Wednesday, July 1, 2020

This Month in the Garden: 14 Low Maintenance Landscape Plants for Your Garden

14 Low Maintenance Landscape Plants for your Garden
Welcome to This Month in the Garden! With today's busy lifestyles, homeowners are looking for ways to establish a beautiful, yet low maintenance landscape. Here are 14 landscape plants I have used over the years to add ongoing seasonal interest with little maintenance needed. Keep in mind that in addition to the hardiness and growth pattern of a plant, providing the correct conditions of sunlight, irrigation, soil conditions and space will ensure your success.

Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow' (Bugleweed)

Also known as Bugleweed, this low maintenance perennial is widely used as a groundcover for shadier areas. Hardy in USDA zones 3-9, and growing just 4-6 inches tall by 12-18 inches wide, greenish-burgundy foliage adorns this plant with spikes of purple-blue flowers that appear in spring. Foliage turns to bronze and burgundy tones in autumn, which may persist throughout the winter months. 
Heuchera 'Caramel' (Coral Bells)
This newer form of semi-evergreen Coral Bells is a hybrid between Heuchera and Tiarella (Foamflower), which is native to the northeast. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9, this selection can be grown in full sun to partial shade and prefers a moderately moist soil. (Note: Try to avoid full southern exposure.) Scalloped leaves emerge gold in spring, deepening to amber and finally peach with sprays of light pink flowers appearing in midsummer. This hardier cultivar grows 12-18 inches in height and will keep its color throughout the winter months! The only required maintenance is to trim off any tired old leaves in spring. 
Carex oshimensis 'Everillo' (Golden Sedge)
Sedges are grass-like plants preferring sites with full to partial sun and a moist, rich soil. This selection, hardy in USDA zones 5-10, forms a cascading mound of bright, lime-green leaves that turn yellow-gold as they mature. This perennial reaches a height and width of 18-24 inches and remains evergreen all year long. Maintenance involves a slight pruning of any winter damaged growth in early spring if needed.
Sedum spectable 'Brilliant' (Stonecrop)
This more compact form of Stonecrop, hardy in USDA zones 4-8, offers interesting perfectly clumped foliage earlier in the season, followed by a colorful display of mauve-pink blooms that deepen in color late summer and into fall. Stonecrop prefers to be planted in full sun in a well-drained soil. When the flower heads are done blooming and have turned completely brown, simply break off the spikes to the ground or leave them for winter interest. This is one of the lowest maintenance perennials I know! This variety grows just 18-24 inches tall by wide.
Liriope 'Variegata' (Lillyturf)

Hardy in USDA zones 6-11, Lilyturf is a grassy-leaved, evergreen perennial most often used as a groundcover or edging plant. This selection features leaves striped lengthwise with green and creamy white, bearing short stems of violet-purple flowers in late summer. Lillyturf will grow just about anywhere, but ideally prefers part shade (as in a northern or eastern exposure) with a moderately moist soil. The only maintenance needed is to prune off any faded or winter damaged growth in early spring.

Spirea 'Magic Carpet'
Magic Carpet Spirea is one of the newer varieties of Spirea having a compact form, only reaching a height and width of 18-24 inches tall by 2-3 feet wide. Hardy in USDA zones 4-9, this easy to grow flowering shrub displays clusters of rose-pink flowers in mid to late summer. Colorful foliage emerges as pinkish-red, fading to bright gold and then to shades of russet red and bronze, giving this plant an ever-changing look that adds interest to the landscape. Spent flowers can be pruned off to extend flowering if desired. Plant spirea in full sun in a well-drained soil and space to allow air circulation between plants.
Weigela florida 'Spilled Wine'
This newer cultivar of Weigela is known for its dark burgundy foliage and compact habit. Its hot pink-magenta flowers produced in late spring are similar to those of Wine & Roses, but on a smaller plant (only 2-3 feet high by 3-4 feet wide). Hardy in USDA zones 4-8, plant this shrub in full sun with a moderately moist soil. Prune to shape after flowering if desired. 

