Though it does best with moist soil and partial sun, pest- and disease-free ribbon grass thrives in Zones 4 to 9, in virtually any growing scenario—full sun or shade, wet soil or dry. Though it rarely gets taller than one foot, ribbon grass quickly spreads across even steeply sloped terrain, either to your frustration or delight, depending on your aims. Available on Amazon; $19.99.
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- 15 No-Effort Plants for a Foolproof Landscape
15 No-Effort Plants for a Foolproof Landscape
Forsythias are early bloomers whose yellow flowers signal the start of spring. To ensure your forsythia is in top form, you'll want to prune the bush occasionally and plant it in full sunlight. Available at Home Depot; $17.99.
The low-maintenance, shade-tolerant hosta needs a steady supply of moisture but will thrive in almost every soil type. They grow best in Zones 2 through 10 and benefit greatly from morning sun. Water in the morning to prevent the leaves from getting burned by the sun, and keep the plant hydrated throughout the day as needed. Available at Burpee.com; $15.95.
The vibrant lavender, purple, and magenta blooms of a Texas ranger may look like they take some work to care for—but we won't tell the neighbors your secret. This hardy plant is built to survive on little water, so all you need to do is plant it in full sunlight, and water during the summers or in times of drought. Available on Amazon; $19.98.
Related: How To: Plant a Bush
There's a reason why these evergreen shrubs are a popular choice for borders and entryways. Their tolerance for drought coupled with their ability to adapt to almost any soil type makes for easy care. Yews thrive in partial to full sun in Zones 4 to 8 and reward you with beautiful (but inedible) fruits in early autumn. Available at Home Depot; $36.98.
These drought-tolerant flowers look bright and chipper even in the sweltering summer heat, which makes them a great choice for the forgetful gardener. Black-eyed Susans will attract butterflies to your garden, but they also entice deer and rabbits, so plant them near repellant (and easy-care) plants like lavender or rosemary. Tend to your black-eyed Susans by planting them in full sun or partial shade, then watering and deadheading as needed. Available at Burpee.com; $4.95.
In Zones 5 to 9, bottlebrush buckeye does well in full sun or deep shade, so long as it gets enough water. Disease-free and rarely needing a prune, the slow-growing shrub can reach an impressive height of about 15 feet. In late spring and summer, its white blooms attract attention from birds, while in autumn, its lush foliage turns a beautiful gold. Available on Amazon; $6.00.
Related: How To: Plant a Shrub
Homeowners have long turned to fescue as a drought-resistant alternative to traditional grass. If you're not ready to make the switch, try it out in your garden bed instead. Available at Home Depot; $34.98.
You can count on bergenia to grow in almost any condition, sunny or shaded, and its dark, broad leaves bring beauty to the yard. If you want yours to flower, be sure to position them in full sun to increase the chance of pink and magenta blooms in spring. Available on Amazon; $5.49.
With a variety of different sizes, textures, and growing requirements, sedge is an ideal alternative to turf lawns. These low-maintenance plants thrive in Zones 7 to 10, whether in partial or full shade, and require little to no mowing, fertilizing, or watering. Available at Burpee.com; $11.95.
Gold Thread Cypress
Gold Thread Cypress is a low-maintenance shrub perfect for both foundation and accent plantings. It’s got a compact habit and is slow growing, so it requires very little pruning. Despite its exceptional golden color, it is evergreen, and will shine bright in your landscape all year long. Available on Amazon; $29.99.
Varieties of creeping sedum, also known as stonecrop, have gained popularity in recent years. They can tolerate poor soil, drought, and general neglect, and will come back year after year. These succulents come in every color from bluish-gray to reddish-bronze, and can find a home in most any garden. Available at Burpee.com; $12.95.
A perennial bloomer, Coreopsis will delight you with color from early summer to early fall. In colors like yellow, orange, pink, purple, and red, Coreopsis makes wonderful cut flowers that can be enjoyed inside as well as out. It’s an easy grower, and tolerates most any soil condition. Available at Burpee.com; $10.95.
A small and slow-growing evergreen shrub, Indian Hawthorn stays neat and tidy without pruning. It’s not fussy about soil, and once established, it will tolerate moderate drought. It bursts forth in spring with pink or white clusters of flowers, which give way to dark blue berries that attract birds and other wildlife the rest of the year. Available at Home Depot; $39.98.
Related to the carnation, Dianthus comes in multiple varieties, so there’s one for nearly every garden scenario. It has abundant flowers and is long blooming for a delightful display all summer long. Some varieties are even perennial, and it will self-sow easily. Once planted, it needs little tending to put on a good show. Available at Burpee.com; $12.95.