Do you dream of having a beautiful garden, but the thought of constant maintenance is holding you back? I’ve got you covered with some of my favorite low maintenance perennials!
I’ll share my top 10 low maintenance perennials that will add color and texture to your garden without the hassle or replanting each year or heavy maintenance. Whether you live in a dry area, the humid south (like me!), or somewhere in between, these plants will thrive in any climate. So, get ready to transform your garden or flower bed into a low maintenance oasis that will leave you with more time to relax and enjoy its beauty year after year.
Low Maintenance Flowering Perennials
If you want to go for big color, then perennial flowers are the way to go. I love to have different colors in my yard, but I don’t have the time to plant annuals with each season, so here are some beautiful flower options for your yard and garden.
One plant that is often overlooked but definitely deserves a spot in your low maintenance perennial garden is Yarrow. This hardy plant is known for its delicate, fern-like foliage and clusters of small, brightly colored flowers. Yarrow is incredibly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of climates and soil types. It is also drought tolerant and resistant to pests and disease.
Once established, Yarrow requires very little maintenance and can even tolerate occasional neglect. If you want to add a splash of vibrant color to your garden without any extra work. Yarrow’s low maintenance nature also means that it’s an ideal plant for those who are just starting out with gardening and want something easy to care for.
Plus, yarrow is a great plant for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies. If you want to add some low maintenance, colorful, and pollinator-friendly plants to your garden, yarrow is definitely worth considering. And if you’re a fan of lavender, which we’ll talk about next, you’ll be happy to know that these two perennials complement each other nicely in any garden.
If you’re a fan of lavender or even just its scent, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s also a low maintenance perennial that can thrive in any climate. Known for its beautiful purple flowers and its sweet, relaxing scent, lavender can add a touch of elegance to any garden. It’s also a popular choice for those who enjoy aromatherapy or making their own essential oils.
Like yarrow, lavender is also a great plant for attracting pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. Its fragrant blooms are a favorite among these creatures. And while it may seem delicate, lavender is actually quite resilient and tolerant of both heat and cold. Using lavender in groups can also provide a lovely and fragrant hedge and is an excellent choice near patios and decks since the lavender scent will keep mosquitoes at bay. See my full article on Plants that Deter Mosquitoes.
If you’re looking to mix things up a bit in your garden, try pairing lavender with some of the other perennials on this list.
Another perennial that pairs well with lavender is the daylily. These hardy plants are known for their brightly colored blooms that last only one day but are produced in abundance throughout the summer. Daylilies come in a variety of colors, from yellows and oranges to pinks and purples, making them a versatile addition to any garden. In fact, you can find them growing in ditches here, so even poor soil is no deterrent for these blooms!
In addition to their vibrant blooms, daylilies are also easy to care for and can adapt to a range of soil and light conditions. They can thrive in full sun to partial shade and can even tolerate drought once established. Daylilies also have a long blooming period, adding color and interest to your garden for an extended period of time.
For a striking combination, pair daylilies with coneflowers, which we’ll explore in the next section. These perennials both have similar sun and soil requirements, and the contrast of the coneflower’s spiky petals against the softer daylily blooms creates a dynamic display in any garden.
Find daylily roots here to plant in the garden.
Coneflowers (echinacea purpurea)
Coneflowers, also known as Echinacea, are a popular and low maintenance perennial that can add a striking pop of color to any garden. With their distinctive spiky petals and prominent center, these blooms come in shades ranging from deep burgundy to bright pink and purple.
Like daylilies, coneflowers can adapt to a range of soil and light conditions, thriving in full sun to partial shade. They are also drought-tolerant once established, making them an ideal choice for gardeners looking for a resilient and low maintenance plant.
Coneflowers are also a great choice for attracting pollinators to your garden. Bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds are drawn to these vibrant blooms, adding life and movement to your outdoor space. And if you’re familiar with herbal medicinals, then you may be aware of the myriad of uses for Echinacea, including tea!
For good quality echinacea seeds, check out Eden Brothers for a large variety of coneflower seeds.
Black-Eyed Susans, also known as Rudbeckia, are a tried and true perennial that adds a bright pop of color to any garden. With their sunny yellow petals and dark centers, they are a favorite among gardeners and pollinators alike. These low maintenance plants can grow up to three feet tall and bloom from early summer through the fall.
Like coneflowers, black-eyed Susans thrive in full sun and well-draining soil. They are drought tolerant and can even handle some part shade. Deadheading spent blooms will encourage a longer blooming period and keep the plant looking tidy. However, if you want to attract birds to your garden, leave some of the spent blooms on the plant as they provide a food source for birds in the winter.
Black-eyed susans will reseed at the end of each season as the seed heads die and drop seed into the soil. As the new plants pop up in the early spring, you can dig them up and move them wherever you’d like in your garden or flower bed.
Try the Goldilocks Variety from Eden Brothers for your garden!
Irises are a classic perennial known for their stunning blooms and easy maintenance. They come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, making them a versatile addition to any garden. Irises prefer well-draining soil and full sun, but can also tolerate some light shade. The most popular variety of irises are:
- Bearded Iris: These irises have downward pointing petals around the perimeter of the bloom, giving them a “beard.” Here are some beautiful options from Eden Brothers.
