Do you want to have a lovely and inviting yard, but you don’t want to spend hours toiling in it? Then check out this list of 11 low maintenance perennial plants to add beauty and interest to your yard.
If you’re a little unsure about what perennial means, don’t worry – I was stuck on that term for years too.
Perennial means it keeps living and surviving year after year. (They may recede over winter and then rebound and grow back in Spring.)
[Contrast this with an ‘annual’ plant which only has one growing season then it dies off: a ‘one and done’.]
And I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to simplify my life and intentionally design my house and yard to have low-maintenance easy-care options.
It is a work in progress.
The plants on this list may be low-maintenance, but just like any other plant, their survival will depend on you getting a few things correct right from the start.
- choosing the right location to plant them (ideal sun, soil, water)
- providing them what they need in order to become “established” in the location.
Table of Contents
Hostas can provide lush and lovely foliage for your yard and they can do well in partial shade.
Plus they produce beautiful little flowers in the summer.
I discovered the following interesting information about hostas from the Old Farmer’s Almanac website.
There are lots of different varieties for hostas that:
- grow to different heights
- have different texture
- produce different colored flowers (pink, white or lavender)
For more information on how, when and where to plant hostas click here.
This plant is also called the Ornamental Onion.
And there isn’t just one variety…according to the ‘Old Farmer’s Almanac‘ there are over 700 species of ornamental onions.
The photo below is from Instagram and it is a beautiful close-up shot of Ornamental Onion’s flower.
These shade-loving plants come in a variety of leaf colors.
They also go by the name “Coral Bells.”
This article from the ‘HGTV‘ points out that gardeners love heuchera’s colorful foliage, and that many people claim they’re deer and rabbit resistant.
But the article points out that in winter and early Spring – when food is thin pickins – deer will still munch them.
So if you have a deer problem in your yard, protect the plants with a plastic netting or cage in the winter and spring.
Below are some photos from Instagram showing these beautiful plants in people’s yards.
4) Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra)
Japanese Forest Grass is a spikey, blade-like grass that grows up to 18-20 inches tall.
It can get to 2-feet (24-inches) wide.
It is sometimes called Hakone grass.
It needs partial shade to grow, and because of their similar light requirements, it makes a good companion to a Hosta plant.
Below is a photo from Instagram where the gardener does a lovely job of edging a pathway with Japanese Forest Grass.
5) Japanese Painted Fern ( Athyrium niponicum)
The colorful fern usually has silver, red and green colors so it’ll help add a dash of vibrancy to your yard’s partially shady to shady areas.
6) Catmint (Nepeta mussinii )
This is a fragrant herb that you can grow with little effort.
It produces beautiful flowers that can attract bees and birds to your garden.
It is similar to Catnip, but not the same. Catmint is less appealing to the feline family members.
The beautiful Instagram photo below shows the purplish Catmint flowers growing beside (and overtaking) a brick walkway.
These early blooming flowers grow well in the shady areas or your yard or in spots where they’ll get filtered sunlight.
This article from “Gardening Know How” suggests planting them under the shade of a deciduous tree.
And they’re not just a pretty flower…they have lovely year-round green foliage too.
Lavender is a truly wonderful plant.
It creates an essential oil called Linalool that is prized in Aromatherapy for helping induce relaxation and its calming effect.
This article from Canadian Living magazine about Lavender provides some more information on this useful addition to your yard.
9) Black-eyed Susans
These plants with their “daisy-like” flowers are a great addition to your yard if you want to attract bees and butterflies to your garden.
Most varieties tend to bloom mid-Summer or even slightly later.
This article from American Meadows website points out that some varieties of Black-eyed Susans are annuals and some are perennials.
They are sun-loving plants, but the Old Farmer’s Almanac claims it will tolerate partial-sun too.
10) Coneflowers (aka Echinacea)
Coneflowers produce lovely flowers of various colors (blooming mid-summer) that are attractive to the 3 B’s (birds, butterflies & bees).
A great feature of these flowers is that once the plant is established it requires little to no extra watering. It is drought-tolerant. (Because of a tap root.)
The picture below is Echinacea purpurea: the purple version of the coneflower. It is also available in other colors.
For more information on growing coneflowers in your yard, I suggest you check out this article from The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
If you want a plant that is going to last awhile, check out peonies.
This flowering plant has been known to survive 100 years.
This perennial loves full sun and well-drained soil.
The dense blooms of this plant are commonly used in floral bouquets. (Just search #peonies on Instagram and you’ll be lucky to find a picture of the flower in the garden…they’re almost entirely bouquet photos.)
Which plants do you love best?
Is there a plant from this list that you’d like to add to your yard?
And if you have a personal favorite for an easy care perennial, please comment below.
Tim from LearnAlongWithMe.com