Top 10 Low-Maintenance Perennials | Proven Winners (2023)

Top 10 Low-Maintenance Perennials | Proven Winners (1)Decadence® Baptisia (False Indigo)

One of the longest-lived perennials native to the American prairies is Baptisia, commonly known as false indigo. While most wild forms are quite tall, the Decadence series brings them down to just 2 ½-3’ tall and wide, about the size of a clump of daylilies. Now everyone can have the fun of growing false indigo, even people gardening on smaller city lots.

Decadence false indigo is very drought tolerant once established, so you’ll only need to provide supplemental water during times of extended drought. It thrives in full sun and hot weather, and does not require fertilizing or deadheading. In fact, if you do cut off the spent blooms, you’ll be preventing the formation of its decorative seed pods. So just plant it, then leave it be and it will be fabulous! Zones 4-9.

Festival Star™ Gypsophila (Baby’s Breath)

Who knew that baby’s breath could be so easy to grow? Old-fashioned varieties gave this perennial a reputation for being a hassle in the garden since they grew very large and often went dormant by late summer, leaving a big hole in the garden. Festival Star is a game changer when it comes to baby’s breath. This improved selection blooms from late spring into fall without deadheading or going summer dormant, and its shorter 12-18” height is much easier to manage.

When you plant Festival Star, be sure to amend your soil if it is heavy clay since this plant needs good drainage to grow well. Plant it in a very sunny spot and let it dry out a bit before you water it again. Just like we don’t like to sit around in wet shoes, its roots don’t like to sit in wet soil for long either. Don’t forget to clip some of its fragrant blooms for your fresh or dried bouquets. New flowers will quickly take their place. Zones 3-9.

Sweet Romance® Lavandula (Lavender)

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Sweetly fragrant lavender is always a crowd pleaser, and it’s easy to see why. The rich violet purple flowers of Sweet Romance lavender bloom from early summer through fall, with new flowers appearing throughout the growing season. They are perfect for using in bouquets, sachets, sweet treats, and lemonade.

Sweet Romance lavender is very easy to grow in a sunny, dry spot in your landscape. Planting it in sandy or very well-drained soil will help it grow vigorously and overwinter well in zones 5-9. It does not require fertilization. Trim the foliage back lightly in spring only if necessary to tidy up the plant.

Top 10 Low-Maintenance Perennials | Proven Winners (4)‘Tuscan Sun’ Heliopsis (False Sunflower)

Planting this cultivar of our native false sunflower is an easy way to add a bright splash of gold to your landscape from midsummer into early fall. It will give you the same look as a mass of Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia), but with none of the disease issues and it will even rebloom if you trim it back after the first round of flowers finishes.

Grow ‘Tuscan Sun’ in a mostly sunny to lightly shaded spot in ordinary garden soil. It can handle some dryness once it is established, but until then it will need about an inch of water per week. ‘Tuscan Sun’ is very heat tolerant and is easy to grow across the country in zones 3-9.

Rainbow Rhythm® Hemerocallis (Daylily)

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Even if you don’t consider yourself a gardener, chances are good that you’ve recognized daylilies blooming around town in the summertime. One reason why so many people grow them is because they require almost no maintenance other than watering. They multiply reliably from year to year, are long lived, and easy to share with neighbors and friends.

Proven Winners has selected six of the most outstanding daylilies for the Rainbow Rhythm collection, with more coming soon. Choose from purple, yellow, red, orange, peach and bicolor varieties. When you plant daylilies, every day brings fresh flowers to enjoy. Zones 3-9.

‘Cat’s Meow’ Nepeta (Catmint)

Catmint is one of the most requested perennials in garden centers every year in late spring when people start seeing it bloom around town. It forms a mass of vibrant periwinkle purple flowers that is so dense, you won’t even see the foliage when it’s in bloom. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds love catmint.

‘Cat’s Meow’ is a lower maintenance selection because unlike larger varieties, it stays in tidy mound without pruning and won’t sprawl all over its neighbors. Just be sure to grow it in full sun and very well-drained soil that is on the dry side. This plant loves warm, sunny days and should be one of the last things you water in the garden. Zones 3-8.

Shadowland® Hosta (Hosta)

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If you garden in shade, one of the easiest, low maintenance perennials you can grow is a hosta. It’s amazing how hostas emerge from bare ground in spring and grow so quickly to fill large spaces with their elegant foliage. After the first few frosts in fall, the foliage will go dormant again until the following spring. Clean up that dead foliage in fall to help prevent slug issues the following year.

