Gardeners often look for easy-to-grow plants that will allow them to enjoy the gardening experience without a great deal of maintenance or die-off. Fortunately, there are many kinds of plants, flowers, shrubs and grasses that give great results with a minimum of time and trouble. Of course, you must choose plants that are suitable for the climate in which you live. Consult the U.S. hardiness zone map and your local county agricultural extension for advice on the best plant species for your area.
Easy-Care Annuals - A number of varieties of annual flowers are very easy care and produce beautiful results in outdoor gardens. Marigolds and zinnia are very hardy annuals that you can start from seed, and they will do well even in the heat of summer. Cosmos are a type of flower that is often recommended to beginning gardeners because it is so easy to grow in almost any kind of soil. It is self-seeding, which means it will make more cosmos without having to do anything. Dahlias are another easy-to-grow flowers that give rich rewards with its beauty. It thrives in the sun and will bloom from late summer to early fall.
Hardy Perennials - Perennials are a natural choice for those who want easy-to-grow flowers with few maintenance chores. Peonies produce huge blooms in white, pink, and deep red on tall, woody stems in late spring and early summer and will continue to reappear year after year with just a minimum of care. Hosta is a favorite in many Midwest gardens because it thrives in any shady area and needs little care. Its lush foliage complements any landscape and its tiny purple flower adds interest to any garden. Daylilies produce beautiful orange flowers throughout the growing season, need little care, and spread easily to fill any area.
Bulbs - Once properly planted, garden bulbs will produce blooms year after year, spreading easily to fill the spot they are given. Bulbs come in many different varieties, from tulips and hyacinth to lilies and amaryllis. The trick is to plant them at the correct depth. Always follow package directions carefully to produce good blooms.
Low-Maintenance Vegetables - There are even a number of easy-to-grow vegetables to add to your garden that will yield tasty results with a minimum of work. Plant carrot seeds in a sunny area and let them grow. Radishes spring out of the ground days after planting and are ready to eat in four to six weeks. Try planting the large seeds of bush beans for an easy-care crop that produces one or two yields per season. They need at least six hours of sun per day.
Flowering Shrubs - Shrubs are a mainstay of every landscape and are a wonderful backdrop for other plants. For the easiest-care shrubs, plant evergreens like evergreen azaleas that produce lovely flowers in the spring with little care. In the South, crape myrtle produces long-lasting white, pink, lavender or red flowers in the summer and leaves turn orange or red in the fall.