Picea pungens 'Montgomery' (Globe Blue Spruce)
Picea pungens 'Montgomery' (Montgomery Globe Spruce) is a slow growing dwarf conifer hardy in USDA zones 2-8. The dense vibrant blue-green foliage of this evergreen shrub provides year round interest. Picea pungens 'Montgomery' thrives in full sun and prefers a moderately moist yet well drained slightly acidic soil. Montgomery Blue Globe Spruce grows to a mature height and width of 3-4' and requires little to no pruning. (Tip: This shrub is best watered from the bottom. Avoid allowing water to remain on foliage for any length of time.)
Chamaecyapris obtusa 'Aurea Nana' (Dwarf Golden Hinoki Cypress)
Chamaecyapris obtusa 'Aurea Nana' or Dwarf Golden Hinoki Cypress. This species of slow growing Golden Hinoki Cypress is dwarf in size, only reaching 2-3' in height. It is hardy in USDA zones 4-8 and displays luxurious golden twisted compact foliage throughout all the seasons. Chamaecyapris obtusa 'Aurea Nana' prefers to be grown in full sun in a moist but well-drained acidic soil. The two low to no maintenance varieties of this evergreen are Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Aurea Nana' (seen here) and 'Verdoni' which displays a deeper yellow foliage and grows a bit taller to 6-8 feet.
Picea abies 'Pendula' (Weeping Norway Spruce)
Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea abies 'Pendula') is hardy in USDA zones 2-8, exhibits dark green cascading branches and requires little maintenance. Picea prefers a moderately moist well-drained soil and will tolerate a range of soil pH's from strongly acidic to mildly alkaline. Weeping Norway Spruce will tolerate some partial shade but does best in full sunlight. Being one of the more compact varieties of pendulous trees, this specimen tree ranges in height and width from 4-15 feet. Remove older inner branches when bare. This tree can be pruned (if desired) to keep a more compact shape.
Pinus strobus 'Pendula' (Weeping White Pine)
Weeping White Pine (Pinus  strobus' Pendula') is a larger weeping evergreen in the conifer family displaying graceful soft blue-green needles on cascading branches. This tree thrives best in full sun and is hardy in USDA zones 3-8. Weeping White Pine prefers to be grown in a slightly acidic, moderately moist, well-drained soil. Height at maturity varies from 5-10 feet and width from 4-10 feet, so supply this specimen a location with adequate space. Little maintenance is needed; however, if desired, candles may be pruned in spring to keep this tree more compact. 
Buxus sempervirens 'Variegata' (Variegated Boxwood)
Hardy in USDA zones 5-9, Variegated Common Boxwood is a compact, slow-growing evergreen that reaches an eventual height and width of 3-5 feet high by 3-4 feet wide. Variegated foliage has white margins that turn cream and finally light yellow during the growing season. This compact plant is good for smaller areas and requires little pruning to keep its shape. This plant prefers to be located in an area of full to partial sun with moderate watering.
Taxas 'Repandens' (English Spreading Yew)
This low growing evergreen with arching branches displays dark green foliage which emerges light green in spring. Hardy in USDA zones 5-9, 'Repandens' English Yew prefers to be grown in partial shade and reaches an eventual height and width of 3-4 feet tall by 8-12 feet wide. This low maintenance shrub can be allowed to grow to its full potential or pruned occasionally to keep a more compact shape. Red fruit may appear from early to late fall on female plants.
Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star'
Hardy in USDA zones 4-8, Blue Star Juniper is a slow-growing evergreen with a low, mounding shape. Silver-blue foliage is displayed in a compact 2-3 foot tall by 3-4 foot wide shrub that remains attractive year-round. Plant Blue Star Juniper in full sun in a well-drained soil and prune to shape only when needed.

I hope you enjoyed This Month in the Garden for July, and be sure to stop by on the 1st. and 15th. of each month as I continue to share gardening tips, information and horticultural adventures! (Linking with: Floral FridaysMacro Monday 2Ruby Tuesday, Friday Photo JournalImage-in-ing Weekly Photo Link-Up and Dishing It & Digging It.)

For gardening info and tips: Visit my Author Page/Purchase My Books  😊
Author: Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening,© Copyright 2010-2020. All rights reserved.


  1. Beautiful as always!Such variety of plants.Hugs.

  2. Lindas plantas!

    1. I am happy you found the post useful and thank you for your kind words. Enjoy the lovely day!

  3. Dear Lee, I liked Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star', its shape is wonderful and very suitable for my garden. I also love spirea and sedum. They grow here and I have no problem with them.
    Thanks for the interesting information.

    1. Juniperus ‘Blue Star’ is a great plant Nadezda. The color is wonderful and they require little care, only a little pruning once in a while to keep them in shape.

  4. Interesting! Thank you for sharing

    1. You are welcome Endah. I hope you found the information useful.

  5. What wonderful information. Things grow really well here in Florida but we have to be careful to plant heat tolerant plants and trees. We don't have a hard freeze usually so things just keep growing. Take care and have a good week.

    1. Thank you for the feedback. I am so happy you found the information to be useful. I always strive to pick topics that readers will find to be informative. Some of these are heat tolerant, such as the Spirea and Blue Star Juniper.


Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!


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