Easy Outdoor Plants for Expert or First-Time Gardeners

Whether you're a gardening pro or new to the game, these outdoor plants will make it easy to create a beautiful outdoor space to enjoy and care for.

Close up of pink Pentas
Photo: Kim Cornelison

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


Geranium Pelargonium 'Daredevil Orchid'
Justin Hancock

Geraniums are many gardeners' go-to annual, and for good reasons. They come in a broad range of colors and hold up in the heat of summer, even with little water. Make sure to deadhead geraniums to keep their blooms growing strong, and plant them where they'll get full sun for most of the day.


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.


Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Bob Stefko

A versatile group of plants, sedums range from short groundcovers to midsize clumping plants. The creeping types grow in rock gardens and burrow through cracks in walls. Once these perennials are planted, they require little care—water them if they look dry and cut back plants after flowering to maintain their shape. Sedum is good for planters, too.


Montana Aureomarginata Hosta
Greg Ryan

Hostas can be one of the easiest outdoor 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.


coralbells plants
Justin Hancock

Coralbells are easy to grow and bring evergreen to semi-evergreen color to your garden. Though these perennial outdoor plants thrive 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.


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, including ‘Wine & Roses’ and the ‘Sonic Bloom’ collections, have rebloom abilities. This outdoor plant thrives in sun or part sun and blooms in spring and summer.

The Best Easy-Care Perennial Flowers

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


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 when steeped in tea, but spearmint is better in a summer mojito.


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.

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 this outdoor plant can endure sunny and shady conditions. Look for the variety 'Blackie’, which has deep purple foliage.


Purple and green Coleus
Jason Donnelly

Another outdoor 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.


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. Scaevola also adds color to a yard as a groundcover planting, and it's drought-tolerant.


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.

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.


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