Any plant that grows in Minnesota has to be made of some seriously tough stuff. From late April snows to scorching summers, our state’s climate isn’t for things that tend to wilt quickly, so it’s important to choose hardy plants wisely. Resident satisfaction should be a high priority in your neighborhood, and it’s a bit hard to create a positive community culture if your “greenery” looks all yellow instead.

Let Gassen help you bring your landscaping A-game this year! As an Eden Prairie provider of property management services, we’re familiar with the top trends in landscaping this year and ready to help your HOA community blossom!

Here are a few of our top picks for trees, flowers, and shrubs that are ideal for Minnesota’s climate and can brighten up any neighborhood.


If you have the budget and want to make a long lasting statement, add a great deal of height, or provide extra shade into your neighborhood, trees are the best way to do it. Here are a few trees that are perfect for Minnesota communities. 

Northern Catalpa Tree

The University of Minnesota recommends this tree for Minnesota landscapes, and for good reason. Researchers describe the Northern Catalpa as one of the best performing urban trees due to its tolerance of soil conditions. In other words: metropolitan HOAs, take note!

This tree can also tolerate a variety of moisture levels, which, in our opinion, makes the Northern Catalpa a great fit for our sometimes moody Midwestern climate. 

Thanks to its flashy and fragrant flowers, it’s also a great fit for HOAs that want to attract pollinators to their neighborhoods, like bees and hummingbirds. Just be careful to avoid tripping hazards; these trees’ flower petals can be slick when they first fall.

Maple Trees

There are many varieties of maple trees, even some being developed to grow more symmetrically and be more tolerant to soil and water changes. And they are still one of the best shade trees money can buy. 

Check your site before planting a maple because their roots are often shallow and will interfere with pipes, sidewalks, and streets. They prefer a lot of space to grow, so plant them in common areas, not by buildings or boulevards.  

With quick acclimation to its site conditions, all you have to ensure is that a maple tree gets a lot of sun. Once planted, it is a low maintenance tree. Plus the gorgeous, bright foliage in the fall adds so much charm to a neighborhood! 

Concolor Fir or White Fir Trees

For that everlasting blue green foliage that brings some color comfort on even the grayest winter day, plant some white fir trees throughout your landscape. When all other vegetation looks dead and gone, this evergreen will keep on stunning the neighborhood.

White Firs are a good replacement for the Colorado blue spruce, which has been a popular choice in Minnesota but is prone to needlecast disease. With white firs, you can get a similar northern boreal forest look without having to treat the fungal disease. 

Shrubs & Bushes

Looking to fill in a good deal of space but not wanting to add too much height to your landscape, shrubs and bushes are an ideal way to bring color, texture, and foliage to any property. 

Most shrubs can be planted fairly close to buildings, providing contrast to flat walls or privacy around windows, and they make great dividers when wanting to create zones in green spaces. 

Redosier Dogwood Shrub

Also known as the red twig dogwood, this bright and bold shrub surely lives up to its name. Its bark is a flaming scarlet in the wintertime, giving otherwise dreary landscapes a hearty splash of color. 

It’s a colorful bonanza in other seasons, too! This species develops off-white flowers in late May to early June and bluish-white fruit in the later summer months.

While it’s somewhat contested from where exactly in the Midwest this plant originated, the very fact that it’s a regional native makes it a smart pick for a variety of HOAs.

Serviceberry or Juneberry Trees

While known as flowering trees, certain varieties, like the “Regent,” have been cultivated in a shrub form bearing lots of delicious berries. Growing around six feet high, these shrubs are an excellent addition to any Minnesota garden or landscape. 

They feature white flowers in the spring which turn into purple-black edible fruits around June (hence the name “Juneberry”). In the fall, their leaves turn a soft red against the gray bark of their branches. 

As another easy to grow plant, serviceberry trees can handle most soil types, full sun to partial shade, and are hardy enough to grow even in growing zone 2 conditions. 

The ultimate bringer of spring, lilac bushes are a cheerful classic in every landscape. Their whimsical bloom and strong fragrance is a sure sign of warm weather and a joyful addition to any HOA landscape or garden. 

Traditionally, these bushes were planted by backdoors so their lovely scent could waft through homes, but their size also makes them useful for creating secluded zones or divisions in a landscape. 

Use lilacs as standalone shrubs or plant flowers around them, this versatile bush works well in almost any space, requiring only partial shade or full sunlight to thrive. Do cut it back from time to time to encourage the blooms to come back each year. 

Flowering Plants

Bring pops of color, sweet fragrances, and even butterflies to your landscape with just the right flowers. Native Minnesota perennial plants are a great choice for local HOAs because they not only look beautiful, but they are also easy to grow and come back each year, which simplifies landscape maintenance for you.

Here are just a few of our favorite flowering plants!

Common Milkweed

Want to attract Monarch butterflies to your HOA? Common Milkweed is a near surefire way to lure them in, as it’s the biggest part of the caterpillar’s diet. 

It is a somewhat weedy plant, meaning you’ll have no problems growing it. Since it does have a voracious desire to spread, be prepared to separate it occasionally. Luckily, it smells wonderful, its flowers are quite pleasing to look at, and it promotes the population growth of an endangered butterfly species.


A popular Minnesota perennial, daylilies handle our state’s climate and soil exceptionally well. They are vigorous growers and look full and well established within a few weeks of being planted. 

They effortlessly return each year looking just as good as the first year you planted them, and they keep blooming all spring and summer, even into the fall. 

Daylilies can grow up to 4 feet tall, so they work well as a backdrop with other plants. However, avoid planting them under trees or bushes because they will compete for water and nutrients. 


Another much loved Minnesota plant, hostas thrive in shaded areas of gardens and make excellent ground cover that prevents weeds from growing. These low maintenance plants work well under trees, along shady sides of buildings, and other low light spots where other flowers can’t grow. 

Hostas do like moist growing conditions and their leaves will burn if exposed to too much sunlight, but once you find the right shady spot, they’ll return each year with dense foliage and lovely drooping blooms that attract bees and hummingbirds. 

Gassen: Local Property Management to Fit Your Needs

Looking for personalized property management to help you with landscaping for your Minnesota HOA? We’ve got you covered. Reach Gassen’s Eden Prairie office today at 952-922-5575, or connect with us online.