Hostas grow best in organically rich soils and tolerate clay well. In the coolest parts of the country, they will survive in sun, but they are happiest when grown under the canopy of tall trees in zones 3-9. In the warmest parts of the country, they require full shade. Keep the soil evenly moist for best growth.

Prairie Winds® Panicum (Switch Grass)

Cultivars of our native switch grasses are some of the easiest ornamental grasses you can grow. These durable perennials will thrive in any soil, from sand to clay, and in any moisture level, from dry to wet. The only thing they require is full sun. Prairie Winds switch grasses can be used as a low maintenance screen, hedge, background planting, or as a focal point in the fall landscape.

Once per year in late winter or early spring before the new growth emerges, cut the entire clump of last year’s foliage back with hedge trimmers and compost it. Beyond that, no other maintenance is necessary. Zones 4-9.

Rock ‘N Grow® Sedum (Autumn Stonecrop)

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When you feel its succulent leaves, you’ll see why Rock ‘N Grow stonecrop is so drought tolerant. It stores water in its foliage and stems as a reserve, and usually doesn’t require supplemental water once the roots are established. Plant it in full sun and very well-drained soil, and do not add fertilizer or organic matter when you plant it. Lean and mean is how Sedum rolls--pamper it and you’ll be disappointed.

Sedum comes in many sizes, shapes and colors. The Rock ‘N Grow collection includes both upright mounded and low spreading types that are hardy in zones 3-9. Expect them all to bloom in late summer and fall, providing a late season pollen source for bees and butterflies. Leave it alone in fall and then cut any remaining foliage down to the ground in early spring.

Top 10 Low-Maintenance Perennials | Proven Winners (10)Denim ‘n Lace’ Perovskia (Russian Sage)

During the hottest months of summer, the cool blue flowers of Russian sage are a welcome respite in the garden. While older varieties grew much too large for most garden spaces, anyone can fit ‘Denim ‘n Lace’ in their garden. Its mature size is about 2 ½’ tall and 3’ wide. You’ll love how it forms a more dense, upright clump and is completely covered in flowers beginning in midsummer.

Like sedum, Russian sage is not a plant that enjoys pampering. Grow it in very well-drained, sandy or rocky soil and do not add fertilizer or organic matter when planting it. It enjoys drier soils and rarely requires supplemental water. The only maintenance it should need is cutting the stems back to about 3” tall in early spring before new growth appears. Zones 4-9.

Patent Info: Festival Star Gypsophila paniculata USPP14818 Can2631; Sweet Romance® Lavandula angustifolia USPP23001 Can4906; 'Tuscan Sun' Heliopsis USPP18763; 'Cat's Meow' Nepeta faassenii USPP24472 CanPBRAF; 'Denim 'n Lace' Perovskia atriplicifolia USPPAF CanPBRAF

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FAQs

Is there a perennial that blooms all year? ›

Coneflower. Not many perennials have won over gardeners and nature lovers the way coneflowers have. Easy to grow and available in lots of colors and sizes, they're a delight year-round, with summer and fall flowers—in purple, orange, red, white and green—on 2- to 5-foot-tall stems, and seedpods for winter interest.

What should I plant for continuous blooming? ›

Include late summer and fall blooming plants like California fuchsia, asters and perennial sunflowers for a late season show. Their foliage looks fresh all summer, and in fall they contribute showy flowers. Many Salvias bloom in summer though fall, too. Some, like the greggii types, peak in spring and again in fall.

What flower will bloom all summer? ›

Petunias—Colorful annual plants that grow in full sun and bloom continuously from spring until fall. Lavender—A small flowering shrub that blooms all summer and comes back every year. Hydrangeas—Large flowering perennial shrub with showy flowers that bloom year on year and last all summer long.

What flower survives all seasons? ›

31 Beautiful Flowers That Will Bloom All Season Long
  • 1 Annual vs. Perennial.
  • 2 African Violet.
  • 3 Ajuga or Bugleweed.
  • 4 Alpine Violet.
  • 5 Alyssum or Sweet Alyssum.
  • 6 Anise Hyssop.
  • 7 Begonia.
  • 8 Black-Eyed Susans.
26 Jul 2022

What's the most resilient flower? ›

Purple Saxifrage, the Hardiest Plant in the World

With its pretty purple flowers carpeting the tundra in spring, purple saxifrage looks a bit delicate. It certainly doesn't look like it could take much of a beating. Yet it's common throughout the Arctic and grows further north than any other flowering plant.