- Siberian Iris: These irises are smaller than their bearded cousins and are fully upright blooms. Buy iris bulbs at Eden Brothers to add to your garden.
One of the benefits of growing irises is their long bloom period, which can typically last several weeks in the spring and summer. To encourage the longest possible bloom time, it’s important to deadhead spent blooms regularly. This will also help keep the plant looking neat and tidy. These also make great cut flowers for bringing indoors and putting on display.
Irises are relatively pest and disease resistant, making them a low maintenance choice for any gardener. However, they may benefit from a fertilizer application in the spring to encourage healthy growth. Their long green leaves are also lovely and add height and interest to any garden bed.
Garden phlox is something I added to our front beds 8 years ago. We have built in planters near our front porch, and they were simply begging for some kind of trailing flower. Since I didn’t want to plant annuals year after year, I chose creeping phlox, and I have never regretted my choice. These are the perfect plants for an area that needs a blanket of coverage, and for those who want beautiful blooms in the early spring.
Phlox does come in a variety of sizes and colors, so be sure to choose the type that suits your space the best.
Non-Flowering Perennial Plants
If you’re simply looking for various types of greenery, but no blooms (or not many), or to have some green plants mixed in with blooming perennials, then here are some low maintenance options for you to consider:
When many people hear succulent, they automatically think of houseplants, but sedum is a hardy perennial that thrives outdoors. This is an excellent option for use in flower beds and planters as it comes in various colors and sizes. Some varieties will in fact bloom, so be sure when you’re shopping at your local garden center that you inquire about a good choice for your yard.
Ferns are a great option for low maintenance gardening due to their hardiness and adaptability to a variety of climates. With over 12,000 different species of ferns, there is sure to be a type that will thrive in your specific location. Here in the south, these are a classic hanging basket option, but they are perfect for much more than that.
One benefit of ferns is that they require very little attention once they are established. Their attractive fronds add texture to any garden while also providing a natural feel. Ferns can thrive in a variety of lighting conditions, from full shade to partial sun, which makes them a versatile option for any planting location.
While ferns are generally not bothered by pests or diseases, it is important to ensure that they are planted in well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Additionally, watering should be done on a consistent basis, as ferns prefer to stay evenly moist soil.
Ferns are an excellent low maintenance perennial option that add interest and texture to a garden with minimal upkeep. Now, let’s take a closer look at another low maintenance plant, hostas, which are known for their striking foliage.
I could fill almost every shady corner of my yard with these beauties. Hosta plants are a popular and easy-to-grow perennial that can add beauty and interest to any garden. Known for their striking green foliage, hostas come in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes; the bright green variety is my favorite! They are also easy to care for and require minimal maintenance.
Hostas prefer moist, well-drained soil and partial shade, although they can also tolerate full sun in cooler climates. They are relatively pest and disease-resistant, but can sometimes fall prey to slugs or snails. To prevent this, consider placing a layer of mulch around the base of the plant or using a natural slug control method.
To keep hostas looking their best, it is important to water them on a regular basis, especially during dry spells. They also benefit from occasional fertilization and division every few years to prevent overcrowding. For best results, divide hostas in spring or early fall. This is a great way to get more hostas for your yard or to share with a friend!
Click here to find hostas of all shapes, sizes, and colors at Eden Brothers and have them shipped directly to you!
Looking for a beautiful and functional perennial for your garden beds? Sage is a delicious perennial herb that is a must-have in any garden. Not only is it incredibly easy to grow, but it is also drought-resistant and can thrive in almost any climate.
Sage is known for its fragrant leaves that are commonly used in cooking and herbal remedies. But it is not just its practical uses that make it a great addition to your garden. Sage also produces beautiful flowers that range in color from blue to purple, which can attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to your garden.
To care for sage, it is important to plant it in well-draining soil and to give it plenty of sunlight. Sage does not require much water and can actually suffer if overwatered, so make sure to let the soil dry out between watering. To encourage more growth and fuller leaves, be sure to prune sage regularly.
Adding sage to your garden is not only a practical choice, but it can also add a splash of color and interest to your landscape design. And with its low maintenance requirements, it is a perfect choice for busy gardeners who want to enjoy a beautiful garden without too much upkeep.
Creating a beautiful garden doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. By incorporating low maintenance perennials like sedum, yarrow, lavender, daylilies, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, irises, ferns, hostas, and sage, you can enjoy a colorful and textured garden that thrives in any climate.
More Help for Gardening with Perennials
Here are some helpful articles to help you as you choose perennials to grow:
Remember, gardening is all about enjoying the process and the beauty that nature provides. So, take a deep breath, grab your gloves, and get to planting!
Tuesday 16th of May 2023
I planted phlox and creeping phlox last fall. How long does it take for them to bloom and spread out? Currently they are thriving but not producing much in the way of flowers. The regular phlox is small, only about 8 inches. They are in full sun, with amended soil for drainage. We live in zone 7b, near Charlotte NC. Thank you for any information.