20 Best Low-Maintenance Flowers for Any Kind of Garden

Consider this your lazy gardener's guide.

potted plants
Brian Woodcock

Sometimes you just want to enjoy your garden—you want to step outside and close your eyes. On those days when the sun is shining, the breeze gently blows, birds are chirping, bees are humming, you don't always want to get down to gardening business. It would be nice to take a moment to sit back and enjoy the success of well-designed garden plans and smell all those different roses types.

When it comes to planning a low-maintenance garden, it all starts with choosing the right plants. You want something you can't kill. You don't particularly want to have to deal with a fungicide. You'd rather not have to worry about when to prune. And you definitely don't want to have to dig your plants up and bring them in after blooming season is over. You know what you don't want, but how do you know where to start and which plants are for you? Enter these low-maintenance flowers. They'll do just the trick when you're looking for something like easy, fast-growing vines that will make a mark in the backyard without a ton of work. So sit back, relax, and let these perennials, annuals, and best plants for container gardening prosper on their own (with a little bit of TLC, of course).

cosmos flowers in full bloom
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Cosmos

"Cosmos" is the Greek word for "harmony" or "ordered universe," and priests in Mexico named these cheery little blooms because of their evenly placed, orderly petals. They grow easily in full sun to part shade and reseed, so you will get blooms from spring into autumn.

Zones: 2-11

hosta low maintenance flower
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Hosta

This long-lasting perennial can thrive in a wide range of climates and soil types with little maintenance. Just know that these shade perennials can attract slugs.

Zones: 3-9

peonies low maintenance flowers
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Peonies

"They’re very, very long-lived—peonies will bloom in the same spot for decades," according to horticulture expert Marianne Binetti, who adds that they're drought-resistant plants and slug-resistant, as well. Note: Peonies attract ants, but they're not harmful—simply dunk the budding flower heads in mild soapy water after you've cut them to get rid of the critters.

Zones: 3-8

dwarf daffodils low maintenance plants
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Dwarf Daffodils "Tete-a-Tete"

Gardeners will love these short bulbs because they're poisonous to moles and mice. After they return yearly, they're also able to multiply.

Zones: 3-8

painted lady butterfly resting or collecting pollen nectar from pink cone flowers
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Coneflower (Echinacea)

Coneflowers are hardy, drought-tolerant, long-blooming, and they are being cultivated in an ever-widening range of pinks and purples. The most common is purple coneflower.

Zones: 3-9

heuchera low maintenance flower
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Heuchera

Marianne Binetti notes that heuchera's claim to fame stems from its spectacular foliage, with colors ranging from deep red to bright gold to lime green. "They're perfect plants for container gardens to help set off flowering annuals and other perennials," she adds.

Zones: 4-9

black mondo grass low maintenance flowers
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Black Mondo Grass

Ideal for small gardens, Binetti says that this perennial's grass-like leaves only grow about eight inches tall.

Zones: 5-10

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Hydrangeas

Binetti explains that certain hydrangea varieties "are very adapted to growing in containers." She adds that "they’re wonderful for a container garden if you want more of a country look."

Zones: 3-9

euphorbia low maintenance plant
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Euphorbia

According to horticultural expert Marianne Binetti of Planter's Place, this perennial earns major points for being slug- and deer-resistant, along with having roots that are poisonous to moles. As for leaf colors, the handful of varieties can bloom in purple, gold, or blue.

Zones: 4-10

fatsia japonica low maintenance flowers
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Spider's Web (Fatsia Japonica)

This exotic-looking plant bodes well in a shady garden spot or covered porch. "It really lights up dark, shaded areas," says Binetti. This variety also earns its name for its web-like white leaves, which Binetti adds pair well with a black pot.

Zones: 7, 9

anemone blanda low maintenance flowers
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Anemone

Binetti says these ground cover florals, which resemble daisies, can spread underneath your shrubs. Plus, when they're done blooming, you don't have to worry about any messy foliage leftovers that flowers like tulips tend to leave behind.

Zones: 5-8

aucuba gold dust low maintenance flowers
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Spotted Laurel

Shiny leaves reminiscent of gold dust make this evergreen shrub a striking addition to any sunless spot. "It will look good even in a dark, covered porch or the deep shade, like the north side of a house," says Binetti.

Zones: 7-10

bluebell low maintenance flowers
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Bluebell

Because of their ability to naturalize on their own, Binetti warns that bluebells have a tendency to take over smaller gardens. "But, they’re great for large spaces where you just let them go," she says.

Zones: 6-8

snowdrops, galanthus nivalis, in flower in march, teignmouth, devon, great britain
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Snowdrops (Galanthus Nivalis)

Snowdrops, or Galanthus nivalis, are incredibly easy to grow and can bloom as early as January, per Binetti. "They like to grow underneath trees and in woodlands," she says.

Zones: 3-7

spirea magic carpet low maintenance plant
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Magic Carpet (Spirea)

A perfect shrub-in-a-tub plant, this dwarf spirea variety produces beautiful, low foliage, according to Binetti. Know that spireas do lose their leaves in the winter, but they return shortly after in the springtime.

Zones: 4-9

cleomes low maintenance flowers
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Spider Flower (Cleome Hassleriana)

With vibrant spiky clusters, it's easy to see where this unique-looking, self-seeding annual gets its moniker. Fast-growing spider flowers, which can reach up to five-feet-tall. are full-sun perennials, that also thrive in large containers.

Zones: 2-11

gray foliage of jacobaea maritima syn senecio cineraria or silver ragwort in garden
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Dusty Miller

Commonly known as silver ragwort, this icy looking perennial thrives in sunny areas, but can also tolerate shade. In shady spots, the trademark silvery leaves turn more green-gray, which is also an attractive look.

Zones: 8-10

pink knock out rose
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Knock-Out Roses

Available in white, pinks, and reds, this shrub is an easy addition to your outdoor space. They're tested for hardiness and disease-resistance and you can find both single and double-blooming varieties.

Zones: 5-11

close up image of the beautiful summer flowering buddleja, or buddleia, commonly known as the butterfly bush purple flowers
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Butterfly Bush

These sun-loving plants are some of the longest blooming shrubs you can find. They resistant to insects and drought, and they come in an array of rich, summer-ready colors The plants will bloom continuously through fall, and of course, attract butterflies and hummingbirds by the score.

Zones: 5-10

phalaris arundinacea or reed canary grass vertical
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Ribbon Grass

These variegated blades are a great ground cover solution as they can spread easily. They tolerate sun and shade, but do crave moisture. Planted as a garden border, they form a nice bridge between grass and your garden. Just be sure to dig a sharp trench with your shovel to prevent it spreading into your flowers.

Zones: 2-9

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