Low maintenance perennials are a popular choice for all landscapes as they require minimal work and come back every year. Even better is that these simple perennials come back bigger and better than the previous year.
Many of us choose perennials because they don’t require replanting annually, but also because of everything else they offer. The problem is selecting the best ones. How you plan to use these low maintenance perennials determines what ones you use for your flower beds.
Some perennials make excellent focal points, while others work better along borders or walkways. No matter what you plan, consider the blooming period of your favorite perennials to ensure you receive plenty of color through the season.
Perhaps the greatest thing about using low maintenance perennials in your beds is that even the most forgetful and inexperienced gardeners won’t have problems keeping them alive.
- Top Care Tips for Low Maintenance Perennials
- Most Notable Low Maintenance Perennials
- Low Maintenance Perennials – Coneflower (Echinacea)
- Daylilies (Hemerocallis)
- Hosta (Hosta)
- Stonecrop (Sedum) – Easy to Care for Perennials
- Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
- Perennial Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata)
- Best Low Maintenance Perennials – Salvia (Salvia spp.)
- Peonies (Paeonia spp.)
- Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica)
- Bleeding Heart (Dicentra) – Low Maintenance Flowering Perennials
- Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)
- Speedwell (Veronica)
- Shade Loving Low Maintenance Perennials – Coral Bells (Heuchera)
- Bee Balm (Monarda)
Top Care Tips for Low Maintenance Perennials
During the first year, low maintenance perennials require a little more care than they do moving forward. More attention is necessary as the perennials are becoming established.
Once they fully develop, they will easily thrive despite forgetfulness and neglect. One of the benefits of using container-grown perennials is they come already established, so they require a little less care in the first year than those with root balls.
With a root ball, the perennial has to stabilize itself in new soil once planted, while the container-grown option transfers the dirt to your yard when planting. After planting your favorite perennials, water them deeply a couple of times a week.
Don’t let the soil become too wet or too dry, as it creates problems with the root system’s development. To ensure optimal growth and blooming, feed your perennials yearly in the spring with a quality fertilizer.
Look for one with high-phosphorus and low-nitrogen. Adding a layer or two of mulch to your garden beds helps the perennials and reduces the time you spend weeding. Mulch retains moisture, so it means less watering for you, and it surpasses weeds.
Deadheading spent blooms keeps plants happy and healthy. It also encourages blooming and seed production in certain perennials. Many perennials require a support system.
The earlier you put in the supports, the better; if you add them after the plant establishes itself, you risk damaging the roots.
Always place the supports as close to the plant as you can and loosely secure the stems. Pole supports work well for slender or vine type stalks, while hoops work better for clumps.
Most Notable Low Maintenance Perennials
As all local garden centers tell you, the best time to plant your perennials is at the beginning of spring or fall. The exact planting time depends on your zone and the perennials chosen for your flower beds.
Low Maintenance Perennials – Coneflower (Echinacea)
A herbaceous perennial that seems to thrive on neglect, Coneflower requires well-draining sandy soil in a sunny location. When planted in the right conditions, very little care is needed for this beauty to bloom from late summer to the early fall.
As the Coneflower grows up to three feet tall, it is an excellent choice for the middle of beds. The purple flowers make attractive cut flowers, and the perennials do nicely as a standalone plant. Coneflower seed heads attract a variety of songbirds, such as the goldfinch.
An easy to care for perennial, the Daylily forms a clump along the bottom with flower stems reaching upwards. As the name suggests, the blooms on the Daylily only appear for a single day.
Daylily cultivators allow for night or day blossoms, as well as different heights and shades. Always plant Daylilies in full sun, but choose a location with organically fertile soil and excellent drainage.
Typically, these perennials grow up to four feet tall and are known for their unique petal shape. Daylilies do spread, so leave room around them for continued growth.
Sometimes called a Plantain Lily, Hostas are an excellent choice for those looking for a perennial that requires minimal care and tolerates shade.
Never plant Hostas in full sun; always offer them protection from the heat of the afternoon sun to prevent the foliage from burning.
Hostas are not identified by their flowers, but in the late summer, small white flowers appear. These low growing perennials are not the ideal choice for groundcover, as they don’t creep throughout the beds but form low mounds of foliage.
Stonecrop (Sedum) – Easy to Care for Perennials
If you are after a low growing perennial used for groundcover that requires just the basics, look no further than Stonecrop. This one grows only a few inches tall but is known for how quickly it spreads across garden beds.
Its cascading habit means it’s an excellent option for border walls. When planting Stonecrop, always opt for well-draining locations, as it’s prone to root rot if left in soil that is too wet.
As a succulent, Stonecrop is one of the best perennials for sunny areas if you want success when overwintering it. One of the most popular Stonecrop choices is ‘Blue Spruce’ with blue-green leaves and yellow flowers.
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
For home gardeners looking for the ideal perennial for the middle area of flower beds, examine Black-Eyed Susan. These perennials are simple to take care of, and they do well even in poor soil conditions.
The primary consideration when planting these flowers is sunlight, as they require full sun to bloom properly. Black-Eyed Susan grows two feet tall with orange and yellow flowers.
