand Flax, is actually related to grass; it is perennial and prefers a milder climate. Orange and red leaves can grow up to 10 feet, but they are much smaller in areas with a colder climate. New Zealand Flax can be a stunning container plant in places where temperatures aren’t high.
This is a large and tropical-looking plant that can reach 3-6 feet height and weight. Rodgersia loves to be in the shade and demands moisture and protection from the afternoon sun and wind. This plant can make a dramatic statement in any yard.
Giant Elephant Ear
Giant Elephant Ear is another large plant with tropical-looking leaves, while the plant structure can go to eight feet. This plant can be an excellent addition to any garden. It loves shade, water, and fertilizers.