Landscape designer Carol Lindsay lists her 5 favorite plants for landscapes with dogs, or gardens near city parks where there will be dogs marking their territory and yours as well.
1. Burkwood Osmanthus (Osmanthus Burkwoodii) is a tough evergreen shrub that can be grown into a small tree if desired. It takes sun or part sun, has fragrant flowers and can handle abuse including dog pee.
2. My personal favorite is the Euonymus Japonica ‘Green Spires’, commonly known as the Japanese Spindle Tree. Like the Burkwood, the Japanese Spindle Tree has a very hard leaf. The urine doesn’t permeate the leaf like it would on a boxwood.
Nandina, another favorite tough guy plant can be damaged by dog pee but they can withstand some.
Most boxwoods get a leaf scorch from dog pee. If the leaf is freshly unfurled it would be more susceptible to urine damage. If it has hardened off, there will be less damage. It is the nitrogen in the urine that burns the plants leaves. Hosing down a plant can lessen or eliminate the damage if done soon after the “application” of the dog pee. (But who is gonna do that these days?)
3. The NW native sword fern can handle many different sun and soil situations. Most native plants are very tricky but our Sword Fern, Polystichum Munitum is one tough plant and can survive dog pee on its leaves.
4. The Euphorbia plants also seem to be unscathed by dog urine but I am a little nervous about them around dogs and kids because they have a slightly caustic sap. The sap can cause serious eye injury. I would hate for a dog to get that sap in his eye. My dog became blind and while the blindness was not caused by the Eurphobia, I am less cavalier about plants that might harm a dog than I was prior.
5. Here is a photo of New Zealand Flax or Phormium. This plant requires good drainage to do well in our current climate. Pots and planters or in a True Grit Soil Prep are best for this plant in our current climate conditions.
Landscape designer Melinda Frey, Raindrop Garden Design and a pal of mine, has a Walker Hound and he drinks at least a gallon of water of day ……well his head is close to 4′ off the ground so he is huge. My dog Barley, weighs about 30 lbs and drinks a quart of water a day if its kinda hot. So is it obvious that the size of the dog and amount of urine is going to make a difference? Yes! A plant that can handle daily cocker spaniel pee might not do so well with a Walker Hound. Melinda also endorses these plants.
Carol Lindsay loves to create fast and affordable landscape designs that consider the whole family and that includes the dog of course.