Mailbox Planting

CosmosI would like to spruce up the area around my mailbox, which is currently just lawn. Do you have any recommendations?

Answer: The specifics of what you plant will depend on your climate and your taste, but here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

Choose low-maintenance plants that don’t require frequent deadheading or watering. You want this area to always look its best, since it is front-and-center to your home.

You can plant a quick-growing vine to climb up your mailbox post. Mandevilla, morning glory and climbing nasturtiums are lightweight, floriferous choices that won’t overwhelm the mailbox and interfere with delivery.

Use annuals that bloom all summer, mixing a variety of height. Tall options to hide the post include cleome and cosmos (shown). Shorter choices for the front and sides of the area include tender geraniums (Pelargonium), impatiens and marigolds, just to name a few.

In areas with heavy snow fall, where plowing and salting are frequent, avoid using shrubs that could be damaged by these winter activities.

If you want to include perennials, be sure to choose a range of plants that will bloom at different points in the season and to include some foliage plants.
Plan your garden with the Perennial, Annual and Shade Garden Wheels, 3-D tools that make garden design easy.

Read about familiar and less common annuals, plus seed-starting and transplanting techniques, in Horticulture’s Annuals CD.

Attract hummingbirds to your garden with Renee’s Garden Bonus Pack: Seeds for a Hummingbird Garden.

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5 thoughts on “Mailbox Planting

  1. As a long-time garden designer may I suggest that you do not plant around a mailbox … nor any other “non-voluntary” hardscape ?

    It’s just my opinion based on experience. I’d suggest: pavers, slate, cement, etc.

    Once you start landscaping around hardscapes, especially the ones you do not choose, you’ll be planting around utility poles, gas meters, mailboxes, water meters, etc. In my experience it’s better to let them “disappear” instead of altering a good garden design to accomodate those type of things.

  2. I’m going to echo the previous comments–as a former mail carrier for 30 years and a long time gardener, I loved to see attractive flowers growing by a mailbox, but hated when plants were tall enough to be hit by the door when open, because then it meant that the bees were apt to be disturbed when I arrived. Also, vines should be kept at the back of the box and not allowed to cover the mailbox itself. This can also be an issue if they obscure the address-leading to mis-deliveries by a new carrier or delays for emergency personel or other delivery people.

  3. Please be considerate of your carrier. That vine may be pretty, but would you want to drive up and stick your hand in there? Would you want that scrubing against your car? I’ve had patrons who had masses of wisteria, honeysuckle, roses, or bushes around the mailbox. Some I have had to discontinue service because of accesability. Also, if a driving route, the area in front of the box is important. It must be clear for vehicles.

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