It’s no secret that this summer has been one of the hottest on record, and it certainly feels like it. It is also no secret that the sweltering summer heat saps away one’s vitality and motivation – and this extends to animals too. You may discover your pet cat lounging on the cool ground or frogs splashing in the pool, attracted to the pristine water. For many gardeners, tending to your garden during the summer is a challenge. If you are looking for hardy plants that you can plant and forget, then below is a list of low maintenance plants perfect for the summer season.
Grow Plants in Raised Garden Beds
When choosing low maintenance plants to grow, it is important to take into account your hardiness zone and local climate. Typically, these plants are able to tolerate poor soils, are drought tolerant, and are well adapted to the native climate of your region. Those interested in cultivating a large plot of native plants can consider growing a prairie themed garden, which brings the bohemian, rustic appeal of the prairie to your garden.
Many tiresome gardening tasks such as watering and weeding can be simplified or eliminated with the addition of raised garden beds, whose elevated structure reduces the need to bend over. Raised beds also solve problems associated with poor soil structure or low crop yield. To create a layered look, choose Vego Garden’s Cascading Raised Beds, which allows you to display plants with different root requirements together.
Standing tall and proud, coneflowers are a popular pollinator plant that thrive in poor soil. Also known as echinacea, coneflowers do not have many requirements other than full sun. Once a simple flower adorning pavements and roadsides, the coneflower has seen a revival in gardens as breeders introduce new exciting cultivars. It comes in a medley of pleasant shades, a veritable infusion of colors that resemble the setting sun.
With a name that derived from the Greek goddess of rainbow, irises are prized for their colorful, showy blooms. From a regal purple that evokes the color of royalty to a pastel pink, those magnificent flowers begin blooming in early spring, with some varieties blooming again in the summer or even fall. Despite its seemingly delicate appearance, irises are resilient flowers that require little maintenance. They are not palatable to deer and other wildlife. As long as they are planted in a sunny location, they will come back each spring.
3. Texas Ranger
Like its name suggests, the Texas Ranger is a hardy plant well adapted to the rocky hillsides and deserts of its native climate. Texas Rangers will flower sporadically in a bright profusion of color every 4 to 6 weeks during the monsoon season – it is not uncommon to witness an abundance of blooms right before or after rain. A dense shrub with striking silvery foliage and compact violet blooms, it requires minimal water (never more than twice a month), no fertilizer and no pruning. While they are not picky, well-drained soil is crucial; in areas of high rainfall, these plants should be grown in raised beds.
4. Dusty Miller
Dusty Miller is an unusual plant with distinctive, silvery foliage. This drought-tolerant plant does well in full sun but can tolerate shade. When placed in shade, it will take on a green-greyish hue and appear less intense. The fuzzy leaves repel deer, and it produces a striking look when paired with flowering annuals. Although it will occasionally produce small yellow flowers, they are usually not the focus.
5. Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan)
The Black-Eyed Susan supposedly derives its name from a melancholic English ballad that tells of lost love. Contrary to its namesake, this cheerful flower is considered a mood-lifter, sure to brighten your yard. Available in both annual and perennial varieties, they are excellent for attracting butterflies and other pollinators. However, they may also attract rabbits, so if you are encountering heavy damage, consider implementing a cover system to deter pests.
6. Barlow Columbine
The Barlow Columbine is a lovely flower that combines antique grace with modern functionality. Ranging from pastel shades suffused with pale pink or a striking maroon, this flower can be easily adapted to fit any kind of garden. While this perennial is short-lived, it will self-seed readily to form large colonies.
Hydrangeas produce large globes of cotton-candy flowers from summer to early fall. A long-time favorite among gardeners, hydrangeas look lovely in floral bouquets. While they do not require much maintenance, they do need occasional pruning to maintain its shape. Remove dead branches and deadhead any spent blooms to keep it from becoming spindly. Cut off tougher branches with this 10 in 1 Hori Hori knife.
Once popular during the Victorian era, when it came to symbolize mental acuity, clematis has since then declined in popularity, languishing into obscurity. While it does require some care, it is fairly easy to grow. A vigorous grower, its tendency to trail over trellises and other vertical structures allows it to transform bare areas into a jeweled tapestry of color. They need to be pruned back each spring.
With trailing blossoms in shades of lilac, catmint bears a close resemblance to lavender; however, it differs in that it attracts cats and is less demanding. Though its name lacks the classic appeal of lavender, catmint is a good alternative if you prefer a minimal maintenance plant. Catmint is much more tolerant of wetter soils and repels a number of pests, including cabbage loopers, aphids, and squash bugs. A member of the mint family, it does have a tendency to spread. Maintain along a slope for easy erosion control.
Regardless of personal preference, marigolds are indelibly linked to the bright clean days of summer and fall. A pest-free and low maintenance plant that thrives on neglect, marigolds produce bright blooms all season long. Though they will tolerate almost any kind of soil, they fare well in well-drained loamy soils.
Additional Mentions: Yarrow, Calendula, Peonies, and Shasta Daisies