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5 of the Best Low-Maintenance Plants for Landscaping

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These plants will add so much to your landscape!

These plants will add so much to your landscape!

Low-Maintenance Landscaping Plants

If you are looking for plants for your landscape but want them to be beautiful and easy to care for, look no further. These five great landscape plants will fit the bill. They look great and will require only a minimal amount of maintenance. Better yet, they offer a wide range of color, shape, height, and sun tolerance, so something here will fit into your landscape.

Top 5 Low-Maintenance Plants

  1. Daylily
  2. Hosta
  3. Spirea
  4. Ornamental Grass
  5. Rudbeckia
Daylillies offer vibrant color and very low maintenance

Daylillies offer vibrant color and very low maintenance

1. Daylily

The daylily is one of the easiest plants you can own. It will look neat and clean all season long, and the blooms will cover the plant in early-to-mid summer. There are several reblooming varieties that can offer a smaller bloom well into the fall.

The daylily will get a little bigger each year and eventually can be split, but this takes a while. The only maintenance is a once-per-year clearing away of the prior year's dead growth. The plants can be sheared to the ground in late fall or simply pulled out by hand in the spring. For a reliable bloom and rebloom on a compact and neat plant, try Stella de Oro.

Planting these beauties next to tulips or daffodils is also a great idea since the daylilies will take over just when the others are dying down.

Hosta is great in the shade.

Hosta is great in the shade.

2. Hosta

The hosta is the king of the shade. If you have a place in your landscape that is shady and you can't get much else to grow, this is your plant of choice. There are literally hundreds of hosta varieties with leaves from light green to blue and all sorts of variegated leaves.

The hosta is a terrific plant that requires no care all year long. Care is very similar to the daylily. After the season is done, all you need to do is remove the dead branches after a hard frost, and you're ready for next year. Or, you can wait until spring and remove the dead remnants then.

Little Princess spirea is a proven winner

Little Princess spirea is a proven winner

3. Spirea

If you are looking for only one shrub in your landscape, spirea should be your choice. This undemanding shrub is beautiful all season long.

Spireas come in sizes from compact 2-3 feet high plants all the way up to enormous shrubs. What makes them so interesting is that they flower brilliantly during the summer, and most have excellent fall color as a finishing touch.

The maintenance on spirea is straightforward. They can be pruned any time of year except when they bloom, but they don't care how you prune them. You can simply take a hedge clipper and prune them in fall or spring to retain its shape. A few minutes for this annual haircut, and you are done and ready for the next year. Popular varieties that will stay rather compact include Little Princess and Gold Mound.

Ornamental Grass looks great all winter.

Ornamental Grass looks great all winter.

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4. Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grasses are a great addition to any landscape and will look different from the usual trees, shrubs, and perennials. Many ornamental grasses are very neat, and others are very explosive in the landscape.

Grass can be used as a boundary plant or as a focal point. In the summer and winter, you will be treated with the soft plumes floating in the slightest breeze. The best part about ornamental grass is that the maintenance is very low. Just make sure you get a variety that doesn't seed itself and expands at a slow pace each year, and you will be fine.

Your annual job for grasses is to simply cut them to the ground each spring before they start to grow. For medium-sized grass, consider Flame Grass. For something a bit taller, take a look at Karl Forrester.

Black-eyed Susans are bright and drought tolerant.

Black-eyed Susans are bright and drought tolerant.

5. Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia, or Black-Eyed Susans, take over the landscape when other flowers are done for the summer. They will bloom in abundance from summer through fall, and their bright yellow color is noticeable from quite a distance.

Black-Eyed Susan will keep coming back strong year after year with no maintenance at all, but a quick cleaning of the dead plants each spring will clean up their spot and only takes a few minutes. If you don't have a lot of fall color in your landscape and want an easy-to-care-for plant, a Rudbeckia is a must. The most popular variety is Goldsturm, but Fulgida is also an excellent choice.

No-Maintenance Plants

What if you are looking for truly no-maintenance plants? Well, about the only plant that truly requires no maintenance is an evergreen of some kind, but the ones we've discussed here are very close. The problem with a plant that requires zero maintenance is that it tends to not offer as much beauty in the landscape.

Stick with low maintenance. For the small amount of effort that you have to put into the garden, the reward is well worth it.

What Are You Waiting for?

Well, there you have it. You can add plenty of beautiful landscape plants to your yard without a lot of work. These five low-maintenance plants will beautify your yard without turning you into a full-time gardener.

What are your favorite low maintenance plants?

Al from Australia, Hong Kong, USA on March 25, 2016:

What a great list, thanks for the tips.

Dennis Hoyman from Southwestern, Pennsylvania on April 10, 2014:

Great Hub It is very helpful full of lots of information Which is great keep up the good work! Gardener Den

Allyson Cardis from Gloucestershire, England on October 29, 2013:

Just catching up with your useful article. I think ornamental grasses and lilies look particularly good with a garden pond. I don't have hostas but think I will give them a try.

ignugent17 on May 01, 2013:

Great idea. I will look for those plants. I think I like Hosta and ornamental grass.

Thanks for sharing. :-)

vibesites from United States on April 02, 2013:

I never thought those grass (which I see them growing wild) would also be used for landscape gardening... I think it's especially good for rock gardens.

Thanks for sharing your great hub. Voted up and useful, awesome.

landocheese (author) on March 04, 2013:

Thanks for the comments. I love my black-eyed Susans as they keep filling the space year after year and provide awesome bright color. I would also concur with Coreopsis Moonbeam as a low maintenance plant. I have plenty and really love it. Zagreb is another variety that is brighter with carnation-type flowers but it is pickier than Moonbeam.

Gail Meyers from Johnson County, Kansas on March 04, 2013:

These are some great choices for low maintenance plants. My Grandmother had hostas for years. They would get so big I would have to divide them. I do not think we ever did much of anything for them. Hostas are really low maintenance. Coreopsis moonbeam is another I would consider low maintenance that is one of my favorites. Voted up, useful and shared.

Brenda Kyle from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on March 04, 2013:

I have day lilies on the sides of my house and would highly recommend those too. They are a splash of color, handle full sun and even dry ground. I am very happy with them. I also have brown eyed Susans and I do share those plants with other people each year. They love to reproduce like mad. Thank you for sharing. (zone5)

Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on June 23, 2012:

You are right that these are low maintenance plants. I am most familiar with all of them except spirea: that is the only one I have not had in my garden at one point. The only thing I don't like about hostas and ornamental grasses is they spread like crazy and are hard to get rid of it you no longer want them in a particular place.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on June 23, 2012:

This is just what I need. Low maintenance! I love the ornamental grass. Going to have to keep these in mind. Thanks. Voted up and others!

Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 23, 2012:

Really great information. I wll share this!

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