Investing in plants for your business premises means investing in their upkeep and maintenance. There are plants that lend themselves perfectly to commercial, low-maintenance environments, but regardless of your choice of plants, you want them to have the best and longest life possible. All plant life has a natural lifespan, but there are ways you can improve their chances of a longer life and provide greenery and color for your premises. Let’s look more closely at how your shrubs’ lifespan can be affected and what you can do to extend it. We’ll also look more closely at some great shrub choices for commercial spaces.
What is the Average Lifespan of Shrubs?
Some people believe their plants and shrubs will live forever, but this is rarely the case. Shrubs usually live around 10 to 15 years before you need to consider new plants. Some shrubs may live much longer than this, but how are they looking? You’ll usually find an older shrub looks a lot less vibrant and healthy, and it may be time to consider planting something new. Before replacing your shrubs, consider your next purchase to get the best possible longevity from your choice and ensure they look great too.
Another consideration for businesses is the style of the shrub. Some shrubs will make your properties look dated. For example, in the 1980s, juniper was extremely popular. Still, if you see it, it makes properties look a little outdated or as if the property owner or manager needs to consider a refurbishment. There are trends in planning, like in almost all other areas of business, and therefore keep in mind replanting with these in mind. Updating your property’s appearance can help keep and attract business.
What Affects the Lifespan of Shrubs?
Many things, other than just old age, can impact on the lifespan of your shrubs and mean they aren’t looking quite as green and fresh as they could. Many different factors can influence the lifespan of your shrubs including:
Changing weather patterns can influence the lifespan of your shrubs and can mean they require additional care. Droughts are particularly impactful and can unfortunately, mean your shrubs do not last anywhere near as long as they should. Fluctuations in average temperatures and unpredictable weather activity and trends can mean a shorter-than-expected lifespan for your shrubs.
Your local area will dictate what shrubs can thrive, so it is important to check your planting zone and adhere to the right type of plants for your area. Similarly, other locational factors can impact your shrubs’ lifespan. Most plants in urban areas will thrive less readily than those in rural regions, making it important to pick particularly hardy plants for busy cities and urban areas. Pollution will impact your plants’ ability to thrive.
It should be common knowledge that the soil’s quality will impact your shrubs’ lifespan. However, suppose you’re not used to landscaping or have no experience with yard care whatsoever. In that case, it’s understandable that you may not know the difference between clay, peat, or other elements that make up your soil’s overall quality. Amending the soil to suit your shrubs before planting can help to ensure they have the best chance of a long life.
Pests can impact any kind of shrub or plant and need to be treated quickly. Most professional landscapers have plenty of experience in dealing with pests and can quickly help in the event of an issue. Tree and plant diseases such as molds and mildews can also impact the lifespan of your shrubs.
Fertilizing your soil well will help improve the lifespan of your shrubs. It helps keep the plants healthy, but you do need to be wary of overfertilizing too. Once again, professional landscapers are your go-to experts to ensure the correct levels of fertilization.
Water is vital to keep your shrubs in top condition, but it needs to be measured, and proper irrigation management by a professional is vital part of this. Smart irrigation systems monitor water use with weather-based controllers or soil moisture sensor-based controllers. These systems help save water and money. Not all commercial landscaping projects budget for or require a complex irrigation system, but you do need to at least think carefully about how to keep your plants properly watered at all times of the year. Losing plants by watering too much or too little can be a costly error.
Accidents always happen, and damage to your shrubs can be caused by people walking by, extreme weather or even incidents such as an oil or chemical spill. Construction damage to your property can also impact your shrubs if they are accidentally knocked or hit.
How to Keep Your Shrubs Healthy
Proper care and maintenance are vital for healthy shrubs with a long lifespan. There are many simple tasks that help keep your shrubs in top condition and ensure they live as long as they should, including:
Mulch and Fertilizer
Something as simple as not having the right depth of mulch for your plants can mean they do not thrive as they should. You don’t want to have too much mulch piling up as this attracts insects, but you also want to ensure there is enough to keep them healthy.
Similarly, as already mentioned, the right level of fertilization is key. Evergreen plants and shrubs, for example, do not require a huge amount of fertilizer, so overfertilization can be a real problem. Getting the balance right is vital to ensure your plants live.
Effective Pest Management
Preventative techniques and being vigilant when it comes to pests can help ensure they do not become a significant problem. Most pests have a specific time of the year they favor, and you can treat against pests early to give your plants the best chance of survival.
The importance of pruning cannot be underestimated. There are different schools of thought on the best approach to pruning and it is worth discussing your options before making a decision. Frequent formal shearing or seasonal rejuvenation are the main approaches to pruning. Here we’ll consider the merits of each.
