Lavender-pink flower petals. Low Maintenance Perennials for Busy Lifestyles.

Low Maintenance Perennials for Busy Lifestyles

Finding time in our busy schedules for anything above and beyond the absolute necessary can be difficult. Finding time for a hobby that offers us peace and helps with our well-being can seem downright daunting and often unnecessary.

But gardening doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Choosing the appropriate, low-maintenance perennials will allow you to experience the joy that is gardening while still giving you time to spare. Here are 6 low-maintenance perennials that will fit into your busy lifestyle.

Yarrow

Purple bloom on finely textured, green yarrow foliage.

Yarrow is one of the toughest perennials in existence. While that seems like a bold statement, it tolerates drought, lousy soils, and a lot of heat. In fact, it loves it, so don’t let the delicate texture fool you. 

Yarrow comes in an array of colors – yellow, red, purple, white, and pink. They bloom from summer to early fall and are often encouraged to repeat bloom if you deadhead the flower stems. They require full sun for best performance.

Bees and butterflies love them, but deer and rabbits tend to leave them alone.

Butterfly Weed

Small orange blooms with golden centers on long stems with narrow green foliage.

Monarchs and other butterflies love the nectar-rich flowers, while Monarch Caterpillars use the leaves as their food source. This summer bloomer has orange flowers, although yellow-flowered cultivars are available.  The colorful flowers are followed by seed-filled pods that fluff out like cotton in the fall. 

Butterfly Weed loves full sun and enjoys the heat of the summer.  Its intense tolerance to heat means it does not like the cold and is often late to show up in the spring.  Butterfly Weed is proficient at self-seeding, so expect to find butterfly weed pop up in places where you didn’t plant it. If you don’t want it spreading, you can control this by removing the seed pods before they open.  You can often relocate Butterfly Weed by dispersing the seed as needed.

Coneflower

Red blooms with green centers on tall stems with dark green foliage.

Coneflower is available in shades of orange, yellow, red, and chartreuse.  But, no garden is complete without the classic Purple Coneflower. This full sun perennial doesn’t require any special attention.

The birds enjoy the seed from the flower heads, so deadheading isn’t necessary until winter clean-up. The happy faces of Coneflower are loved by butterflies and will be visited by a plethora of other pollinators.

Joe-Pye Weed

Large heads of mauve-pink buds waiting to open atop tall stems with deep green foliage.

Joe-Pye Weed shows off its nectar and pollen-rich flowers in late summer to early fall. Joe-Pye Weed requires full sun and steady moisture.  Beyond that, it requires nothing more than for you to sit back and enjoy the large flowers that play host to numerous pollinators.

Choose from one of the dwarf Joe-Pye Weeds to avoid any maintenance. If you have a taller variety, cut back plants by 1/2 in early summer. This will produce a shorter plant with smaller but more numerous blooms. Joe-Pye Weed is great for gardens with deer problems.

Phlox

Lavender-pink bloom clusters above dark green, narrow foliage.

This old-fashioned plant has been updated for our modern lifestyles! Although tall garden Phlox has been around since Colonial times, the new and compact cultivars are often forgotten in modern gardens.

Adding a cottage-garden charm, Phlox is now available in almost every color imaginable. These tough new cultivars bloom in the hottest time of the year through fall. Plant in full sun and enjoy the swarms of pollinators that will flock to this long-lived perennial. 

Catmint

Lavender flower spikes on short plants with silvery-grey foliage.
Photo Courtesy Proven WInners

The silver foliage and lavender-blue flower of Catmint add a coolness to your garden palette. But don’t be fooled by the softness of this easy-to-grow perennial. Catmint is extremely tough and is heat and drought tolerant once established. Plant in full sun to light shade near a walkway to catch the scent of its aromatic foliage as you walk by. 

Catmint is rabbit and deer resistant but will be covered with bees and butterflies in the early summer. The only maintenance needed is to be sheared back by 1/3 after bloom. This will help tidy up your plant, produce new, clean foliage, and produce a second bloom cycle.

Taking time for yourself is essential – no matter how busy your life is. Choosing fuss-free perennials will help you balance your hectic lifestyle with the quiet time needed to renew physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

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