Never Grow These Plants Near Your Mailbox

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You might think any old plant will do when sprucing up the area around your mailbox, but think again! Many common plants can actually cause major headaches, from attracting swarms of stinging insects to inflicting painful cuts and rashes. Before you start digging, make sure you’re not planting one of these mailbox menaces that could have your mail carrier dreading their daily visit.

1. Blackberry Bushes

Blackberry bushes may yield delicious fruit, but they have no place near your mailbox. Their thorny, fast-growing vines can quickly engulf the area, making it difficult and painful to access the mailbox. The invasive roots can also disrupt your lawn and cause the mailbox post to lean or topple over.

Removing established blackberry bushes is no easy task. The prickly vines must be carefully cut back and the roots dug out thoroughly to prevent regrowth. Save yourself and your mail carrier the trouble by planting blackberries far away from mailbox in an area where they have plenty of room to roam. Pruning shears like these ones from Amazon can help keep them in check.

If you’re looking for a fruiting plant to grow near your mailbox, consider a compact blueberry bush or raspberry shrub instead. These plants are much more well-behaved and won’t take over the whole area. Just be sure to keep them trimmed so they don’t block mailbox access.

With their sweet fruit and attractive foliage, blueberries and raspberries can add beauty and bounty around your mailbox without the battle. Plant them in a sunny spot in well-draining soil, and enjoy the harvest right from your curb!

2. Bee-Attracting Herbs and Flowers

Fragrant herbs like basil, lavender, and mint may be great for cooking and attracting pollinators, but they can cause problems when planted near the mailbox. Bees, wasps, hornets, and other stinging insects love these aromatic plants and will swarm to them.

While great for the ecosystem, a cloud of buzzing insects can make retrieving the mail an unappealing or even dangerous task, especially for those with allergies. Bee balm, another pollinator favorite, should also be avoided near the mailbox for the same reason.

If you want to plant pollinator-friendly herbs and flowers, it’s best to locate them away from high-traffic areas like the mailbox, doorways, and patios. You can still enjoy their beauty and fragrance from a distance while the bees and butterflies feast in peace.

There are plenty of compact, non-irritating plants perfect for mailbox landscaping that won’t put your mail carrier at risk of painful stings. Ornamental grasses, small evergreen shrubs, and mounding perennials like hosta are all great bee-free options.

3. Roses

It may be tempting to plant a romantic rambling rose near your mailbox, but those thorny canes can cause painful scratches and snags. Roses are vigorous growers and will quickly cover a large area, making them difficult to keep away from the mailbox.

The fallen petals and leaves can also create a slippery hazard on the path to the mailbox, especially after a rain. Pruning roses near the mailbox puts you at additional risk of painful thorn injuries. Rose gardening gloves are a must for trimming these prickly beauties!

If you love the look of roses but don’t want the scratches, consider planting a thornless variety like the “Zephirine Drouhin” climbing rose or a shrub type like “Queen Elizabeth”. These varieties still have the classic rose beauty without the bloodshed.

For a completely thorn-free option around the mailbox, go for lush hydrangeas or old-fashioned peonies instead. These perennials offer romantic blooms with a much friendlier disposition that won’t leave you or your mail carrier worse for wear.

4. Irritating Ivies and Vines

Fast-growing, sprawling vines like poison ivy, Virginia creeper, and trumpet vine may seem like an easy way to quickly cover a mailbox post, but they can quickly become a nightmare. Many of these vines cause severe skin irritation, rashes, and blistering with just a brush of exposed skin.

The vines can get out of control in no time, covering the mailbox and post, making it difficult to find the box and retrieve your mail. The aggressive growth can also damage the mailbox by wedging into any crevices. Removing these pesky vines is an unpleasant and painstaking task.

Instead, opt for a compact, slow-growing vine like clematis to decorate your mailbox. This well-behaved beauty produces masses of striking flowers without taking over. Plant it at least a foot away from the post so it has room to twine without totally engulfing the box.

Annual vines like morning glory and black-eyed Susan are also lovely non-irritating choices to add a pop of color. Just be sure to plant them on a small trellis next to the mailbox rather than letting them climb directly on it for easier management.

5. Cacti and Succulents

Prickly plants like cacti and some succulents may seem like fun, low-maintenance options for dressing up a mailbox in hot, dry climates, but their sharp spines can easily injure passersby. The spines can become lodged in skin or snag clothing, causing painful cuts and scratches.

Leather gardening gloves are essential for planting and tending spiny succulents to avoid injury. Even with caution, it’s all too easy for an errant spine to find its way into a finger or arm when working around them.

Children, pets, and your mail carrier are especially at risk for injury since the plants are often at eye or hand level near the mailbox. It’s best to keep the cactus garden far away from high-traffic areas for everyone’s safety and comfort.

If you’re looking for low-maintenance plants for your mailbox, opt for fuss-free annuals like petunias and geraniums, or try ornamental grasses and sedges instead. These tough plants thrive in harsh conditions and provide texture and color without the risk of getting pricked.

6. Water-Loving Plants

Moisture-loving plants like water hyacinth and pitcher plants may add exotic flair around the mailbox, but they also come with some serious drawbacks. Standing water is basically a welcome sign for mosquitoes, which can quickly make checking the mail a miserable experience.

In addition to the pesky mosquitoes, standing water can become a breeding ground for other unsavory pests like algae and water mold that can take over your planting containers. Stagnant water can also start to smell funky over time.

Furthermore, most aquatic plants simply can’t handle full sun locations, so they end up looking wilted and tattered in the intense heat near pavement or sidewalks. It’s best to keep the water gardens where they belong – in the backyard pond or water feature.

For a lush and tropical look near the mailbox without the standing water, go for hardy hibiscus or canna lilies instead. These plants thrive in full sun and offer spectacular blooms as well as attractive foliage that is sure to impress.

7. Large Evergreen Shrubs

Planting a hedge of tall shrubs like juniper or cypress around your mailbox may give you some privacy from the road and cut down on snow piles in winter, but they make getting your mail a major chore. If the shrubs grow too large, they can completely obscure the box and make finding the opening a frustrating game.

Overgrown shrubs around the mailbox can also create a shadowy and concealed spot that makes it easier for mail or packages to be swiped without a watchful neighbor noticing. Keeping the shrubs neatly trimmed is crucial for mail access and security.

Large shrubs can also attract unwanted visitors to your mailbox, like wasps building a nest deep inside or snakes seeking shade and shelter. Give your mail carrier peace of mind by keeping plantings near the box on the small side.

If you want some evergreen structure around your mailbox, opt for dwarf shrub varieties that won’t require constant pruning to keep their size in check. Globe blue spruce, bird’s nest spruce, and “Blue Star” juniper are just a few compact options that make attractive and easy mailbox accents.

When it comes to landscaping around your mailbox, it’s best to keep the plants tidy, small in scale, and free of any hazards or irritants that could cause problems for your mail carrier or other passersby. By avoiding troublesome plants like thorny shrubs, large evergreens, and pollinator magnets, you can create an attractive and inviting mailbox setting that makes retrieving your mail a pleasure rather than a pain.

Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan is a seasoned writer and lifestyle enthusiast with a passion for unearthing uncommon hacks and insights that make everyday living smoother and more interesting. With a background in journalism and a love for research, Alex's articles provide readers with unexpected tips, tricks, and facts about a wide range of topics.

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