Are you one of those people who just can’t keep a plant alive to save your life? Don’t beat yourself up about it. You’ve got kids, a job, laundry to do or maybe you just don’t like gardening. All fair reasons for your garden to look more like a jungle than a domesticated yard. If you’re a little tired of just growing whatever seeds are blown into your yard (mostly dandelions, thistles and clover) why not try filling your garden with plants that are hearty enough to live through even the longest periods of neglect? Rated from highest to lowest killability, here are some plants you should try in your garden if you’ve killed pretty much everything else.
These flowers grow quickly and bloom a lot so you can really fill up a garden with them. They’re drought-resistant so if the summer is dry (and you happen to forget to water them), you won’t be in too much trouble. The one little bit of maintenance you’ll have to do is remove the dead heads once the flowers have fallen to keep the bush healthy. Unfortunately, this plant is an annual so it only blooms for one season and you’ll have to replant it the next year. On the plus side, these colourful blooms make great cut flowers if you want to bring that summertime feeling into the house.
For a flower that will come back every year, try some daylilies. They only bloom for a little while during the season, but they make some huge gorgeous blossoms when they do. They adapt to a variety of different soils and like a lot of direct sunlight. Plus, they don’t just come in orange anymore. Thanks to plant hybridization, we’ve been able to create lilies in pinks, whites, purples and yellow.
Also known as echinacea, these flowers are not only appealing to humans, but butterflies and bees love them too. They are drought-tolerant and can take the heat of the direct sun with limited water. They actually thrive under neglect and would prefer that you don’t touch them at all (although you may need to separate the bunches every few years so they don’t get too big). These guys also come in a whole slew of new colours (not just the classic purple) like orange, white and yellow.
2. Northern Sea Oat Grass
Ornamental grass is all the rage among plant-killers. This stuff might not have colourful blooms, but it looks lovely swaying in the breeze. This breed of grass has distinct seed-heads and foliage, making it one of the more interesting types. If you want, you could even try planting a few varieties of ornamental grass (it’s all pretty hearty) in your garden for that wild-but-controlled look.
If you kill this one, you might as well just pave over your backyard and draw some flowers in chalk. This plant has fleshy leaves that store water for long periods of time (like cacti) so they can survive without water for a while. They like full sun and can survive in rocky or sandy soil. Plus, they also come in a variety of colours and sizes so you could plant an entire garden of these easy-to-care-for plants and have a beautiful yard with very little effort.
If you manage to kill off all these plants, you could always stick a potted cactus in the window or buy some fake flowers. Just remember to dust them.