Front door plants are an excellent way to brighten your entrance and reflect your personal style. Choosing beautiful plants is important, but front door plants should also be low maintenance. Plants that require less care and still look amazing will always create a good first impression.
Having an attractive front door area also boosts your curb appeal. According to the National Association of Realtors, using flowers and plants to create a cheerful entrance is an effective way to grab the interest of potential buyers before they even walk inside.
Care of Front Door Plants
Understand the specific needs for each plant variety, their ideal climate, sun conditions, watering needs, fertilization requirements, and common pests and diseases. Plants will last longer and caring for them is easier if you choose types that work well for your conditions.
- Climate – Check the particular growing zone of the plant that you want to use at your front door. Plants in your growing zone will thrive and require less maintenance than plants suited for other climates. If you want to use a plant from another growing zone, you will not be able to keep the plant outside all through the year.
- Sun – Consider the location and the sun near your front door and entrance area. Potted plants and hanging planters in the direct sun will require more water throughout the hot seasons. If you have a covered porch area, choose plants that require just indirect sunlight.
- Fertilization – Some plants require more fertilization to encourage more blooms. Others thrive on just well-drained soil. Check the specific types of plants to discover their fertilization needs.
- Pests and Diseases – Every plant struggles with pests and diseases. Some of the common types are aphids, mealybugs, red spider mites, earwigs, Japanese beetles, powdery mildew, and leaf spot. Check your plants on a regular basis to identify and treat any potential problems.
Front Door Planting Ideas
We have gathered some beautiful plant ideas that work well in many climate zones and sun/shade levels. The care needs of each plant is listed so that you can make the best choice for your home.
Geraniums are a plant species with bright vibrant flowers. Homeowners value these for their fragrant foliage as much as for their lovely blooms. Geraniums work well in pots but also in hanging planters. Most people treat geraniums as annuals, but you can overwinter them inside. Bring them outside again when the weather gets warm. Pull off spent flowers to encourage reblooming.
- Hardy in Zones 9-11, but you can grow these as annuals in most zones
- Use well-drained soil that gets dry between waterings
- 4-6 hours of full sun or dappled light for longer periods
- Fertilize 3-4 times during the growing season
- Prone to aphids, cankerworms, greenflies, and cutworms
Areca Palms are tropical trees with a dramatic and lush appearance. They grow up to 40 feet tall in their native forest environment. In pots, these trees reach around 6-8 feet with 40-60 leaflets of 3 feet each. Areca Palms thrive best in humid environments
- Hardy in Zones 9-11
- Keep soil just moist
- Feed with 1/2 strength fertilizer once a month
- Bright indirect sunlight
- Prone to spider mites and mealybugs
Umbrella trees are a tropical evergreen variety of plant in the ginseng family. The dwarf umbrella tree is the most common for household use because it grows between 5-6 feet in height. These plants are sensitive to the cold. If you live where the winter gets below 55 degrees, you will need to bring this plant inside when temperatures get cool. Umbrella trees also do best in humid climates.
- Hardy in Zones 10-11
- Allow water to saturate plants once a week, but do not let the roots sit in water
- At least 4 hours of indirect sunlight
- Fertilize once a month
- Prone to aphids, scales, and spider mites
The bird of paradise is a perennial plant with deep green glossy leaves and orange and blue flowers. It is one of the best plants for pots outside the front door if you want to create a tropical vibe.
This plant grows best in warm and humid climates in well-drained soil.
- Hardy in Zones 10-12
- Water every week in the summer to keep soil moist and allow to dry out in the winter
- This plant loves sun, but will tolerate partial shade
- Fertilize once a month from the winter through the spring
- Prone to scales, mealybugs, and spider mites
Dwarf varieties of citrus trees like lemon, orange, and lime have a classic style and shape. They look gorgeous as plants for front door areas or as part of the broader landscape entrance design.
These trees require well drained soil and adequate drainage holes to thrive. Begin small trees in small pots and enlarge the pot as the tree grows. Citrus is hardy in warm climates. If you live in cooler climates, bring citrus trees inside during the winter.
- Hardy in Zones 8-11
- Citrus trees prefer deep waterings that are around 1-2 times a week
- This plant loves full sun
- Need regular fertilizer
- Prone to mites, aphids, mealybugs, and leafminers
The Boston fern, or sword fern, is a tropical plant that is native of Florida. These ferns grow best in humid and warm climates. They prefer indirect sunlight. Boston ferns look impressive in pots, but also in hanging baskets. Keep the soil moist to keep the fronds looking healthy. If you want to use these as outdoor plants but live in a cooler climate, they work well as houseplants in the winter.