What is the Perennial Plant of the year 2022? ›

The Perennial Plant Association is pleased to announce the 2022 Perennial Plant of the Year®, Schizachyrium scoparium and cultivars.

What flower has the longest bloom? ›

Its name is Anthurium and is often called the world's longest blooming plant. Each heart-shaped flower spike can last up to eight weeks. The largest genus of the Arum family, Anthurium andraeanum is commonly known as Tail Flower (the Greek word for tail flower), Flamingo Flower, Painter's Palette or Laceleaf.

What is a good winter flower? ›

Pansies and violas bloom for most of the winter in mild climates, and some types will rebound in the spring in cold climates. They're technically annuals, but many varieties drop seeds so they'll come back again next spring. Also called galanthus, snowdrops must be planted in the fall for a very early spring show.

What is the hardiest annual flower? ›

Moss Rose

Moss Rose is one of the hardiest annuals around and is an excellent starting point for gardening beginners. It can tolerate both heat AND drought because of its succulent leaves and stems. You can find Moss Rose in several lovely colors including pink, red, yellow, and orange.

What is an all year round flower? ›

Chrysanthemums are one of the most common year-round flowers.

What is the best time of year to plant perennials? ›

The best times for planting perennial flowers are during the spring and fall. Planting during these seasons will ensure your plants grow healthy and strong. In the spring, you have warmer soil, plenty of rainfall, and longer days with more sunlight. Planting in the fall also has its advantages.

What is the smallest perennial? ›

Moss Phlox is the shortest variety, so look for that for a true groundcover perennial. Creeping Phlox is usually not super tall either, averaging between 12-24".

What is the most low maintenance outdoor plant? ›

30 Low-Maintenance Plants for Easy Landscaping
  • Shrub: Spirea. ...
  • Shrub: Small Anise Tree. ...
  • Tree: Chaste Tree. ...
  • Shrub: Juniper. ...
  • Flowering Perennial: Hardy Geranium. ...
  • Flowering Perennial: Dianthus. ...
  • Flowering Shrub: Hydrangea. ...
  • Sedge: Gold Sedge. Sedges can be grown as groundcovers, in borders, and in water gardens and woodland gardens.

What is the best low maintenance shrub? ›

Some of the favorite low-maintenance shrubs include Boxwood, Dwarf Gardenia, Rosemary, and Rhododendron. You can add in a variety of sizes to add some extra curb appeal as well as flowering, evergreen, and deciduous shrubs for the front of your house.

What is a short lived perennial? ›

Generally, short-lived perennials are considered those that live 3 to 5 years before they decline. Long-lived perennials can be expected to live 10 years or longer. Some plants sold as perennials are biennials, growing foliage the first year and flowering the next, after which they're kaput.

Is there a flower that blooms all year-round? ›

Chrysanthemums are one of the most common year-round flowers.

What is the hardiest flower? ›

Purple Saxifrage, the Hardiest Plant in the World

Yet it's common throughout the Arctic and grows further north than any other flowering plant.

What is the easiest flowering bush to grow? ›

Potentilla are likely the very easiest flowering shrub to grow, they literally thrive on neglect. Because they have been so widely planted they seem to be considered “too common”. There are many newer varieties available, but if you want the easiest to grow, stick with the highly reliable old fashioned originals.

What is the easiest bush to grow? ›

Oakleaf hydrangea: Hydrangea quercifolia

A deciduous shrub that is native to the Southeastern United States, the oakleaf hydrangea is one of the most easy-care, low maintenance shrubs available to gardeners. It has large, cone-shaped clusters of white flowers in early summer that eventually fade to pink.

Is dianthus a short lived perennial? ›

Dianthus barbatus is a biennial or short-lived perennial. Allow it to self-seed in the garden to ensure its return the following year. It's a great addition to cottage gardens with its 2-foot-tall clusters of fragrant red, pink, white, or bicolor blooms.

How many years do perennials last? ›

How Long Do Perennials Live? Once planted, perennials come back each year. Depending on the type of plant you've planted, they can live anywhere from 3 to 15 years!

Is bee balm a short lived perennial? ›

Monarda punctata - SPOTTED BEE BALM

It prefers sandy soils, or drained soils (rocky, gritty) otherwise it is true short-lived perennial that will last only few years. But it self-seed reliably, so even on heavier soils. Native to many states of USA, but west.

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