Top 10 Low Maintenance Perennials for Everyone Without Work

Top 10 Low Maintenance Perennials for Everyone Without Work

Are you looking to add a little pizzazz to your outdoor space? Or maybe you have some beds that fill up with weeds overnight. Sure, you can pop up a few annuals, which will bloom like crazy this year and then die over the winter — or you can choose plants that come back year after year (called Perennial plants), saving you time, money and hassle. We tapped the experts for recommendations on “set it and forget it” high-impact perennial flowers available so you can get everything you need. amazing Without work. Read on for the 10 best perennials for a low-maintenance yard and how to bring their beauty to your garden no matter what USDA plant hardiness zone you live in. Not sure which area you are in? Check out the official USDA map.

What are perennial plants?

“Perennial flowers are a reliable choice for your outdoor space because they bloom at the same time every year,” says Jan Johnsen, author of “Perennial Flowers.” Floratopia And Gardentopia. “They go dormant in the winter and reappear in the spring.” Plus, they require less maintenance than annuals, which need to be dug up and replaced every year.

Planting flowering perennials in the yard, along the driveway or around the perimeter of the home is an easy way to add beauty that enhances your curb appeal and transforms your space into a colorful and soothing oasis. (Click for other tips to boost your curb appeal.)

10. Arkansas Amsonia (Amsonia Hubrichte)

iCroi/Adobe Stock

“The beautiful foliage of Arkansas amsonia provides multiple seasons of beauty,” notes gardening expert Melinda Myers, author and host of the excellent How to Grow Anything course series. Its star-shaped ice blue flowers appear in spring and the leaves turn a beautiful shade of amber in fall. “Even dried foliage adds texture to the winter garden,” Myers says.

Because the plant tolerates a wide range of soil types and those that are occasionally wet, Arkansas amsonia is a good choice for adding rich color to a rain garden — a shallow depression in the ground that collects rainwater, filters it and redistributes it back into the soil. . Just make sure the plants are spaced at least 24 inches apart, as they will grow 24 to 36 inches wide and high.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-8

  • Soil conditions: The soil is moist and well-drained

  • Sun requirements: Give full to partial sun, avoid excessive shade

  • Watering schedule: Water at least once a week to keep the soil moist

9. Garden peony or herbaceous peony (Paeonia varieties)

Low-maintenance perennial flowers (peonies)

Oliver Dixon/Shutterstock

“Peonies that have long grown in gardens are a sentimental favorite for many,” Myers says. “Its leaves have a red tinge when they appear in the spring, turn green and serve as a beautiful backdrop for other flowers in the summer, and then take on a purplish-red tinge in the fall.” Depending on the variety, the flowers bloom in mid-to-late spring through early summer. With their delicate petals and fragrance, they make beautiful bouquets. All peonies attract butterflies and are resistant to deer and rabbits.

When planting peonies, be sure to place them in the ground at least 36 inches apart to give them room to show off their beauty and reduce the risk of powdery mildew that can form when there is not enough airflow to the leaves and petals. Myers points out that peonies can live in the same location and thrive for decades. (Click to see how you can use kitchen scraps to freshen up peonies.)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8

  • Soil conditions: Rich, well-drained soil

  • Sun requirements: Give full sun

  • Watering schedule: Water well every 5 to 7 days

8. Roses (Rosa)

Low-maintenance perennial flowers (roses)

Jeffrey Swain/Shutterstock

“Roses are perfect for brightening up a bare corner of your garden,” says Johnsen. Not only are classic flowers visually pleasing, they also add a beautiful, subtle floral scent to your outdoor space. They provide a continuous abundance of flowers from summer through fall with little maintenance, and they do best in a sunny location.

Plant roses in a location that gets the most eastern sunlight, allowing the sun to quickly evaporate the dew from the petals, preventing powdery mildew.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5-8

  • Soil conditions: Well-drained, slightly acidic soil

  • Sun requirements: Give full sun to part shade

  • Watering schedule: Water once or twice a week

7. Meadow Sage (Salvia)

Low-maintenance perennial flowers (meadow sage)

Patience Photo Agency / imageBROKER / Shutterstock

Sage belongs to the mint family and has a light, refreshing minty scent that is pleasing to humans but repellent to pests. The scent acts as a repellent to keep them away from your garden. (Click for more ways to protect your garden from pests.) Its blue to purple cone-shaped flowers produce nectar that attracts butterflies, and its stems grow up to 20 inches tall, making it a beautiful, low-profile choice for border plantings. Prairie sage is resistant to deer and rabbits and tolerates hot, dry conditions easily.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9

  • Soil conditions: Well-drained soil

  • Sun requirements: Give full sun

  • Watering schedule: Water every 7 to 10 days

6. False indigo blue (Baptisia australis)

Low-maintenance perennial flowers (false indigo blue)

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“False Blue Indigo is a North American native plant with striking blue/green leaves that look great throughout the growing season,” Myers notes. Long spikes of blue, wildflower-like flowers appear in spring through early summer, followed by bulbous pods that turn black in late summer. The pods vibrate in the wind and sound like wooden wind chimes, adding interest to the garden during the cold winter months.

