Designing With Ornamental Plants: How To Incorporate Them Into Your Landscape (2023 Best Guide)

Designing with Ornamental Plants – If you’re looking to add a touch of beauty and color to your landscape, incorporating ornamental plants is the way to go!

As an experienced horticulturalist and landscape designer, I’m often asked how homeowners can design with these gorgeous plants.

In this article, I’ll be sharing all my top tips for selecting and arranging ornamental plants in any garden.

Selecting The Right Ornamental Plants

Getting off on the right foot is key when it comes to selecting ornamental plants for your landscape.

There are a variety of types, from flowering shrubs and groundcovers to trees and vines, so you’ll want to do some research before diving in headfirst.

Knowing which plants thrive in your climate zone, as well as their hardiness requirements, will put you ahead of the game.

With this knowledge in hand, designing with ornamental plants becomes easier and more enjoyable!

When considering design elements such as color, texture, and form – all important factors that influence how an ornamental plant looks in the garden – take into account each species’ characteristics.

The placement of your ornamental plants also plays a crucial role in achieving a balanced look; by understanding their mature size and growth rate you can anticipate where they should be placed today for years of enjoyment down the road.

Moving forward, preparation is essential for ensuring success with any planting project regardless of scale or type.

Preparing Your Landscape For Planting

Before you begin planting your ornamental plants, it’s essential to prepare the landscape.

This includes selecting the right type of plants for the location, preparing and enriching the soil, and learning proper planting techniques.

First, when choosing which plants to use in your landscape design, make sure they are suitable for both the climate and available sunlight exposure at that particular site.

While all ornamental plants differ in their requirements, there are plenty of options from ground covers to trees that will work with any given environment.

Take into account everything from size and form to texture and color when making a selection so as to create an aesthetically pleasing arrangement.

Next, once you have chosen your desired plants, it is important to properly prepare the soil prior to planting them.

Soil preparation should involve more than just digging up holes – you must also add organic matter like compost or peat moss along with fertilizer if needed.

Ensuring adequate drainage is also key since too much water can suffocate roots while not enough will cause drought-like conditions in your garden space.

After amending the soil accordingly, it’s time to get down starting by using appropriate planting techniques such as spacing between each plant and rooting depth levels depending on what kind of species you’re dealing with.

designing with ornamental plants

Maintaining And Caring For Ornamental Plants

Caring for ornamental plants in your landscape is key to keeping them looking great. Proper maintenance and upkeep of these plants will ensure they remain healthy, attractive, and vibrant year after year.

It’s important to understand the individual needs of each plant species as this will make a big difference when it comes to their success in the garden.

For starters, all ornamental plants need adequate water and nutrient supply throughout the growing season.

Watering should be done regularly – at least once per week during hot weather – but be sure not to overwater or allow waterlogging as this can cause root rot.

Additionally, regular fertilization with an appropriate fertilizer type (e.g., slow-release granular fertilizer) can help provide essential nutrients that most ornamental plants require for optimal growth and health.

Pruning should also be done periodically to encourage new growth while removing any dead or diseased branches/foliage from the plant.

Lastly, controlling weeds by either manual removal or using herbicides can help prevent competition with other desirable plants in your garden.

In short, taking proper care of ornamental plants requires ongoing attention and effort – especially if you want them to thrive and look their best! With diligent effort, however, you’ll have no problem making sure that your ornamentals stay beautiful and healthy into the future.


As a horticulturalist and landscape designer, I have found that ornamental plants can be one of the most rewarding elements to incorporate into your outdoor space.

They bring unique beauty, texture, color, and interest to any design project.

With some thoughtfulness in selecting the right ornamentals for your climate zone and careful preparation of the soil before planting, you’ll enjoy watching them thrive over time with minimal care or maintenance required.

When done correctly, incorporating ornamental plants into your landscape is like painting an ever-changing tapestry – no two gardens will look alike.

Like brush strokes on a canvas, each planted specimen adds its own unique touch for an artful end result that will dazzle year after year!