Top 10 Low-Maintenance Plants for Busy Lifestyles
Who wouldn’t want an attractive and colourful garden to relax in after a hard day’s work?
But how many of us have the time to maintain our gardens to achieve this?
Well, with today’s busy lifestyles and hectic schedules, it seems not many.
According to The Independent, 70% of us believe that our lifestyles have become too busy in recent years and feel the need to scale back and make more time for themselves.
But it’s not just busy people that benefit from a low-maintenance garden. The elderly, landlords with rental properties, businesses, those with disabilities and those of us who, let’s face it, just don’t enjoy gardening will reap the benefits of low-maintenance gardening, too.
Well, the good news is, having the garden of your dreams doesn’t necessarily meant that you’ll need to be spending hours maintaining it.
We’ve discussed how you can create a low-maintenance garden previously, but the focus of today’s blog post is on choosing the best, low or in some cases no maintenance plants to fill your garden with.
There is sure to be something for everyone in our top 10 chart of beautiful plants that will wow your visitors and inspire your neighbours, whilst requiring very little effort on your part.
In no particular order, here is our top 10 list … enjoy!
First on our list of low-maintenance plants are the beautiful hostas.
They are very easy to grow and there’s a wide range of leaf colours, sizes and shapes to choose from, meaning that you’ll be sure to find something to suit your garden, regardless of style.
They offer excellent foliage in light to medium shade, whilst being extremely resilient– perfect for the time- restricted gardener.
One of the main draws of fuchsias is that they produce a pretty continuous flower from summer all the way through to autumn, meaning they’ll look fantastic for a large part of the year.
When it comes to effort, all that’s needed is to pinch (stop) the growing tip when they are young, to stimulate two-to-four side shoots to grow.
Apart from that, they are there purely for your enjoyment.
They are also ideal for hanging baskets – a great way to keep things low maintenance.
Like practically everything on this list, marigolds are extremely easy to grow, making them ideal for beginners.
Although marigolds grow best when in fertile soil, they will grow in virtually all soil types and you can achieve growth in even the poorest quality soils.
They also love the sunshine, so try to put them in sunny areas of your garden.
Marigolds produce a beautiful, golden, copper or brass flower that is sure to add colour and elegance to any garden, large or small.
4. Achillea (Yarrow)
Achillea, or yarrow, comes in a gorgeous array of colours, including pink, yellow, red and white.
They also vary in form, from low, spreading, mat-like plants to tall specimens, which makes this plant perfect for adding structure to your soft landscaping schemes.
These brightly coloured flowers have a very long flowering period, lasting from mid-summer onwards.
They require very little effort to maintain and can thrive in a wide variety of soil types, although they prefer to be planted in drier areas of the garden and avoid waterlogged areas.
5. Baptisia Australis (False Indigo)
Baptisia australis is a herbaceous perennial that displays stunning purple, pea-like flowers.
It’s a tough enough plant that it can survive most soil types and conditions. Again, like many of the plants on our list, it flowers in early summer and will continue showing off those beautiful rich indigo-blue flowers right the way to winter.
These gorgeous plants will add height to any border or flower bed, cottage style garden, section of sloping ground or wildflower garden, and will grow up to 1.5m in height, with a spread of up to 1m.
They are incredibly resistant to pests and disease, and provide the maintenance levels of wild flowers.
6. Geranium Rozanne
Geranium Rozanne was the winner of the public vote for the Chelsea Plant of the Centenary for the decade 1993-2002. And for good reason, too.
Much like the Baptisia australis, these geraniums will display stunning purple flowers from July to October and will demand very little, if any, of your time in maintenance.
Geranium Rozanne grows up to 60cm in height and offers a very generous ground cover.
However, should you be a pet owner, you’ll want to avoid any form of geranium in your garden. Geraniums are on the Dogs Trust list of poisonous plants.
The chemical, linalool, and the alcohol, geraniol, are both present in geraniums, making them poisonous to both dogs and cats.
7. Geranium Renardii
Another geranium, this time in the form of the beautiful renardii, makes our top 10 list of low-maintenance plants.
Geranium renardii is a compact plant that is slow to spread, and ideally suited to be placed at the front of beds, as they’ll only grow to around 30cm in height. The beautiful white flowers with purple veins are set against broad, greyish leaves.
When it comes to maintenance, it’s minimal – all that’s needed is to remove the flowered stems and old leaves, which will encourage the growth of fresh leaves and flowers.
Part of the daisy family, Echinacea is a herbaceous flowering plant.
It’s generally pest and disease free, making it another very low-maintenance plant that is sure to enhance any soft landscaping scheme. Its beautiful upright stems can grow up to 1.5m in height, and produce a vivid purple flower.
One of the great things about echinacea is that they will thrive in both sheltered and exposed areas of the garden, making them extremely versatile.
There are around 250 different species of nepeta and the name is reportedly in reference to Nepete, an ancient Etruscan city.
The tubular flowers can be wide-ranging in colour, and include, white, pink, purple, blue and lilac, meaning you’ll be sure to find something to enhance any garden.
Nepeta – or catmint, as it is also known – is a really easy-going plant and is quick to establish itself. Nepeta is also drought-tolerant and the only maintenance needed is to cut back the stems after flowering, to encourage new growth.
The reward is a beautiful flowering plant that grows in sun or partial shade, and in both dry and moist soils.
10. Astilbe (Sprite)
Last, but by no means least, on our top 10 list of low-maintenance plants is the gorgeous astilbe.
This perennial has made our list as it requires very little, if any, maintenance.
Astilbe grows very well in shaded areas of the garden. The plants are easily recognisable by their fluffy plumes of tiny flowers, which usually come in pastel colours, including whites and purples.
Astilbe will make a fantastic addition to any garden.
As we’ve discussed, low-maintenance gardening appeals to many of us with busy lifestyles. There are many myths surrounding gardening, with one of the most damaging being that to maintain an attractive looking garden, you need lots of time on your hands.
However, this simply isn’t true. You can create the garden of your dreams without having to dedicate too much time to maintaining it.
With any luck, we hope that the 10 stunningly beautiful plants on our list have inspired you to get down to your local garden centre to pick up some low-maintenance planting that is sure to enhance any garden, regardless of its current condition.
We hope that you have enjoyed our top 10 list of low-maintenance plants. If you were compiling a top 10 list, is there anything different you would have included? Or maybe you don’t agree with our list, and think some of the plants mentioned need too much attention? Either way, why not join the discussion and leave us a comment below? We’d love to hear about your experiences and opinions.