Black-Eyed Susan plants are hardy perennials that bloom all summer and last until the first frost appears. To prevent seeds in this self-sowing perennial, remove blossoms as they fade away.
Perennial Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata)
Sometimes called Lance-Leaved Coreopsis, Perennial Tickseed is an easy perennial to care for, as long as it’s planted in well-draining soil.
The slender stems are topped with yellow to orange flowers that contrast in mixed beds and work beautifully along borders. Do not confuse perennial tickseed with others, as the other coreopsis plants are classified as annuals.
To tell them apart, reference their Latin name rather than their common name. Perennial Tickseed attracts beneficial insects to the garden, which helps keep other pests at bay.
Best Low Maintenance Perennials – Salvia (Salvia spp.)
If you want an aromatic plant that attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators, Salvia is one of the top choices. This perennial requires the most basic care; it adapts well to any ground conditions.
The tubular flowers offer the sweetest nectar to draw in your pollinators and sit on top of the green foliage in colorful spikes. This drought-tolerant perennial’s green leaves are scented strongly enough to deter rabbits and deer, so plant along edges to protect tender young shoots.
Plant these flowers in beds in full sun to part shade and choose your style of Salvia based on how tall you wish it to grow. Heights range from 18 inches to five feet.
Peonies (Paeonia spp.)
Peonies are easy to maintain shrubs that require just the basics and add a splash of brightness to your yard from early spring to the beginning of summer. The sheer number of flower hues with Peonies allows you to mix and match them with any design scheme in your landscape.
The clumpy looking bushy resembles a small low growing hedge, making it an excellent choice along walkways and borders.
The flowers rest on top of beautiful green foliage that remains long after the blooms are spent. As fall approaches, the leaves turn red-purple or gold.
Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica)
The Siberian Iris asks for a bit more care than other low-maintenance perennials, but once you get it planted, it does well. Growing up to four feet tall, homeowners can select from several flower shades, including pink, blue, white, yellow, and purple.
The blossoms sit on top of thin green stems and open in the late spring. When planting Siberian Iris, use organically fertile and well-draining soil and find a location in full sun to partial shade, as they prefer moist soil.
The plant grows in a clump style, so once the flowers die off, the ornamental grass left behind continues to add texture to your garden into the colder months.
Bleeding Heart (Dicentra) – Low Maintenance Flowering Perennials
If you need a perennial for a shady area, think about Bleeding Heart as it thrives in partial to full shade. This perennial adapts to various soil types but does prefer slightly moist soils.
Add a thin layer of mulch to help retain moisture. Use deer resistant Bleeding Heart along borders to protect the tastier plants on the inside.
The heart-shaped white and pink flowers of the Bleeding Heart first appear in the spring and last until the heat of the summer. Not a heat-tolerant perennial, these beauties lay dormant in hot weather but reappear the following spring.
Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)
Shasta Daisies are a popular choice because of how well they bloom. These clump style perennials grow three feet tall and two feet wide. The white petals surround a small yellow floret and sit on top of green leaves.
Shasta Daisies bloom in the early spring and continue to bloom until the start of fall. Plant these beauties in the full sun using fertile, well-draining soil for optimal results. Deadheading spent blooms helps the plant look healthy.
Speedwell only requires water in the heat of the summer when rainfall is sparse, so it’s easier to care for than many others. The long flower spikes grow up to three feet tall and come in pink, blue, white, or purple clusters.
Deadhead spent blossoms to encourage new ones. When selecting a planting location for Speedwell, look for plenty of sunlight for optimal blooming and growth.
Use fertile and well-draining soil in an area where you can keep the soil moist. To help retain moisture, add a layer of mulch to the base of the plant and amend the ground with organic compost.
Shade Loving Low Maintenance Perennials – Coral Bells (Heuchera)
For attractiveness in a shady area, use Coral Bells, as they offer several different leaf choices. Foliage on these easy to care for perennials include bronze, bright green, chartreuse, cherry, and bicolor.
Above the striking foliage are flower stalks adorned with bell-shaped pink and white flowers that bloom in the early to middle of summer.
Coral Bells only grow 20 inches tall, but the wrinkled foliage provides plenty of interest throughout your beds. Although they prefer shade, they tolerate some sunlight but require protection from the hot afternoon sun.
Although Coral Bells are not all year flowers, their bright foliage usually lasts through every season unless there is a lot of extreme cold weather and snow.
Bee Balm (Monarda)
As the name suggests, Bee Balm is well known for attracting bees and other pollinators. What pollinators you attract depends on the tint of blooms your plant offers, as they are available in white, pink, red, and lavender.
The crown-shaped blossoms first open up in the spring and remain until the fall. Bee Balm grows up to four feet tall – how tall your plants get depends on the cultivator purchased.
For a hot and humid area, choose a mildew-resistant cultivator to reduce the chance of problems. Plant these perennials for bad soil in full sun to partial shade in fertile and well-draining ground.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our low-maintenance perennials for your garden. If you like our ideas on what perennials a busy gardener should use, please take a minute and share these low maintenance perennials with others on Facebook and Pinterest.