Properly maintained landscaping is a great way to increase your curb appeal while enjoying a bit of nature right on your doorstep. And with some planning, you can also rest assured that you won’t spend too much time mowing, pruning, watering, fertilizing and keeping on top of the weeds. Below, we’ve picked 10 of the best plants that will both add variety to your landscaping, and require minimum maintenance on your part.
However, before deciding on adding any plants or shrubs to your garden or back yard, make sure to check your state’s list of prohibited plants, lists that will include all the plants that are considered to be non-native and invasive.
If you’re a fan of having a lawn in front of your house, fescue grass is an excellent alternative to the traditional turf. This grass requires very little water and fertilizer, making it a great pick for xeriscaping, especially if you live in dry, sunny areas. Fescue grass comes in many varieties, from vivid blues to slow-growing blends which are marketed as no-mow grass, making it an excellent pick for a low maintenance lawn.
Surprisingly, lavender is one of the best choices for low maintenance landscaping. It grows as a perennial in dry climates, and an annual plant in humid ones, yet even if you don’t tend to it and allow it to go wild, it will continue to grow and produce its famous scented flowers year after year. Lavender needs little water, so it can even be used in xeriscaping. Also, it attracts bees and butterflies, meaning that it’s a great choice for both low maintenance and environmentally friendly landscaping.
Creeping Juniper and Periwinkle
These low-growing evergreen shrubs both provide great ground covers and are some very low maintenance additions to your garden. Creeping juniper is unpretentious, and in fact, it thrives in poorly fertilized soils, as well as hot and dry areas, making it suitable even for beginners. Periwinkle grows naturally in forests, so it does best in partially shaded areas, yet apart from that, it doesn’t really require any maintenance. Not only does it help reduce the amount of weeds in your garden, but it also produces vivid purple flowers in spring and summer, adding a splash of color to your lawn.
Also known as plantain lily, hosta is a shade-loving perennial that comes in many varieties for both size and patterns, and, depending on the cultivar, very attractive flowers. Hosta is best used around borders, or to fill out any gaps between bushes and other plants. Not only does it require little watering, but it’s also easy to propagate in other areas of your garden, so you won’t have to buy new plants each year.
This hardy and resilient little plant is another great addition to low maintenance landscaping. Its lacy, silvery leaves add a unique splash of color to your garden, and you don’t need to worry too much about watering and fertilizing it. Dusty miller is also a great choice if you live in areas where your garden is threatened by wildlife, as it is resistant to deer.
Marigolds are not only hardy but also very versatile. If you prefer them as shrubs, French marigolds are the best choice, while African marigolds can grow up to 3 feet tall, making them excellent space fillers. Apart from the low upkeep, their bright flowers are another selling point, and if you remember to deadhead them, marigolds will continue to bloom from late spring until autumn.
If you’re looking for a larger addition to your garden, the Indian hawthorn will actually tick several boxes. This perennial evergreen can grow up to 6 feet tall, it produces stunning pink or white flowers that later turn into blue berries, can tolerate moderate drought, and because it’s a slow grower, it almost never needs pruning. The only thing to be mindful of is the berries themselves, which are not fit for human consumption.
The humble mint is a great addition to not just mojitos, but also gardens, especially if you’re looking for a low maintenance, fast-growing plant. This vigorous perennial is easy to grow from either seeds or cuttings, can tolerate dry weather, and pruning it will soon become something to look forward to, given its many medicinal and culinary uses. In fact, the only thing to be mindful of is the rapid growth (planting it in a separate container will work better), yet its fragrant smell might just tempt you to let it take over the garden.