Expert Tip Monday: How Far Apart Should You Plant?

City Plumbing & Electric

It's planting season! It's planting season!

You know you want to fill your yard with color and greenery – but do you know what the proper planting spacing is for each plant you choose? Probably not.  So today we bring you tips from a landscape architect Dan Eginton, of Scenic Environments. He's going to show us exactly how much room you should leave between your blooms…


“Give 'em space!"

By Dan Eginton

Designing and implementing your garden can be tricky. All plants require a certain amount of spacing between each plant and a certain distance from other plant types. They also require certain spacing or distance from “hardscape” areas as well as mechanical and electrical units.

All plants should come with spacing requirements listed on the label. However, not all local growers invest in planting tags. In this case, utilize the Internet and / or your local cooperative extension service to help you determine proper spacing.

Plants are categorized based on their growth potential.

·      Large shade trees           40 – 50 feet plus

·      Medium shade trees       30 – 40 feet plus

·      Under story trees            20 – 30 feet plus

·      Small trees                     20 – 30 feet plus

·      Screen trees (evergreen)  10 – 20 feet plus

·      Large shrubs                  6 – 20 feet plus

·      Medium shrubs              4 – 8 feet plus

·      Small shrubs                  3 – 7 feet plus

·      Ornamental grasses       4 – 10 feet plus

·      Perennials                      1 – 3 feet plus

·      Ground cover                 1 – 3 feet plus

·      Annuals                         .5 – 1.5 feet plus

Each category has a built-in growth habit and requires certain spacing. Moreover, each species within a category will more than likely have its own specific requirements.

To have a successful landscape plan, the designer and / or owner should understand spacing requirements. Also, depending on the goals of the designer or their client, spacing requirements can also be varied to achieve a certain look or feel.

There are many variables to think about before you simply start buying plants and planting them in your garden. Remember that a truly good design may not reach its full potential for five years or more after plantings have been installed.

Most of the time poor design has more to do with a lack of plant material knowledge than design flaws. It’s important to hire a designer who is well rounded in his or her knowledge of plants as well as functionality. A lack of plant material knowledge can be potentially costly to the property owners in the long term.

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