Plants That Hide Outdoor Structures

Bringing beauty to that eyesore

Mandevilla Vine-vines-in-the-landscape
Mandevilla Vine

There is nothing like an eyesore that takes away from something which was meant to beautify and give that wow, it is like being dressed in a nice suit, hair well-groomed but wearing shoes that are old, dirty, and worn out with holes.

It does not matter how well dressed and groomed that person maybe because of the condition of their shoes it will take away from what that person was hoping to create. Those worn-out shoes would be distracting and so it is with certain outdoor structures and features.

Have you ever seen a home that is so beautiful as you observe it with much admiration then out of nowhere it catches you by surprise or hits you like a lightning bolt, a structure or feature that leaves you with your mouth hanging open, probably wondering what was the homeowner thinking off or why didn’t they fix that problem which is so distracting? What are some features even though serving a purpose is an eyesore?

Some features that may be visible and distracting

Virginia creeper-vine-plants-that-hide-outdoor-structures
Virginia creeper
  • Hot water heaters
  • Plumbing pipes
  • Pool filters
  • Downspout
  • Propane tanks
  • Air-condition units

Again these features do serve a purpose, knowing how to hide them may be a challenge to some homeowners, the good news is you have come to the right place to find out how to make hiding these features simple and easy.

Plants that hide outside structures

What I love about plants is not only how diverse they are with their beauty but how they can be used in so many ways. Here are some ways plants can be used

  • For food
  • For medicine
  • Plants can be used as a shelter
  • For homes both for humans, animals, and insects
  • To make furniture
  • For security purposes

These are just a few of the many ways plants are used. But what if I told you that plants can be used also to hide outdoor features. Over the years of working on many garden projects, there were times when I had to resort to using plants for this purpose even closing very large spaces.

Then there were other times when I used plants to hide a bare wall or to soften up an area. The list of things for using plants seems to be endless.

An example may be wanting to secure your home but not wanting to install a concrete wall, a chain-link fence, etc…. but using plants such as ficus Benjamin makes a great hedge or screen plant.

I have seen these plants used over the years by so many homeowners and what made such a great impact was how nicely they were groomed. This brought the entire landscape together along with their home.

How these shrubs were groomed gave a peaceful and restful feeling that was pleasing to the eyes, in fact, I have worked on homes with these types of plants and have also created that wow.

What other ways can plants be used when it comes to brightening up that drabbed area or eyesore?

Other ways to use plants

When deciding to use plants to help in this area the plants that are chosen for this purpose should complement other garden plants along with being able to thrive in the area they are placed.

For example, you would not want to use a plant that loves full sunlight and place it in an area that gets partial sunlight to hide that outdoor feature because that plant will eventually become an eyesore also, because of the wrong location bringing on disease, insects and leaf drop.

So wherever your outdoor feature is, ensure that the plants which are chosen can survive those areas.

Plants that hide outside structures

1. Hot water heater-For hot water heaters choose plants base on their height because hot water heaters have some height to them. For me, I would choose plants such as areca palms, hibiscus makes a great choice because they do not only give that bloom but that tropical look also.

Copperleaf comes in various colors and has some height that will give that soft touch. But what I want to advise here is to talk with your nurseryman to get some ideas of plants that grow best in your zone. When planting or installing these plants, plant in a way that will not only screen your heater but will allow easy access when the time arises for you to service your heating tank.

2. Plumbing pipes-Plumbing pipes though mostly at ground level can become an eyesore especially when your landscape is really polished. Because these pipes are at ground level it is good to use plants that are low growers.

Choose plants that grow a few inches over your plumbing pipes. Some low-growing plants include Crotons of different species, New Zealand flax, blue ficus, Arkansas blue star, and so on.

A word of caution when using these plants ensure at all times that parts of the pipe are visible because the last thing you want is for someone to trip and getting injured because the pipes are not fully visible.

3. Pool filters-When it comes to pool filters choose plants that grow at the same height as those that are chosen for plumbing fixtures and plant in such a way that the pool filter is somewhat visible.

4. Downspout-Downspout is really visible and it would be good to get rid of them but we can’t because of the purpose they serve. While a tall palm of some sort may work wonders one thing to keep in mind and that is with downspouts their purpose is to direct water or cause water to flow in a certain direction.

So plants should be chosen that can survive in wet conditions when the rainy season starts. Therefore the choice of plants can be swamp sunflowers, water hyssop, Iris, scarlet swamp hibiscus, and so on.

These plants may not be able to cover the entire downspout but at least, that area will soften up with beautiful plants taking away from the distraction of your downspout.

5. Propane tanks-Propane tanks are a must and it is a fact that we can’t get away from them, but as much as we need them they can really be an eyesore. The estate that I worked for many years ago where I was the landscape foremen had a very big green propane tank but what kept this tank from being an eyesore beside its green color to blend in with the plants was that it was hidden with plants.

Plants can be chosen and placed in a circular pattern around them or place alongside them give a spacing of about two to three feet to allow free movement when it is time for the tank to be serviced.

Choose plants that are tall enough to hide the tank but still allow for some visibility for persons to see because when dealing with propane tanks we must be careful taking precautions. Ensure that plants are placed in a way so persons can know there is a propane tank as they approach that area.

6. Air condition units-There is nothing like having these units which can make life so comfortable whether we are in our cars, our homes, a restaurant and office building, and so on. When it comes to the summer months where the weather can get really hot air condition units are a blessing I am pretty sure even though they may be an eyesore one thing we are not willing to do and that is getting rid of these babies that make living in the heat so comfortable.

Now I must agree there are some units that are beautifully made but for those that need help using a few plants around them to soften up what I call an eyesore can work wonders.

Remember plants that are used should not be taller than these units, they should be kept a few inches or a foot or two below these units so they won’t grow into air condition units which can cause issues and the last thing you want is to solve one problem and create another that may cost you more to fix somewhere down the road so to speak. Make sure that plants are always neatly groomed. Installing garden plants is a great way to have that instant fix and another great benefit of using plants is it doesn’t have to cause you much so if a feature is an eyesore don’t despair, garden plants can work wonders for you.

Enhancing the beauty of your structure

What I love about plants is that you can use them in so many ways to create beauty and charm. A great idea to enhance the beauty of your already beautiful structure is by using plants

I have seen many structures that used plants to enhance their beauty and it was just breathtaking. Here in this picture are creeping figs that bring that WOW to this home, doesn’t it look amazing.

This is the wonder of plants and what they can do so think outside the box and get creative as you let those creative juice flow.

Additional information on the maintenance of your garden plants

This is some additional information to ensure that you have much success with your garden plants.

1. Know your plant’s water requirements and water accordingly.

2. Soil really does matter, to ensure that your plants are growing healthy. For more on soils follow these links. Starting a compost pile, organic soil mix, and soil ph.

3. Fertilizers can help give your garden plants that extra boost. For more on fertilizers check out this info. Slow release, quick release, and organic fertilizers

4. Garden insect pests can really put a damper on what you are trying to achieve. Here is some garden insect pest you may find lurking around your garden. Garden pest control methods and pest control methods.

5. Keep your plants prune into shape. This is good for their health.

The final word

Plants are just awesome, they come in different styles, shapes, sizes, and colors just to meet your needs as you seek to resolve those issues. What we have discussed are just a few ideas to give you a start.

I believe we should take advantage of garden plants to get the most use out of them. So let’s connect with nature by giving nature a helping hand because when we help nature we are also helping ourselves.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.