Easy Care Garden Plants: Tips For Low Maintenance Landscaping

Garden in Bordeaux, France
Image by Lagui

By Karen Boness, Owner of Wild Willow Landscape Design, ISA Certified Arborist, Certified Permaculture Designer

We all want a beautiful garden, but often the effort required in maintaining that lovely landscape is just too much. Watering, weeding, deadheading, and pruning can take hours and hours. Most of us are already busy with jobs and chores and kids and errands. We want to enjoy the garden, not become a slave to it. The answer to this dilemma is to install low maintenance landscaping. Read on to get some ideas for low maintenance gardens.

Low Maintenance Garden Tips

Low maintenance landscaping involves methods for reducing the amount of watering, weeding, pruning, deadheading, and dividing you have to do on a regular basis.


One way to reduce watering and weeding is to add a thick layer of mulch, such as bark or shredded leaves, to your garden beds. The mulch will suppress weeds and retain soil moisture. You can also install a drip irrigation system on a timer so you don’t have to wrestle with the hose.

Some other low maintenance garden tips involve choosing plants for easy gardening, like those that are not too big for your garden so you won’t have to prune so often. Easy care garden plants are the cornerstone of low maintenance landscaping. Choose plants that look good or bloom all summer long but don’t require deadheading.

Consider bulbs that need dividing every five years rather than every year. Annuals are not easy care garden plants. Choose perennials or shrubs that live many years.

Other things to look for in low maintenance landscaping are plants that have disease resistance, can take the heat and the cold, don’t need to be staked and won’t propagate themselves all over your garden.

Ideas for Low Maintenance Gardens

Here are some easy care garden plants that you can try in your garden:

  • Santa Barbara daisy (Erigeron) – this plant makes an excellent edging plant and has lovely pink and white flowers.
  • Lavenderlavenders (Lavendula) are easy care. Give them plenty of sun and don’t over-water them. Their scent will make you swoon.
  • Pentemonbeard tongue plants (Penstemon) will bloom all summer and fall and only requires an annual trimming to keep it neat.
  • Ornamental grasses – for the ornamental grass element, you can install Mexican feather grass (Stipa) or any of the sedges (Carex). For a bold, dramatic accent, consider New Zealand flax (Phormium). Just make sure you give them plenty of room so they can grow to their full size. Phormiums come in many lovely colors.

Other perennials to consider include:

Low maintenance landscaping simplifies your life and gives you more time to do things you really love such as relaxing and enjoying your garden. Try some of these ideas and plants for easy gardening and see how much free time you will regain in your life!

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