29 Hassle-Free Plants for Gardens and Landscaping

Low-maintenance plants will help you create an outdoor space that is beautiful, yet easy to maintain. There are many plant species which are virtually impossible to kill. They have easy-growing habits and minimal requirements, as well as beautiful flowers and foliage.

You can save money and time by choosing low-maintenance plants. You won’t have to spend your time watering, fertilising, pruning and replacing plants that don’t survive. Choose the right plant to fit your garden. You can choose from full sun, partial shade or full shade. Then, depending on your climate, make sure it is either drought-tolerant or thirsty. You don’t want to even deal with a lawn? No worries! Some of these 29 easy-going plants can be potted and kept on your patio all year round with minimal maintenance.

01

Russian Sage

The topsoil in new neighborhoods is removed, and what’s left is hardly soil. What can you plant in a harsh climate? Start with a perennial tough as nails that will produce a cloud purple flowers in its first year. The Russian sage cannot survive without full sun. It is essential to its healthy bloom production.

02

Sedum (Stonecrop)
Sedum

Sedums are drought-tolerant plants that never mind their manners. This plant, also known as stonecrop can survive without watering, dividing or mulching. This genus includes tall and creeping plants with succulent leaves which repel insects. Autumn Joy is a popular variety that produces clusters of pink flowers with a lot of nectar at the end summer.

03

Daffodils

Daffodils are one of those plants you can scatter around the landscape and look like an expert gardener every spring when your flowers multiply1. To ensure that they will return for many years, plant them deep in the fall. At least 4 inches below the surface of the soil. Bulb fertilizer can be used to enhance performance, but is not necessary. They should be spaced several inches apart so that the colonies have enough room to grow.

04

Hosta
Hostas come in many varieties.

Hostas are perfect for yards that receive little or no sunlight. They are easy to grow, require little care and come back year after year. Hostas are usually planted with bare root and reach full maturity in 3 to 7 years. They come in a variety of sizes, from mini to large.

05

Coneflower

Coneflowers are a cheerful perennial, loved by butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. The plants are drought-tolerant and can withstand the heat and humidity of summer. Deer don’t seem to be interested in them. Easy is the best way to describe them. It’s also a great choice for anyone looking to create a low-maintenance landscape using native plants.

06

Peony
Pink peonies

You may be surprised to learn that one of the most popular spring flowers is also low-maintenance. Peonies can live for up to 100-years, making them one of the oldest ornamental plants. Cold winters are needed to put the peony into dormancy. Once it emerges in spring, all that is required for maintenance is to stake the plant when the blooms become too heavy. When it gets colder, you can remove the old leaves and prepare for next year.

07

Oak Leaf Hydrangea
Oak Leaf Hydrangea in white with white flowers

The oak leaf hydrangea, a deciduous flowering shrub that grows 4 to 8 feet high and is easy to grow, thrives when planted directly in the ground. The plants prefer partial shade to full sun and thrive in moist soil. You only need to prune unruly branches and unwanted height once a year to care for these blossoming shurbs.

08

Coral Bells
Coral bells leaves close up

Coral bells are very adaptable and will grow in any situation. They can be planted as groundcover, rock garden, border or container. These vibrantly colored foliage will bring rich colors to your garden with partial shade, well draining soil and some deadheading. Coral bells are not a perennial. They may come back the first couple of years, but they don’t last very long.

09

Canna Lily
Canna lily flower

Canna lilies may look like they require a lot of maintenance with their large leaves and vibrant orange flowers, but all that is required to keep them blooming in the spring and summer is deadheading. Some people cut off the blooms even before they have a chance to open and instead enjoy the bold, colorful leaves.

You can also check out our other tips.
Canna Lilies can be grown as perennials from zones 6a-10a. They can either be houseplants overwintered in colder climates or the rhizomes dug up in spring and replanted.

