The best 10 Easy to grow flowering plants

Easy to grow, low maintenance plants have always been popular, and for many reasons. For some gardeners time is just too precious and in demand to spend lots of it in the garden. Also, not everyone wants to spend hours toiling away, sometimes it is nice to sit, unwind after a hard day and enjoy the garden. Many of us have busy lives, children to look after, parents to care for, busy jobs and careers to pursue. On this page The Sunday Gardener looks at plants which are genuinely easy to grow, and need little or no maintenance.

Pick and mix from these plants for all year round colour and interest without hours of staking, pruning and feeding.

The plants on these pages are reliable, easy to grow pretty well anywhere in the country conditions. They are fully hardy and low maintenance. 

Notice there are no climbing plants, even the easy ones such as passion flower, and winter flowering Jasmine tend to need some maintenance and many climbing plants are very high maintenance such as Clematis.

This group flowers from spring through to late summer to provide colour throughout the spring and summer.

 I have omitted from this group any plants which require serious pruning, staking, feeding or are prone to disease and pests. 

I hope you enjoy this selection of easy plants leaving you with more time to enjoy the garden.

Early in the year spring  starts flowering with the spring bulbs, and with the exception of Tulips, most spring bulbs once planted to the right depth can be left alone to get on with the job of flowering each year. You can feed bulbs after flowering, but equally if you don't, they will still flower and many Narcissus have the added bonus of being scented. There are many spring bulbs to choose from and all, save Tulips, return each year with no attention. Spring bulbs look good planted under shrubs which provides spring and summer colour.

Ideas on spring flowering bulbs

Aquilegia is a lovely spring flower, very easy to grow, and has a wide range of colours to choose from. Aquilegia needs no attention whatsoever to re appear each year. It is a perennial with dainty flowers. Aquilegia self seeds but it is not too invasive  (unlike alchemilla mollis which requires too much work removing all the self seeders to qualify for a place on this page.) An easy to maintain combo shown here, A. 'Swan Lavender', with bright gold foliage of an evergreen Euonymus, and a lovely yellow deciduous scented Rhododendron luteum.

How to grow Aquilegia and images of  different varieties.

Many of the grasses are easy to grow and give a contemporary feel to the border.  An important point when selecting a grass to ensure it is easy to grow and maintenance free is to pick a fully hardy grass such as Deschampsia,   Stipa tenuissima,   Molinia caerulea,  Panicum virgatum, none of which are thugs and all hardy. A little maintenance is required in cutting back in the spring, if the plant looks tatty 

Alliums are  bulb, and a great garden favourite; they will pop up each year without any fuss. There are spring and summer flowering Alliums, illustrated is a spring flowering bulb combined with Euphorbia which hides the less attractive base foliage of the Allium.

Alliums are easy to grow and flower in shades of purple, blue, yellow and white.

Summer flowering Alliums also  look good with grasses and Achillea, see below.

I have grouped these two plants together because they are both easy to grow and maintenance free provided you have a dry sunny spot and not heavy clay or wet soil. In the correct growing conditions, which are available in so many gardens, Achillea illustrated left and Lavender on the right will thrive with no attention and little maintenance. Lavender will benefit from a trim post flowering but that's all which is required. Achillea is summer flowering plant which looks good with many other garden favourites such as Allium, grasses, Lavender and Crocosmia. Achillea has the added benefit of lovely feathery foliage.  

Widely grown by gardeners, the hardy geranium is a reliable summer flower plant attractive to bees and long flowering. To avoid the maintenance of dead heading you can just leave it to die back after flowering  or sheer it down and it will re grow foliage, if not a late flush of flowers.

Sedum is a breeze to grow and such a tidy plant. Older versions tended to flop outwards leaving the middle bare but newer cultivars stand upright and are a butterfly and pollinator magnet. They are easy to grow and only need cutting down in the spring to make way for the new growth.  Popular varieties are in various shades of red, however there are also varieties with purple leaves and low growing types flowering white and yellow,  ideal for growing in crevices and pavings. 

Astilbe asks nothing of the gardener except to be planted in a spot on the shady side. Given these conditions, Astilbe is a herbaceous perennial which will return reliably every year and looks ideal with ferns in a shady corner. 

Finally, the late summer firecracker, Crocosmia, a taller plant which has striking red/yellow or orange blooms. By picking one of the smaller varieties of Crocosmia it will not need staking and is easy to grow, another reliable herbaceous perennial.