If no fuss, no muss is your mantra, then you’ll want to choose low-maintenance shrubs, perennials, and annuals. Choose plants that don’t need complicated pruning, excessive watering, staking, regular deadheading or frequent dividing. Avoiding all these maintenance chores will give you more time to relax and enjoy your yard.
First Assess Your Situation – Right Plant, Right Place
Pick the right plant for the right place. Don’t be impulsive when selecting your plants. For your low-maintenance plants to thrive and continually show their unique qualities, it is important to read the plant labels to learn their needs. Choosing plants that will cope with your existing conditions gives the plant the best shot to succeed. Soil type and the amount of sun or shade have a profound effect on the success of a plant.
Potentillas – A clip over with a pair of shears after flowering or in late winter is really all that is required. They will thrive without feeding and will grow and bloom, even in the poorest soil. It prefers full sun but tolerates some shade on any well-drained soil. It combines well with other shrubs and perennials. Be aware that they are little more than a tangle of dark twigs in winter, but their performance through the summer months more than compensate. Read more about Potentillas.
Spireas – They behave as well as the Potentillas. They range in size from front-of-the border beauties to mid-size, mounding shrubs. Look good planted en masse or solo. Some have exceptional foliage that change color during three seasons. Summer flowers attract bees and butterflies.
Weigelas – A great hard-working plant that has both colorful foliate and tubular blooms that attract hummingbirds and bees. There are so many varieties, both tall and compact, and thrive in full sun and average soil. They are even drought tolerant once established.
Blue Star Juniper – This well behaved evergreen conifer can’t be beat! It’s drought tolerant, disease resistant, and requires no pruning. It has silvery, blue-green needles. And can grow 2 to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. There’s also a Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper that reaches only 6” in height and forms an excellent ground cover.
Hydrangeas – Not every hydrangea is considered low-maintenance! But repeat-blooming hydrangeas produce flowers on both last year’s stems (known as old wood) as well as this year’s stems (new wood), which means in simple terms that you can’t go wrong with pruning. Some varieties to try are Let’s Dance series, Endless Summer are just a few. Also PeeGee Hydrangeas other similar varieties are great in that you simply cut them down to about 10” in late winter and leave that low twiggy support to help steady the new canes as they grow.
Ornamental Grasses - There are so many varieties of ornamental grasses but most of them share an important trait: low maintenance. All have slightly different features so check out the heights before you purchase. They’re nice because they can add winter interest to the garden. Some varieties we recommend are Morning Light, Feather Reed Grass, Blue Fescue, Switch Grass, and Hakone Grass (which thrives in the shade). But there are so many more at your local garden center to choose from.
Black-Eyed Susan – These perennials are a late season highlight, and thrive and bloom both in full sun and partial shade. They are drought tolerant, deer resistant and rabbit resistant. Very easy to care for! Coneflowers are another staple of the sunny, late summer garden.
Hostas – So many sizes to choose for, theirs is a hosta for every area of your shade garden. You’ll be surprises how many colors and types of foliage they offer. Hostas thrive anywhere in the shade and you don’t need to divide, unless you want to. But beware, deer find them particularly tasty.
Heuchera/Coral Bells – These great plants can thrive in the shade or sun, depending on the variety. Great colorful foliage and typically like rich, well-draining soil but check out their label for light requirements.
Roxanne Cranesbill Geranium - This reliable perennial flowers non-stop from late May until frost. Grows from 12 to 24 inches tall and up to 4 feet wide.
Catmint (Nepeta) – Great long lasting booms, drought tolerant and deer resistant. Taller varieties benefit from a quick haircut after blooming and dut it down to the ground in fall. Other than that, just enjoy watching it grow.
Coleus – Some love sun and others thrive in shade. They come in a variety of color shades and look great in containers as well as landscapes. Read your labels carefully.
Surefire Begonias - These plants have thicker, more durable stems and large flowers and just keep coming without deadheading.
Spertunias – The best petunia for landscapes! Will last the entire season and spread vigorously. No deadheading and love sun or part sun.
We picked some of our favorites…but low-maintenance plants are definitely not limited to the ones we highlighted. Whitehouse Landscaping can bring your ideas to life by planting and nurturing your landscape with low-maintenance enhancements. In addition, we offer full landscape maintenance for your property. Your landscape has a tremendous impact on how welcoming your home appears.
Give Whitehouse Landscape a call at 484-300-4290 or contact us on our website and let us help you with your landscape maintenance and property enhancements.