The Outdated Curb Appeal Trend You Should Avoid At All Costs, According to Landscaping Experts

updated May 27, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: living4media / Harrison, Brian

A quick heads-up: Note that any specific plants mentioned in this story or any others may be toxic to pets or humans. “Toxic” plants can induce symptoms that range from mild (upset stomach) to severe (possible death). If you have a cat, dog, or kid, make sure you research the plants ahead of time on a reputable site like, or by calling your vet or pediatrician

Curb appeal is a must if you want to deliver a good first impression with your home. There’s a lot you can do to help the exterior of your house really pop, and there are a few things you should avoid, too. Of course, when you’re trying to sell your home, it’s more important than ever to ensure the outside catches a potential buyer’s eye right away. 

Landscaping can be an integral part of curb appeal, but you want to make sure it’s done right and reflective of current styles. Once upon a time, boxwood shrubs were very popular and often used to try to conceal a less attractive foundation, fill out a garden, and create some additional privacy around a home. However, experts say this trend now feels a bit passé — but not for the reasons you might think.

In fact, aesthetics aren’t the primary concern with these. “Curb appeal trends that are fading include anything that’s high maintenance,” Riann Emch, an agent in the Dallas area, told Apartment Therapy last year. “Box hedges are pretty up there on that list — you have to shape them and make sure they’re just right.”

Most people today are short on time, and it doesn’t take long for these shrubs to look messy, explains Kris Lippi, licensed real estate broker and owner of “A cluttered or disorganized look is a no-no, most especially in a time when minimalism is in style,” Lippi says. You can opt to have a professional maintain boxwoods, but that can get expensive. 

“The solid shape and straight lines lack an organic feel,” says Andra DelMonico, lead interior designer for Trendey. “These shrubs don’t create a visual flow throughout your property.”

She also points out that they’re prone to pest infestations, which are very difficult to eliminate.

If you’re ready to get rid of your boxwood shrubs and update your curb appeal, consider that you may want to hire professional landscapers to remove them, as the deep roots can make the process difficult. 

Still want some type of bushes in the front yard? Gena Lorainne, garden design and landscape expert at Fantastic Services, recommends holly, hydrangea, or juniper for a fresher, more contemporary look.