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The Best Flowers to Plant If You Hate Gardening

Hydrangeas, geraniums, and creeping thyme blossoms
Endless Summer/The Three Company/Seed Needs

It’s a problem many of us face: we enjoy beautiful flowers, but don’t have the desire or time to deal with all the maintenance that comes with gardening. Well, what if we told you there is such a thing as a “low-maintenance” flower garden? It’s totally true—you just have to choose the right plants.

A garden might sound like a high-maintenance commitment, but not all plants are as needy as others. If you hate gardening, but still want some color in your yard, we’ve selected some gorgeous flowers that tick both boxes. Everything on our list is a perennial, which means they rebloom year after year, so you can get all the perks without all the hassle.

Hydrangeas

A purple hydrangea bush; a pink hydrangea bush
Endless Summer

Who doesn’t love a stunning hydrangea bush? They might look fancy and elegant, but in reality, they’re relatively low maintenance. These perennials bloom as a bush rather than a traditional flower. They also grow surprisingly fast, meaning you’ll get beautiful color and coverage in a much shorter time.

Endless Summer Bloomstruck Hydrangea Shrub

Beautiful, fast-growing, and surprisingly easy to keep up.

Hydrangeas do require a little attention when they’re first planted, but the good news is they can grow in a very wide range of climate and soil conditions.

These tips will help you keep your hydrangeas happy without too much fuss:

  • Plant in fall or early spring: Fall is ideal, as it allows your plant to establish a healthy root system.
  • Plant where they’ll get morning sun and afternoon shade: If you place them on a north- or east-facing side of your home, they can take advantage of the natural sun and shade.
  • Water a few times a week: There’s no need to water every day; a few deep waterings each week will help them flourish. Be sure to soak the soil to the roots, but not so much that it becomes soggy or waterlogged.
  • Fertilize as needed: Nutrient-rich soil probably won’t need much additional fertilizer.
  • Prune in late summer or early spring: You’ll need to trim back the bush once each year, but the best time to do so will depend on the variety you have.

Endless Summer Hydrangea Summer Crush Hydrangea

Bloom in different colors based on soil acidity.

Geraniums

Pink and red geraniums in bloom
The Three Company

Geraniums are hardy, easy-to-grow flowers that can be planted either as annuals, houseplants, or perennials. They also come in a variety of colors. Just be sure to double-check with your local nursery or garden center experts to help you choose the most low-maintenance variety for your particular climate.

Live Flowering Zonal Geranium

A bright, easy, and versatile little flower.

Once you have your geraniums picked out, you’ll find them very easy to plant and care for. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Plant in moist soil: Either plant in the morning to take advantage of the dew, or you can wet the ground first if it hasn’t rained recently. You’ll also want to make sure the soil has good drainage.
  • Avoid planting when it’s too cold: Geraniums can’t tolerate cold temps, so only plant them when the temperature will remain between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Plant in full sun: They’ll thrive if they get at least six to eight hours of sun per day.
  • Water once a week: You can do so more frequently if the soil is particularly dry or the weather is very warm.
  • Deadhead regularly: This just means removing any wilted or dead blooms. It encourages new growth and will keep your plants looking pretty all season.

Fiskars Soft Grip Bypass Pruner

For quick and easy deadheading.

Creeping Thyme

Purple flowers of creeping thyme
Seed Needs

If you’re looking for some beautiful ground cover that’s low-maintenance, look no further than creeping thyme. This lovely perennial grows low to the ground and produces tons of tiny, bright purple flowers.

It’s also extremely easy to grow, resists many pests, and durable enough to withstand some foot traffic. It’s even edible if you decide you’re up for a bit more work!

Seed Needs Wild Creeping Thyme Seeds

For a fast-growing, beautiful ground cover.

Creeping thyme takes a bit more effort to get started than the other plants on our list, but here’s how you can make the most of it:

  • Plant inside, and then transplant: For best results, plant in small peat pots indoors, and then transplant outside once they begin to sprout and the weather is warm enough. You can also sow them directly by simply scattering them atop your outdoor soil.
  • Plant in full sun: This plant will do best if it receives at least six to eight hours of full sunlight per day.
  • Water immediately after planting: Especially if you plant or scatter it outdoors. This will prevent the tiny seeds from being whisked away by wind.
  • Water every 8-10 days: Creeping thyme doesn’t like soggy soil, so, depending on how hot and dry your climate is, you won’t need to water it as much as many other plants after it’s established.

Peat Pot Plant Starters for Seedlings

Perfect for starting your thyme plants.

Yarrow

Multicolored yarrow blossoms
Outsidepride

Like creeping thyme, bright, tiny yarrow flowers are also edible. They also require very little care and blossom almost anytime, anywhere, making them great for gardens, yard borders, and more.

With several different color varieties to choose from, yarrow produces beautiful clusters of flowers and foliage. It’s also tough enough to withstand heat and drought, is largely resistant to garden pests, and even attracts pollinators and butterflies.

Naturesroom Birds Choice Butterfly Feeder Kit

Attract butterflies so they can do their thing and keep your blooms growing strong.

Taking care of yarrow is super easy, as well—just follow these simple tips:

  • Plant in spring or summer: Once the chance of frost has passed, you’re good to go.
  • Plant in full sun: It will do best in an area where it gets at least six hours of sunlight per day.
  • Water once a week: Pay a bit more attention during hot and dry months, but yarrow generally doesn’t like wet soil.
  • Deadhead regularly: Removing any wilted flowers will encourage regrowth all season.

Outsidepride Achillea Yarrow Summer Berries Flower Seed

Multicolored, gorgeous, and easy peasy.

Daylily

Yellow and pink daylilies
Holland Bulb Farms

Daylilies might look intimidatingly beautiful, but they’re surprisingly easy to grow and care for. Their name contains a hint about how they grow. Each individual bloom only stays open for a single day.

Stella D' Oro Daylily Jumbo Pack

Fast-blooming, with little extra care required.

However, these plants produce a ton of flowers and rapidly replenish, making them the perfect option for those who want a stunning effect with little effort. They’re also perennials, so they’ll bloom year after year.

Daylilies are also surprisingly hard to kill, as they tend to be resistant to many of the pests and potential diseases that affect other lilies.

Childrens Festival Daylily

For those who want their garden to be pretty in pink.

Follow these tips for a gorgeous daylily garden:

  • Plant in fall/early spring in warmer climates: In cooler climates, you can plant them in spring.
  • Plant in full sun: They’ll also need well-drained, moist soil. In particularly hot climates, an area that gets some partial shade in the afternoon is ideal.
  • Fertilization: A yearly addition of some compost is all they need.
  • Water regularly the first season: After that, you’ll only need to water them once or twice a week, and usually only if there’s been no rainfall.

And hey, if you don’t feel up to the care and maintenance required by other types of lilies, you can still light up your garden with them.

Outdoor Solar Garden Stake Lights, 3-Pack, 12 Lily Flowers

The easiest way to 'plant' the more delicate kind of lilies.


Who says you can’t have a pretty flower garden if you don’t like to garden? True, you’ll have to get your hands a bit dirty to get things going. But after that, any of these hardy darlings will bloom year after year, with minimal maintenance required.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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