5 Outdated Plants That Make Your Home Look Old

In my 35+ years of professional landscaping, I've seen landscape trends come and go. Some plants and shrubs have had their day in the sun, and it's time to move them to the compost pile. Every day, I see homes and businesses that need to remove old landscape perennials. 

In the past, these bushes and hedges were added because they were fast-growing and low maintenance. But low-maintenance often meant lackluster and boring. It "just filled the space." Today, these outdated shrubs and bushes likely are overgrown, with no shape, no blooms and are affecting the appearance of your home. These old reliables add no color or character to your home.

Your house loses its curb appeal when the landscaping distracts, not enhances, the look of your home.

Your landscaping should represent the people in it. We bet that the drab dark greens and thorny branches of the dated plants don’t represent you any more than shag carpeting or a corduroy couch. You deserve better landscaping!

old, overgrown, dying shrubs
Old, neglected shrubs and worn-out edging detract from the beauty of this home.
New hydrangeas, shrubs, and decorative rocks are much more welcoming.

At Designer Landscapes, we often get calls to tear out old shrubs, and boy, what a difference it makes! It's so satisfying to replace them with colorful yet low-maintenance plants to make your home’s front door landscaping fresh, modern and welcoming. Full, luscious landscaping for curb appeal is the dream of every homeowner.

Here is our list of 5 outdated plants that make your house look old - you should remove these right away. You won’t believe the difference!

5 Outdated Plants to Remove from Your Yard Now


Homeowners loved planting yews to hide parts of their home. The dark colors can make a house look drab, especially the mature ones, who are likely overgrown after decades of neglect. You’ll probably need a professional landscaper to dig these out, since the roots are likely deep.



These spiky hedges can work as an accent plant, but as a main feature, they’re drab and boring


The ubiquitous choice we see just about every day. They require little maintenance, but you do have to shape them to keep them from looking leggy. There are much better options that are low maintenance.

pfitzer juniper

Another very common evergreen, with some varieties low-growing. They had a good spread of about 10 feet. But really, you can do better.

An overgrown yellow forsythia



In a change from the dark evergreens, the forsythia can look pretty with its golden yellow blooms in the spring. ut if neglected, can grow large, making it an easy choice to fill big spaces. But like the others, if they’re neglected, they can take over a space and get overgrown and make your home look less appealing.

Replacement Options for Outdated Landscape Plants

If the above shrubs are a familiar sight in your yard, don’t fret. A professional landscaper can easily remove your old landscape and design a fresh new feeling for your front yard or back yard. The secret is including colorful perennials, along with shrubs, for more a modern landscaping design. Think they’ll be a pain to maintain? Not at all. The right flowering bushes and perennials are easy to care for, are long lasting, plus add so much color. Plus, you might attract a butterfly or hummingbird!

A professional can design a perennial display that provides the coverage you need with modern, fresh plants that you can maintain based on how much you want to work in the garden. We can help you landscape the front of the house, the sides and back yard.

Here are some of my top picks for midwest perennials:

hardy hibiscus

Find one large and small: Hardy Hibiscus- Perfect Storm, Berry Awesome, and many more!

See All The Hibiscuses


Small or large, lythrum adds instant elegance.

See Dwarf Lythrum



Hundreds of varieties of size, shape, and color! We love Blue Angel, Dancing with Dragons, Guacamole, Curly Fries, the list goes on!

SEE all the HOSTAS


Who doesn't love daylillies? Beautiful, simple to care for, and so many choices! Ruby Spider, When My Sweetheart Returns, King of Ages. 

See Daylillies

butterfly bush

Small or large, lythrum adds instant elegance. We like Grand Cascade and Nanho Purple.




These compact, hardy perennials bloom all summer with pops of color. Our favorites: Violet Riot and Bumble snow. Great to fill in spaces.

see salvias

ornamental grasses

Lots to choose from

SEE all the grasseS

image plantphotoviewer


Beautiful and durable, it can tolerate dry and hot conditions.



coral bell

Pretty small shrubs with many choices of colors and blooms. 

see coral bells

Modernize Your Landscaping

Find these plants and shrubs in our online catalog. We love retro as much as everyone else. But some things from the '60s, '70s and 80s need to stay in the past. Give your house some 21st century style.If you’ve got any of the outdated plants we mentioned, send us some pictures and we’ll whip up a plan for you to brighten your home’s landscaping. 

Here's another little secret: The new plants all work well together. Read our popular blog post to see how to group these perennials.

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