How To Use Accent Plants In A Landscape Plan

How To Use Accent Plants In A Landscape Plan

Accent Plant

When it comes to curb and garden appeal, you can’t go wrong with an accent plant. These stand-alone or small grouping of plants are meant to draw the eye and provide a focal point in your garden. Adding accent plants to your yard is a great way to enhance visual appeal and make a lasting impression.

What is an Accent Plant?

As the name indicates, an accent plant is a shrub or tree with interesting characteristics that is placed to highlight your yard or garden. These are showstopper plants that offer some serious “wow” factor, from showy flowers, to bright fall foliage and unique form. 

Benefits of Accent Plants

There are many reasons to incorporate accent plants into your landscape. Consider this:

  • Visual impact. Accent plants help break up areas of repetitive texture, such as open lawns, fences or walkways, to make your yard truly memorable.
  • Draw the eye. Much like a painter uses colors to draw the eyes to the important parts of his work, accent plants use color, texture, and shape to draw the eyes to the most beautiful parts of your landscape.
  • Provide a focal point. Accent plants are meant to be the focal point of the yard, and because of this can help you coordinate the rest of your garden for a stunning effect.

Accent Plant Tips & Ideas

Make it Pop

In order for an accent plant to really “pop” and catch the eye, it needs to stand out from its surroundings, without clashing. When choosing an accent plant to place in your yard, consider your garden’s overall theme and style. What is the texture like? What are the dominant colors, and when do they stand out most? Your goal is to draw attention, so it’s important to keep in mind which accent plant characteristics will help you achieve that goal.

Choose Wisely

As with any plant, be sure that you select an accent shrub or tree that will truly thrive in your yard. Planting in an unsuitable location, no matter how beautiful the plant can be, will result in poorer health for the accent plant, more work for you, and worse results. Accent plants especially are meant to stand out, so you want to make sure to set them up for success.

Consider All Four Seasons

The best accent plants will draw the eye all year long. When selecting your accent plant, or accent planting, take all four seasons into account. If your choice accent tree is spring-blooming, extend its impact with some summer-blooming bulbs, or choose a plant that has that coveted four season appeal: spring color, bright summer and fall foliage, and pretty winter bark.

Our Favorite Accent Plants

There are many shrubs and trees that make fabulous accent plants. These are some of our - and our customers’ - favorites:

Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea, Tree Form

The tree form of the Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea is one of the most striking and eye catching options to add to your landscape plan. This hydrangea is trained to grow like a small “tree,” adding its unique shape to its already beautiful display. With bright flowering cones that reach seven inches long in summer, and blossoms that change gradually from white to a soft reddish pink, this accent plant is a breathtaking centerpiece in any garden. Relatively easy to maintain and hardy in most of the US, the Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea is a sure bet for a beautiful accent plant in a variety of settings.

Blue Chinese Wisteria Tree

Boasting one of the most stunning flower displays anywhere, the Blue Chinese Wisteria Tree is a beautiful and elegant addition to your landscape. Growing up to 15 feet tall and displaying bright blue blossoms that appear before soft green leaves in late spring, this tree form of the traditionally vining wisteria is sure to stand out. In addition to their stunning beauty, the blossoms have a sweet fragrance that both you and your neighbors will appreciate! No wonder this is our best-seller, year after year.

Betty Magnolia

The Betty Magnolia is a compact version of its larger magnolia counterparts, growing to between 12-15 feet tall, but still packs the same impressive flowery punch! Magnolias have always been known for their fragrant and robust blossoms, and this small-garden friendly magnolia delivers on that promise without taking up too much space. With lush summer foliage and a cold-hardy constitution, the Betty Magnolia is a great option to add a stunning display to your garden or landscape.

Japanese Maple

For major four season appeal, the unique coral bark japanese maple is a fabulous choice. Featuring coral-pink bark and light green leaves that turn gold in autumn, this accent tree is a real showstopper. Like all Japanese maples, it is an easy keeper that will turn heads all year long. In fact, one of its best seasons is in winter when the bright bark stands out against the snow.

A thoughtfully planted accent plant can set the atmosphere and improve the visual dynamic of any garden or landscape design. With careful planning, and a little adventurous spirit, you can use accent plants to make your landscape truly captivating.


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