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Life Arts    H4'ed 5/29/21

The Best Low-Maintenance Plants for Your Backyard

Author 521348
Message Elena Willson

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In today's fast-paced modern life, where we slave over tables submerged in the digital world, gardening provides a great opportunity to reconnect with nature in a fun and enjoyable way. But to beginners, the act of gardening may seem too demanding, threatening to become just another chore.

There are still a lot of people who think that an entire spring and summer of watering, weeding, pruning, etc., can lead to a stunning backyard landscape. However, the truth is that there are many low-maintenance plants that will make your garden lush and gorgeous with a minimum amount of effort. And we're here to pinpoint the best among them.

A Worry-Free Foundation

Before we start with our pick of the best low-maintenance plants, we need to stress that the concept of the ʽright plantʼ is inseparable from the concept of the ʽright placeʼ. The trick is to pick the plants that will feel at home in your garden - to provide them with conditions in which they'll be able to thrive on their own. For example, some sun-loving plants may survive in shade, but they won't thrive, they'll succumb to diseases more easily, their branches will be weaker, and they'll require more attention.

With that in mind, let's dive into our list.

A Hard Worker

If you're looking for an ideal shrub, look no further than weigela. They're perfectly fine with average soil and once you establish them they're completely tolerant to drought. If you don't have a specific shape and size in mind, you don't even have to prune them.

But the best thing is that they're one of the most hard-working plants that will provide your backyard with a key element of success - pollinators. Varieties of weigela offer both tubular blooms and colorful foliage that bees and hummingbirds won't be able to resist.

Fast-Spreading Shade

Our pick for the tree goes to thornless honeylocust that will provide your yard with another crucial element - plenty of shade. This deciduous tree grows fast and it can reach up to 75 feet in height and 40 in width. It thrives in full sun, easily tolerates drought, and can adapt to any kind of well-drained soil. Its foliage is lush and gets a gorgeous yellowish tint in fall, and you can even skip the raking of small leaves as they break apart after falling.

Tropical Paradise

Everyone knows that the best texture and colors come from tropical plants. But not all of us have enough sun at our disposal that these plants require to thrive. Luckily, elephant ears don't require much direct sunshine as you can grow them in filtered sun or shade. And the best part is that their large leaves (resembling the ears of the giant mammal), combined with the variety of colors they come in, will provide any garden with an amazing tropical effect. They work best as strong focal points but can look equally breathtaking as edging along walkaways or around ponds, ground covers, or background plants.

A Year-Round Color

If you're looking for a color that will stick all year round with little to no effort, beautyberry shrub is a perfect choice. Not only is it completely immune to droughts, but it also packs a natural resistance to pests and disease. After the lush green foliage rich with lilac blooms falls away at the end of summer, it reveals the berries of dazzling purple color that will stick around throughout fall and winter. The fact that those berries are a real treat for birds is only a plus.

A Lush Contrast

While two previous entries on our list will provide your backyard with plenty of colors, the dusty miller will serve as a perfect contrast to those vibrant tones. Its silver-gray and lacy leaves are the embodiment of elegance, which is accompanied by almost complete independence. Since it can easily deal with both drought and heat, it requires almost zero maintenance when it's established. While it is considered an annual, in a warmer climate this elegant jewel will keep returning every year.

Just a Trim

Poor soil in your backyard can be a real struggle for many plants, but not for the coneflower. This purple flower that also goes by the name of echinacea will not only thrive in poor soil, but it will also thrive almost completely ignored. With a normal amount of rainfall, you don't even have to water it. The only thing it requires to rejuvenate the blooms is a late-summer trim. On top of that, it also attracts many pollinators.

A Lawn Alternative

Lawns are often centerpieces of landscape design and many people regret that they don't have enough free time for their demanding maintenance. But what if we told you that there's a low-maintenance lawn alternative that is both extremely fragrant and edible? Creeping thyme is actually recommended in that role by landscaping professionals since its drought resistance and hardiness make it perfect - all it takes is occasional watering and warm weather. And its white tiny flowers will fill your backyard with butterflies.



All plants need some level of care, but the ones on our list are, as you can see, extremely undemanding. And those few demands that they do have are justified by the beauty and sustainability they offer in return.


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Elena Willson is a business woman, mom and a wife. She is currently staying at home due to a great reason, her family. In her free time she loves writing about variety of topics.
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