Easy Outdoor Garden Plants for Experts or First-Timers

Close up of pink Pentas
Photo: Kim Cornelison

Whether you're planting your first-ever seeds or you're a gardening mogul, seeing your hard work go to waste when your plants die is not fun. We've put together a selection of easy-to-grow plants that can withstand almost any condition.

01 of 15


Geranium Pelargonium 'Daredevil Orchid'
Justin Hancock

Geraniums are many gardeners' go-to annual, and for good reason. They come in a broad range of colors and hold up in the heat of summer, even with little water.

02 of 15


purple petunias flowers
Justin Hancock

Petunias bloom spring to frost in a seemingly limitless range of colors: light lemon yellow, lime green, pink, purple, and more. Almost all varieties of this annual are self-cleaning (no deadheading required) for carefree color. For optimal performance, water and fertilize regularly.

03 of 15


Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Bob Stefko

A versatile group of plants, sedums range from short groundcovers to midsize clumping plants. Once these perennials are planted, they require little care—simply water them if they look dry and cut back plants after flowering to maintain their shape.

04 of 15


Montana Aureomarginata Hosta
Greg Ryan

Hostas can be one of the easiest outdoor garden plants to grow—as long as deer and slugs don't frequent your garden. (Natural repellents are available if you love hostas and have these unwelcome visitors.) Varieties of this perennial range from tolerating dappled sun to accepting part sun, such as 'Liberty' hosta. Colors range from pure green to yellow-green variegation to blue-gray and beyond.

05 of 15


coralbells plants
Justin Hancock

Coralbells are easy to grow and bring evergreen to semi-evergreen color to your garden. Though these perennials grow in full sun to shade, lime green varieties benefit from being planted in the shade. One of our favorite reasons to grow coralbells is: Hummingbirds love the flowers.

06 of 15


Weigela Florida 'Fine Wine'
Jason Donnelly

Weigela is a maintenance-free shrub loved by gardeners, hummingbirds, and butterflies for its abundant bell-shaped flowers. Several varieties have rebloom abilities, including ‘Wine & Roses’ and the ‘Sonic Bloom’ collections.

07 of 15

The Best Easy-Care Perennial Flowers

These no-fuss plants will come back year after year with proper care. We're sharing six of our favorites for you to try.

08 of 15


Mint Mentha spicata 'The Best'
Denny Schrock

Mint is a rugged perennial herb for the beginning gardener. Plant it where you don't mind if it spreads, or keep it from rambling by growing it in a container. If you're planting it for culinary purposes, consider the type: Peppermint is tasty steeped in tea, but spearmint is better in a summer mojito.

09 of 15


Verbena flower
Rob Cardillo Photography

Get the most out of your flowers by planting verbena—you get height and color out of these summer plants. Clusters of verbena blooms typically come in white, pink, or purple; they make a great accent plant. The ‘Imagination,’ one of the perennial varieties, stands out for its ability to survive in the hottest, driest conditions.

10 of 15

Sweet Potato Vine

sweet potato vine plant
Peter Krumhardt

Purple and a lime-tinged green are classic colors in this almost-can't-kill-it trailing annual vine. Sweet potato vine flourishes in warm summer weather and can endure sunny and shady conditions. Look for the variety 'Blackie’, which has deep purple foliage.

11 of 15


Purple and green Coleus
Jason Donnelly

Another plant that thrives in shade is coleus. You'll want to plant a few of these annuals to have a variety of foliage—from plain green to wild reds. Bring them indoors during winter to enjoy as colorful houseplants.

12 of 15


Scaevola purple flowers
Cynthia Haynes

This durable Australian native withstands heat without wilting. Scaevola's pretty blue-purple, fan-shaped annual flowers thrive hanging out in baskets or sunny window boxes.

13 of 15


Close up of yellow Daylilies
Bob Stefko

Daylilies' delicate beauty contradicts their robust nature—you'll often find them grown in ditches or fields. There are dozens of varieties with different colors, patterns, and heights. You'll enjoy these perennials for years to come.

14 of 15

How to Divide Daylilies

Daylilies are one of the easiest and most budget-friendly perennials to grow. Get more plants for free by learning how to divide your daylilies! Then, share with friends, family, or neighbors to brighten their day and garden.

15 of 15


Close up of pink Pentas
Kim Cornelison

Pentas' summer-long star-shaped flowers attract butterflies. These clustered blooms come in shades of pink, red, and white. Plant this annual in your garden or containers—they don't care.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles