Whether you’re new to gardening, or just want to set up fuss-free landscaping around your home, this list of the easiest plants to grow in your garden will set you in the right direction!
As any new gardener will tell you, growing a beautiful decorative garden around your home and in your yard can be deceptively difficult. It’s definitely not as easy as just buying a few plants from the garden centre, sitting back, and watching as they fill in and create the lush garden of your dreams. TV shows make it seem that way though, don’t they? Often times, the plants that you think will be the easiest plants to grow end up being a huge challenge, while others just seem to thrive no matter how much you neglect them.
Of course, sunlight, growing conditions, and how much time you have to dedicate to their care will impact how well your plants do, but you can definitely stack the deck in your favour but choosing certain plants that have been proven over the years to be super easy to grow successfully with very little upkeep needed.
The Easiest Plants to Grow
The plants that I’ve listed here are the ones that do best in my area, which is in gardening zone 6, but they should also do really well if you’re a few zones up or a few zones down from where I am as well. If you’re in doubt about what kind of plants will grow well in your area, just look around at the gardens in your town. If there are one or two things that you notice that everyone seems to be growing, chances are that’s because they do really well in your area without much effort at all!
Hostas come in all different shapes and sizes, and in many different shades of green. They usually prefer full- to part-shade and most varieties are very low-growing. They’re amazing for the front part of a garden border because they fill it in really nicely while allowing you to still see everything else behind them.
There are many peony fans out there and for good reason. The show-stopping flowers only bloom for a couple of weeks in the late spring, but their beauty is pretty much unrivalled in the plant world. And they’re easy to grow! Once they’re established they basically require no care at all. Actually, they seem to do better the more you ignore them, which definitely makes them one of the easiest plants to grow. 🙂
Chives are of course an edible herb, but feel free to use them in your decorative gardens as well. Their fresh green spikes shoot up early in the spring and they’re usually one of the first signs of life in your spring garden. Their purple flowers add some nice color to your garden in late spring as well. Chives prefer a lot of sun, but will still do pretty well if you need to plant them in the shade.
A Sedum is basically like a big succulent that you plant right in your perennial border. They maintain a compact shape and have frosty green leaves for most of the season, but send out bright flowers, usually a soft pink or burgundy, in the fall that really add to the fall color in your yard. These also do really well in very hot, low-water situations, but they tolerate an area with high humidity and long rainy periods like we have here as well.
Black Eyed Susan
This is one of those plants that everyone in my area grows. Black Eyed Susans bloom with bright orange flowers from mid-summer until fall, then they self seed so you end up with more and more every year. These are great if you have a large area that you want to fill in with summer color, but they’re also pretty easy to pull out if you want to keep them a little more contained.
Purple Cone Flower
I love how this old-fashioned flower springs up from seemingly nothing to 4 or 5 feet high by the end of the summer. Their cheerful purple flowers become a focal point in the summer garden and all you need to do it give them a little support as they get taller and taller. A stake in the ground and some twine is enough to do the trick!
In the late summer when things can start to look a little tired or a little overgrown in your garden, is when Liatris springs to life with eye-catching spikes of bright purple flowers. I discovered this plant because it was just growing here when we moved in and it’s been such a great performer for us, even during those years where we had very little time to get out in the garden. I love that it just looks like a boring little patch of grass during the spring and early summer and then all of a sudden – surprise! – purple spikes!
A Couple of Shrubs: Rose of Sharon and Forsythia
If you’re just starting to fill your gardens, a couple of shrubs can be really helpful to anchor your design and to give you the look of a mature garden more quickly. I love Forsythia because it’s fast-growing and it’s one of the first things to bloom in the early spring. In the summer it fills in with dark green leaves that help make your garden look lush and healthy, even when your area is going through a dry spell.
Rose of Sharon on the other hand remains dormant until the late spring. By mid summer the Rose of Sharon bushes are full of bright pink flowers that almost have a tropical look to them, perfect for a summer garden of course. In my experience, both of these shrubs really prefer as much sun as possible and will reward you greatly if you give them that, and basically nothing else.
So those are some of my favourites that seem to come back bigger and better every year, no matter what I do. If you’re looking to get started with gardening, or are just looking for more gardening success, these plants are definitely where I would recommend starting! 🙂
What are some of your favourite easiest plants to grow?
Don’t forget to pin this post so you can remind yourself of what to look for at the garden centre!
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.