As a Realtor, curb appeal is important to me because I know it counts! On my quest to find a low maintenance plant to go in front of my porch, I factored in many things.
Height: If you don't read the expected growth height carefully, you may be blocking light from coming into your window in a couple of years if the plant(s) grow too tall. You may also not want to sit on your porch if your plants grow too high because then you can't see out!
How much time do you have? If you don't want to tend to the flower beds much, you'll need something low maintenance. I enjoy spending time in my yard, but only when I want to...not because I have to.
I give extra credit to plants that are evergreen so your curb appeal stays on point no matter what time of year it is!
For this, my all time favorite plant for front flower beds in the greater metro Portland Oregon area is Fragrant Mountain Himalayan Sweetbox. Why? It goes with every home color scheme...it's mainly green. It's SUPER fragrant in early February. It's the first plant to perk up when we turn the corner looking forward to Spring. They have pointed green leaves with tiny white blooms...so tiny that I never even see them! They will do well in full sun or part shade and only grow 2'x3' so they are ideal for in front of your porch, under your front window etc. They will stay lower to the ground so if you are setting on an Adirondack behind them, you can comfortably see over them. They don't require any trimming! They made it through our giant ice storm of 2021 and the 118 degree heat wave (although some tips of the leaves did brown a little, it fully recovered.) I call them my "work horses" of the front yard. They are consistently attractive, yet I do nothing (except water them in the summer and fall of course.)
I'm not telling you they are cheap. (They aren't.) BUT I have tried several other types of plants under windows and these have won my vote of confidence over the years. In my opinion, they are worth the money. I put four along my front flower bed and could have gotten away with just three. If you are looking for a solid long term choice, this is a good one!
Kristina Browning is a Realtor in the Portland, Oregon area specializing in SE Portland and Oregon City.