Bob Vila: 14 trees, shrubs, and other plants that increase curb appeal

Looking for ways to increase the value of your home, enhance curb appeal, and make your property more sellable? Planting particular trees, shrubs, and other plants can go a long way toward making your home more valuable and more desirable. That is according to world-famous renovation expert, Bob Vila. In a recent article titled “14 Plants, Shrubs, and Trees That Can Help You Sell Your House,” Mr. Vila discusses some of the specific plants that can make your home more appealing to buyers. Here are Bob’s picks…


First impressions are extremely important. When someone is in the market for buying a new home, that initial glance at their potentially new abode is crucial in determining the possible sale. Appealing to the senses of the buyer can make all the difference.

If they first gaze upon a brown, patchy lawn with shriveled trees and plants, chances are they won’t see past that ugly vista. If they see lush greens, pops of glorious color they may be intrigued.
And if their olfactory system is enticed with seductive aromas of blooming bushes and trees, their interest is far more likely to be piqued.

Here are fourteen bushes, trees, and plants which, according to Bob Vila could increase the market-value and likelihood of selling your home.


Nandina, a versatile shrub, also known as heavenly bamboo, flourishes in semi-tropical regions year round, and adds a dramatic shade of green to your outdoor living space. Bob says they are extremely low maintenance and will grow effortlessly in full sun, partial shade, or full shade. An added bonus is Nandina’s ability to produce stunning white flowers in spring and red berries in the fall.


Another eye-catching, flowering option is the enduring Azalea plant. This hardy beauty does her best work in filtered sunlit areas with morning or afternoon shade. She will reward you with astonishing vibrantly-colored spring blooms. According to Mr. Vila, azaleas are a versatile and low-cost choice for any homeowner looking to sell.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

The Oakleaf hydrangea shrub will delight potential buyers in the fall with its glorious autumnal shades of orange, red, and yellow. In the summer it offers gorgeous, huge white blossoms. In the winter, when there is a death of color in your garden, the Oakleaf hydrangea’s peeling bark adds a point of interest. This deciduous, all-season beauty flourishes in dappled shade but will do nicely in full sun or partly shaded area says Vila.


The heady aroma of honeysuckle is legendary in the world of blooming bushes, which is why it is one of the most popular landscaping choices for many homeowners. Honeysuckle is also heat-resistant, and highly versatile, according to Bob. It can be planted as a bush, or a picturesque vine draping over a trellis. They attract hummingbirds and other pollinators and require little maintenance and only occasional watering. Honeysuckle is indeed a feast for the eyes and nose!


There are far too many varieties of roses to list here, however, any and all types have a fantastic curb-appeal. Sally Holmes roses are known for their hardiness and beauty and are best utilized as a climbing bush to be hung from a trellis. Little Mischief roses are an elegant breed, perfect for a front yard garden. Sally Homes and Little Mischief are both popular choices, according to Vila, due to their long blooming periods, their disease-resistant qualities, and of course, their irresistible aroma.


The shade-loving Hosta plant will enjoy being a close companion to any of the trees on your property. Their lush, diverse shades of green, cream, blue and yellowish gold, will perfectly complement the areas under your trees. Hosta plants are also great for covering those unsightly bare patches. They are ideal for a walkway or lining the side of your house. Bob says hostas are hardy, low maintenance, and have a lengthy lifespan.


There are many varieties of succulents, and they all have their own unique growing habits. Succulents are popular for their versatility, range of hues, beauty, low-maintenance qualities, and ability to flourish in drier climates. They are ideal for covering bare patches and require very little water, and Bob says they are a great option for first-time homeowners.


Magnolia trees are most prevalent in southern regions but can also grow in climates with a mild winter. Magnolias will bloom year-round, with stunningly huge white flowers, making this tree a great selling point for potential buyers. Their scent is intoxicating, their beauty hypnotic, thus creating an ever-elegant atmosphere in any yard.

Fruit Trees

Who hasn’t fantasized about stepping into their yard and picking an orange or apple from a tree? Fruit trees are always a great selling point to any potential buyer, and add an idyllic quality to any property. If the area you live in is a more temperate zone, peach, persimmon, or cherry trees might be an option.

Conifer Evergreens

If you are looking to add some gorgeous greenery to your property and want something low-maintenance, conifer evergreens may be the right choice for your yard. These fast-growing beauties can grow up to four feet annually, and they smell heavenly. If homeowners require privacy, coniferous evergreens are a fabulous option.

Maple Trees

These deciduous trees are capable of providing tons of shade with their dense canopy. Maple trees are ideal in hotter climates, for homeowners wishing to avoid the relentless sun. They also provide a colorful spectacle every fall when their leaves turn bright red, yellow, and orange before shedding. Maple trees need to be pruned on a regular basis, according to Vila, in order to maintain integrity and health. If properly maintained will generously offer shade and beauty for years to come.


This diminutive succulent tree will rarely reach a height of more than 20 feet. They bloom in the summer and fall, bursting forth with edible, pink, apricot, or white flowers. Frangipanis love a hot and humid climate and their blooms give off a heady, enticing aroma. They offer a dramatic splash of color to tropical homes and have eye-popping curb appeal.

Palm Trees

Palm trees are an excellent option for landscaping your tropical-paradise property. They are low-maintenance, requiring very little hydration, and are drought-resistant. Their giant fronds provide much-needed shade for other plants. They are a little pricey. Some varieties cost up to $800.00. However, claims Vila, palms can increase the value of your home enough to make them well worth the price.

Willow Trees

Fully-grown willow trees are among the most elegant of all the tree species known to man. These beautiful towering giants love to be near water, however, some varieties, such as the Australian and Desert willows will do well in drier climes. Bob says any and all types of willows will add mystique and elegance to your property, and most certainly appeal to potential buyers.


Featured photo by Gus Ruballo.

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