A commercial facility can be a busy place.

Even though the variety of commercial sites in Greater Chicago is vast, all of them experience traffic. From employees coming and going at an office park or industrial property to customers at a retail facility, foot and vehicle movement can be pretty hectic on a daily basis. As such, the landscaping at these places has to keep up. It can’t be weak or wimpy or need extra special care or it won’t be able to last. You know you don’t have time to check on tender plants every day.

That’s why low-maintenance commercial landscaping is so important.

Not sure which plants can provide some nice aesthetics to your commercial site, while also being low maintenance? Here are a few to consider.

Best Low-Maintenance Plants For Commercial Landscapes

Plants are a key component to any landscape – commercial facilities included. Any landscape without lots of green and pops of color is pretty dull and dreary.

But there are three things you have to think about first when choosing low-maintenance plants for commercial landscapes.

  • Always consider site location, sun exposure, soil condition, irrigation availability, and traffic when choosing low-maintenance landscaping plants. 
  • Plants that grow uncontrollably and could invasively cover windows or doors would be a maintenance nightmare and a safety hazard. As a rule, the low-maintenance plants you choose should never block windows, walkways, fire hydrants, or entrances and exits. 
  • Be mindful of snow and salt. If you have spots where you tend to pile snow in the winter, you don’t want key trees planted there. But some perennials, annuals, and ornamental grasses could be OK because they aren’t as impacted by snow. The same could be said for salt. You want to choose hardy plants for areas where salt may be a concern. Adding burlap or snow fencing on parking lot edges to protect plants where you tend to apply quite a bit of salt could also help.

Even the best low-maintenance varieties need the right planting environments. For instance, plant sun-loving plants in areas that receive 6-plus hours of sun and shade-loving plants in those that receive less than 4 hours of direct sunlight. There are similar rules for each plant on soil moisture and type. 

This ensures your plants thrive and showcase the best flowers and color while best low maintenance.

Here are some of our favorites.

1. Boxwood

Boxwoods are great best plants for commercial landscapes because they are evergreen and you can use them as reliable backdrops or to provide structure in your commercial beds. 

landscape maintenance expert trims boxwood with hedge trimmer

They can be kept to a 30-inch height with selective pruning and shaping, but they can also get to 4 feet without a lot of work. Smaller leaf varieties are nice; try ‘Green Gem,’ ‘Chicagoland Green,’ or ‘Northern Charm.’ 

If you’re not a fan of boxwoods, try inkberry holly; the ‘Shamrock’ variety is similar in size and texture to boxwoods but offers something different.

2. Globe Arborvitae

We’ve used ‘Fire Chief’ globe arborvitae in some Greater Chicago commercial landscapes to incorporate a high-contrast evergreen.

globe arb

This low-maintenance plant for commercial landscapes brings orange to red foliage at a 3- to 4-foot height. It’s not what you’d expect from an arborvitae, which is what makes it so special.

3. Hydrangea

Hydrangea varieties are great low-maintenance plants for commercial landscapes because they have large flower heads that persist all summer long, which is exactly what can make commercial properties shine. 

CC- Hydrangea

Hydrangea ‘Annabell’ has lovely white flowers and is adaptable to both sun and shade, as well as wet conditions. It also offers a 3- to 4-foot height. ‘Incrediball’ is a bigger version. Another great low-maintenance landscape plant is ‘Invincibelle Ruby,’ which does best in full sun and promises some red color.

Get Creative With Low-Maintenance Plants

Being creative is part of the fun of incorporating low-maintenance plants for commercial landscapes in Chicago. 

flowers and plants in commercial landscape bed

There are some ways you can pair low-maintenance plants together for maximum impact. For instance, pairing red-leaf plants with chartreuse-leaf plants provides nice contrast. Add something blue in the foreground to bring another element. 

Try ‘Tiger Eye’ sumac, for example, combined with ‘Spilled Wine’ weigela in front of a ‘Diablo’ or “Little Devil’ ninebark with its darker burgundy leaves. Then add a blue-toned ornamental grass like blue oatgrass for another contrasting texture and color.

Low Maintenance Can Bring Great Aesthetics and Reduce Care Costs

The best plants for commercial landscapes can be both beautiful and low maintenance. We hope this list helps prove that.

Commercial Property Manager? Check Out Our Ultimate Guide to Landscape  Maintenance

Choosing the right ones can seem challenging. You don’t want to pick the wrong plant or waste time and money adding to your commercial maintenance costs. 

We completely understand. KD Landscape can help. We live and breathe plants every day. We can help you make the right choices so you can get the look you want at the budget you need. We can let you know which plants are truly low maintenance and how they can best work in your Greater Chicago Commercial landscape

Want to learn more about how to choose the best low-maintenance plants for your Greater Chicago commercial property? Get started today with a free quote. We’ll review your options together so you can make a great choice.

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Image Source: Hydrangea, Globe Arb