10

Juniper
Creeping Juniper

Juniper is drought-tolerant, low-maintenance, and thrives in both colder climates as well as hotter summers. It is a very tolerant plant that doesn’t mind the soil type. It can even thrive in rock gardens or seaside areas. It is also resistant to diseases, pests and hungry rabbits and deer.

You can also check out our other tips.
The easy-to grow juniper will add a year-round touch of greenery to your garden and provide a low growing groundcover.

11

Geranium

Geraniums’ colorful and abundant blooms make them a great choice for containers and garden beds alike. They thrive in well-drained, fertile soil. They will continue to bloom all season if you deadhead them when the flowers fade. Geraniums like full sun but hot summer days can dampen blooms.

You can also check out our other tips.
Geraniums bloom best if they are slightly root bound. This makes them a great choice for a container garden on a porch or patio. You can also move them if the sun is too hot in the summer.

12

Knock Out (r) Roses
Knock out Roses

Knock Out(r), a perennially popular shrub rose, will add colorful blooms to any garden. They are available from spring until the first frost. These roses are drought-tolerant and disease-resistant. They also self-clean, so you won’t need to spend hours deadheading or risk a prick. You will only need to prune your rose bush once a year, in the late winter or early Spring.

Continue to 13 below.

13

Dead Nettle
Dead Nettle Lamium Plants

Do not be fooled by the soft, tumbling leaves of Lamium maculatum2: neither drought nor shade will slow down this flowering groundcover. Early in spring, variegated or iridescent leaves appear. Soon after, snapdragon-like white or purple blooms follow. Dead nettle spreads quickly through shallow-rooted runners. You can pull extras up and use them to accent your window boxes and containers.

14

Catmint
Catmint Walker Low

Nepetaxfaassenii is more than just an herb that cats can frolic around in. The variety ‘Walker’s Low’ has been named the Perennial Plant of the year for 2007. The grayish-green leaves complement the informal border and the bees love the violet flowers that bloom throughout the summer. The plants are about 2 feet tall, but they have a prostrate habit which looks great at the edge of walls or paths.

15

Daylily
day lilies

Stella D’ Oro Daylilies are a staple of office parks, but they have more to offer than just the gold-everblooming variety. The color spectrum is limited to the warmer colors, but the flower shapes and patterns are so interesting that there are thousands of cultivars. The best is full sun, but darker varieties can benefit from some afternoon shade in order to avoid sunscald. It is not necessary to fertilize, but a deep watering every now and then during dry summer spells will be beneficial.

16

Feather Reed Grasse
Karl Forester Feather Reed Grass

Every lazy gardener has a wish list of ornamental grasses. They are adapted to survive a variety of pests, weather conditions and diseases. Its deep roots allow it to adapt to both wet and dried soils. It also grows well in lean soils and doesn’t require fertilizer. The six-foot tall stalks are a beautiful vertical accent and last well into the fall.

17

Butterfly Bush

Buddleias are a great addition to any garden. They attract a variety of butterflies. You will see butterflies hanging around and over the bush for extended periods of time on sunny, warm days. The flower panicles contain many individual flowers, each of which contains a large amount of nectar. Plant a butterfly bushes in full sun with average soil. Cut back plants in the spring to promote healthy branching. New wood is what flowers.

18

False Indigo

Baptisia produces those beautiful blue blooms to complete any garden design without all the fussy characteristics of many other blue flowers. False indigo will thrive in the rubble from a newly constructed home. False indigo is available in white, purple, or yellow hues. They bloom in spring, at the same time that peonies and bleeding hearts do. Butterflies like the low-maintenance plant, but deer do not3.

19

Lady’s Mantle

Plants that are grown under trees must be able to withstand the shade, the dry soil and the competition for nutrients. The Lady’s Mantle can withstand this harsh environment. Lady’s Mantle is a hardy plant that can survive winters in zone 3. The chartreuse flowers of June provide a beautiful contrast to the blue and purple blooms. You can either allow plants to self-seed for a larger collection, or you can prevent it by deadheading them after they bloom.