- Hardy in Zones 9-11
- Water enough to keep the soil moist
- Keep plants in full shade or dappled sunlight
- Use small amounts of fertilizer every 6-8 weeks
- Prone to slugs
English ivy is a great choice if you want a low-maintenance plant. It is an evergreen perennial with dark green leafy vine. It is attractive as a front door plant in pots or in a hanging planter. English ivy looks great on its own and blends well with other plants to create a sophisticated look.
- Hardy through Zones 4-13
- Maintain an even moisture, but don’t allow the soil to get soggy
- Indirect but bright sunlight
- Fertilize every 2 weeks during the spring and summer
- Prone to spider mites, aphids, root rot, and leaf spot
Ornamental grasses have an infinite variety of colors and textures that look beautiful on their own or in combination with other plants. Some of the best ornamental grasses are Pink Muhly Grass, Leather Leaf Sedge, Blue Lyme Grass, and Feather Reed Grass.
Purple Fountain Grass is a drought tolerant plant that works well in the summer heat according to Monrovia and looks dramatic as an element in mixed plant pots. Most ornamental grasses are perennials, but you can grow them as annuals if they are not hardy for your climate.
- Different types of grass are hardy through different climate zones
- Established grasses need water just 2 times per week
- Most grasses require full sun to partial shade
- Small amounts of fertilizer during the spring growing season
- Prone to aphids, mites, and leaf spot
Boxwood is another evergreen perennial that works well as front door plants in pots. In particular, boxwood trimmed as a topiary, looks classic and sophisticated. This plant has small, dark green, rounded leaves that grow in a dense pattern.
Boxwood grows less than 12 inches per year, so a topiary design is easy to control. To maintain healthy plants, place boxwoods in wide containers as they have roots that need to spread. If you leave these outdoors in the winter, place containers in a sheltered spot and keep snow from accumulating on the plants.
- Different varieties hardy in Zones 5-9
- Water young plants on a regular basis, but taper as plants mature
- Full sun to partial shade, except in hot climates where shady conditions are best
- Fertilize at least twice a year
- Prone to boxwood blight, leaf spot, leafmines, boxwood mites, and stem blight
Creeping Jenny is a perennial ground-covering plant with small round leaves. This plant changes colors, growing more yellow in the bright sunlight. This plant spills over the sides of containers which makes it work well in pots or as hanging plants.
Creeping Jenny is an almost maintenance-free plant that thrives in most moderate climate zones. This plants looks beautiful on its own or in combination with taller plants
- Hardy in Zones 4-9
- Likes moist but not soggy soil
- Sun to partial shade
- Fertilize in the early growing season
- Prone to stem rot and slugs
Many gardeners love petunias for their endless supply of summer blooms and brilliant colors. These are annuals, though in warm climates gardeners grow them as perennials. Petunias grow in trailing patterns making them adaptable for pots on the ground or hanging baskets. These blossoms come in a variety of vibrant to neutral hues from bright pinks and purples to creamy white.
- Annual, but tender perennials in Zones 9-11
- Water once a week
- Likes direct sunlight
- Fertilize once a month
- Prone to aphids and slugs
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
How do I choose plants by the front door?
The most important factor in choosing plants for your entryway is understanding which plants work best in your climate. Sunlight is another important factor to think about. Consider the height and width of your entrance. Experiment with different size plants and pots to determine the best shape and scale plants. Also, think about the style you want to create at your entryway. This will determine the formality of the plants and pots that you choose.
What containers should I use for front door potted plants?
There are a variety of containers that you can use for your front door plants including galvanized metal, terracotta pots, barrel containers, planter boxes, urns, glazed pots, and baskets. The container you choose depends on the style you want to create. Galvanized metal and wooden containers have a more casual style. These are also less expensive than more formal pots like concrete or metal urns or custom glazed pots.
How do you combine plants in pots together?
The easiest and best way to combine plants is to choose a “filler” plant, a “spiller” plant, and a “thriller” plant. A filler plant which mounds to form a bridge between the spiller and thriller plants. One common filler plant is geraniums or begonias. A spiller falls down the sides of the planter to create the look of luxury. Common spillers include English ivy and Creeping Jenny. Thrillers are tall plants that add interest to the container with bold color or style. Ornamental grasses are stunning thriller plants.
What are some of the best inexpensive front door plants?
Annuals like petunias, and geraniums are inexpensive container plants. English ivy and Creeping Jenny are inexpensive perennials.
Give your guests and neighbors a warm welcome with plants and flowers at your front door.
Choose plants and flowers that make a bold statement or use plants to give your home’s entrance more depth and texture. Either option will work depending on your needs and budget.
If you are looking for ways to save money, check out end-of-season sales at nurseries or trade plant cuttings of English ivy or geraniums from your friends.