Formal shearing: this process involves shaping or shearing your shrubs at least every month during the growing season. Shrubs look green all year round and have minimal flowering. Shrubs maintain a tight, manicured appearance.
Seasonal rejuvenation: seasonal rejuvenation is the process of pruning and rejuvenating your shrubs and plants based on their individual species and flowering cycle. It may mean plants only need pruning every year or so depending on their natural flowering cycle.
Pruning for Shrub Health
Shearing can be detrimental to the lifespan and long-term health of your shrubs, while seasonal rejuvenation pruning may actually enhance the plant’s lifespan. Shearing can overstimulate your plants and you may find the interior becomes packed with deadwood and leaves. The interior is also more prone to pests and damage from the weather. Seasonal pruning involves following the natural growth pattern of the plant and it ensures light and air reach every part of the plant, including its interior, minimizing the risk of disease and promoting better nutrient absorption.
Pruning for the Environment
Frequent shearing promotes rapid growth and can lead to your shrubs needing regular, constant upkeep to maintain their shape and size. The constant upkeep can be hard to manage and also increase your company’s environmental impact as shearing requires the use of gas-powered machinery, giving off emissions and exhaust fumes. Seasonal rejuvenation is usually much more planet-friendly and allows you to minimize the impact of your shrubs on the wider environment, keeping them in great shape without overusing resources.
Pruning for Esthetics
As we’ve explained, frequent shearing is hard to maintain, and it can also be difficult to achieve the look you want for your landscaping. Frequent shearing makes it difficult to achieve a consistent level of shear on every shrub and they may look inconsistent and unnatural when it’s time to flower. Deadwood underneath the top layer quickly become visible and it can ruin the appearance of your plants,. Opting for the natural shape produced by seasonal shearing benefits the lifespan of your plants and also their appearance.
Different environments may be better suited to formal shearing and you can discuss the best type of pruning pattern for your desired look.
Best Shrubs for Commercial Properties
Most business owners look for an exterior space that is easy to manage but still looks inviting. There are a vast range of shrubs and plants to choose from, so it can be hard to find the perfect choice for your business. Here are some of the best low-maintenance yet still highly attractive options for business properties:
Korean Boxwood is a hardy and disease-resistant variety of the popular boxwood plant. This shrub has a small and mounded profile with light green glossy leaves. It can help to create a smart, short hedge if you plant them all close together.
Abelia is a popular shrub and a favorite amongst town planners and similar professionals. Its bold flowers make it an attractive choice for any commercial landscaping project. The showy nature of the flowers add an attractive feature to your space.
Spirea is another low-maintenance yet highly attractive option for lining pathways and adding a touch of color to any outdoor space. Cascading clusters of tiny white flowers make for an attractive addition to any sidewalk, pathway or entrance space for your business.
Knock Out Roses
Knock Out Roses give you a big clue to their style in their name, and adding this plant to your business’ entranceway or garden areas certainly brings vibrancy and life to the space. Knock Out Roses benefit from being hardy and low-maintenance as well as bold in color and ideal for bringing personality to any exterior space. They can grow up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide, and the rich array of rose colors makes them a popular and bold way to bring life to a tired commercial yard or entrance. You can find Knock Out Roses in deep cherry red to bold almost-orange fire engine tones.
Miscanthus has an immediately recognizable appearance and brings texture to any space it calls home. It’s great for adding something a little different to the front of your commercial property and the long green blades have light cream-colored highlights and mid-green veins which create an overall appearance of a shimmery silver shade. Miscanthus can grow up to 4 foot tall and 4 foot wide in full sun, with great tolerance for drier climates.
Loropetalum is a sun-loving shrub with vibrant, elegant flowers. Unusual clusters of pink-red flowers bloom all year round and their leaves are a rich ruby red color that compliments the flowers. Some species of loropetalum are quite small and easy to maintain, making them ideal for commercial spaces with regular maintenance planned.
Bayberry is an attractive semi-evergreen shrub that grows steadily and has a great lifespan for commercial use. It grows well in even poor soils, making it a popular and low-maintenance choice for many commercial spaces. Vibrant foliage ensures this shrub stands out and it also benefits from drought tolerance and shade tolerance, making it ideal for a range of different commercial spaces.
Growing Shrubs that Last and Look Fantastic
The shrubs and plants you choose for your business’ landscaping need to be easy to manage unless you plan to dedicate significant time to their upkeep. Spending time choosing the right plants, preparing the environment for them and ensuring you’ve got the right selection for both your climate and personal preference is key to creating a great, attractive environment that won’t simply wither and wilt within a few months. With good care, attention and the right selection, your shrubs should look fantastic for a decade or more.