The plants are ideal for filling large flower beds with showy blooms that reach 36 to 60 inches tall. Once established, False Blue Indigo is drought tolerant and deer resistant, making it a great choice for dry climates or yards that receive frequent wildlife visitors. (Click for tips for keeping deer away from your plants.)

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

  • Soil conditions: The soil is moist and well-drained

  • Sun requirements: Give full sun to light shade

  • Watering schedule: Water deeply at least once a week

5. Coreopsis

Low-maintenance perennial flowers (coreopsis)


Round coreopsis flowers add sunny color and textural interest to flower beds. The yellow core grows 24 to 36 inches tall and has a long flowering period, so the flowers will continue until late fall. The plant tolerates dry, poor soil well and can tolerate partial shade, making it a good choice for an area along a house or fence that receives some sun protection. Once established, these stunning, happy-hued items will continue to bloom without too much attention for years to come.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11

  • Soil conditions: Well-drained soil

  • Sun requirements: Give full sun to light shade

  • Watering schedule: Water twice a week

4. Butterfly weed (Asclepias Tobrosa)

Low-maintenance perennial flowers (butterfly weed)

Low-maintenance perennial flowers (butterfly weed)

Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees are attracted to orange butterfly weed – a much more beautiful plant than its name suggests. Even during quiet moments, when there are a few fliers buzzing around, the small clusters of saturated orange flowers light up your space with their sunset-inspired colors.

Once butterfly weed plants are established, they essentially take care of themselves and are drought tolerant. Simply prune the old growth every spring to keep it neat.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

  • Soil conditions: Well-drained or dry soil

  • Sun requirements: Give full sun

  • Watering schedule: Water only when the soil is dry to the touch

3. Catmint (Nepeta)

Low-maintenance perennial flowers (mint)

Anna Reinert/ImageBroker/Shutterstock

Not only do these low-maintenance perennials provide a continuous stream of beautiful blue-purple flowers from spring all summer long, but they also add a welcome scent of lemon and mint to your outdoor space! What’s more? There’s no need to deadhead to maintain this stunning bloom — and the gray-green foliage attracts beautiful butterflies, Myers points out. Tip: Choose clumping varieties that don’t replant easily or spread vigorously. Some common clumping varieties include ‘Walker’s Low’, ‘Junior Walker’, ‘Cat’s Meow’ and ‘Cat’s Pajamas’.

Mint is drought tolerant once established. Older plants may start to flop, but cut them back halfway when that happens and they will continue to grow upright as usual, Myers points out.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8

  • Soil conditions: Well-drained soil

  • Sun requirements: Give full sun

  • Watering schedule: Water once a week

2. Coneflower (Echinacea)

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Wilfred Wirth/ImageBroker/Shutterstock

Coneflowers are a staple perennial in many summer gardens, because they bring blooming beauty and butterflies wherever they are planted. Its sturdy frame and 6-inch-wide, daisy-like purple flowers create the perfect landing platform for the winged wonders. Since coneflowers grow up to 5 feet tall, they stretch beautifully along a fence to hide a nice view all summer long. What’s more? Once the flowers are over for the season, their seed-filled conical centers attract hungry songbirds during the winter months, bringing interest and beauty to your outdoor space year-round.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-8

  • Soil conditions: Well-drained soil

  • Sun requirements: Give full sun

  • Watering schedule: Water once or twice a week when the soil is on the dry side

1. Daylily (Hemerocallis hybrid)

Low-maintenance perennial flowers (daylilies)

David Chapman/ImageBroker/Shutterstock

Although they are not true lilies, daylilies resemble dazzling flowers with their pointed yellow to coral petals and stamens bursting from their centers. They have become a favorite perennial among experienced and novice gardeners alike due to their ability to thrive in any type of soil with little maintenance besides weekly watering. Daylilies produce an abundance of beautiful blooms for several weeks starting in mid-summer and sometimes again in the fall depending on the variety. They grow up to 48 inches tall and add a pop of color to flower beds, paths and borders.

  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9

  • Soil conditions: Well-drained, slightly acidic soil is best, although it can adapt to most soil types

  • Sun requirements: Give full sun to part shade

  • Watering schedule: Water once or twice a week

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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, The first for women.

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