20

Lamb’s Ear

Stachys Byzantina, a tactile plant like few others, is perfect for the garden. The silvery leaves, which are more than fuzzy, are actually downright woolly. They can be stroked much better than silky petals. Bees are attracted to the lavender spikes, which may not be very showy. Lamb’s ears are drought-tolerant and grow in partial to full sun. You can either dig up some plants to add to container gardens or pass along to friends.


21

Bee Balm

Many people are interested in plants’ drought tolerance, but a soggy garden is just as hard to maintain. Bee balm can be used to solve the problem of a soggy garden. The 3-foot-tall clumps of blue, pink or red flowers attract butterflies and birds. Bee balm, a mint-family member, is a vigorous plant. However, you can remove unwanted plants that have spread beyond their boundaries. The new varieties are resistant to mildew, including ‘Marshall’s Delight’ (as well as ‘Violet Queen’).

22

Agave
Blue Agave Plant

You can kill agave by taking care of it. Fertilizing the plant can help it bloom. These succulent plants can live for up to 25-years if they are not allowed to bloom, and are grown in full sunlight and rocky or sandy soil.

23

Rosemary
Wood rosemary plant

The evergreen rosemary spreads quickly in the right conditions. This low-maintenance Mediterranean herb tolerates drought and prefers full sun. As long as it has good drainage, it thrives in pots or containers. If you live in an area where it is below 30 degrees in winter, it’s best to bring rosemary indoors.

24

Dusty Miller
Dusty Miller and yellow flowers

Dusty miller’s silvery, wooly foliage is a striking contrast to the colorful flowers and greenery of most gardens. Dusty miller is an annual plant in most climates and a perennial plant in warmer areas. It prefers full sunlight, can tolerate droughts and is resistant against most pests. You only need to prune the yellowing leaves.


25

Creeping Thyme
Purple flowers on Creeping Thyme

The creeping thyme thrives in neglect and is tolerant of a lot. The creeping thyme is a plant that thrives in full sun, partial shade and soil with good drainage. Only woody stems need to be pruned to encourage new growth.

26

Sage
Sage leaves

Sage’s fuzzy leaves don’t need a green thumb. The aromatic leaves of this small herb are an eye-catching shade silvery green. It thrives in full sunlight and does better with less water than too much. Sage grows best in pots that can be brought indoors during winter.

27

Clematis
Purple clematis flowers

The clematis vine is an enchanting vine with star-shaped purple flowers that bloom from summer to fall. This easy-to grow plant is a show-stopper in any garden. It needs full sun, well draining soil and regular watering. It will need to grow back each year by pruning it down to 12 inches.

28

Ice Plant
Ice plant with violet flower
The evergreen Ice Plant is a vibrant perennial that has succulent-like leaves. It is found in zones 6-10. These plants will spread rapidly if they are in full sun and have fast-draining, sandy soil. They can also be used as colorful groundcovers. It is not necessary to deadhead, but you can do it to remove any flowers that didn’t make it through winter.


29

Ribbon Grass

Ribbon grass has bold variegated foliage and grows rapidly in wetlands. It thrives in moist, full-sun areas. It is best to grow it in an area that does not have many other plants fighting for survival.

The FAQ
What are the easiest plants for patios to maintain?
You want patio plants that are low-maintenance and provide color with little effort. Geraniums, with their colorful flowers and striking leaves and canna lily’s showy flower are easy to maintain and look great.

What flowers do not require maintenance?
The Knock Out(r), Stonecrop, and Knockout(r) roses have a long bloom season, don’t require deadheading and are low maintenance. These flowers can bloom from spring until the first frost if they are grown under the right conditions.

What can I put in a planter to use outside during the winter months?
Both lamb’s ear (also known as rosemary) and rosemary are woody plants which can tolerate lower temperatures in many climates. If the temperature is consistently below freezing, you may have to bring in rosemary.


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