Everyone wants foundation landscapes that look great, but not everyone wants to spend hours in the garden each week. These low maintenance outdoor plants are easy keepers that look great!
While it is a lot of fun to experiment with plants that need a lot of care, a foundation planting is usually better made up of easy-to-care-for plants that look great year-round or for long seasons of the year. Take a look at these six zero-fuss plants for home foundation plantings.
What are some ideas for low maintenance outdoor plants for my garden?
Boxwood (Buxus spp.) – Zone 4-9, depending on the cultivar. Boxwoods are broadleaf evergreen shrubs that make great foundation plants because of their year-round color and ease of care. Boxwoods range in size from a diminutive 2’ tall to 7’ or more, so be sure you check out the exact cultivars and their expected dimensions. Boxwoods are also popular foundation plants because they tolerate part shade in addition to full sun conditions.
Red Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) – Zone 9-10. An annual ornamental grass, this beautiful plant is usually grown from new plants set out each spring, although some people dig the fountain grass up each fall and overwinter indoors. Burgundy foliage and ornamental seed heads make this grass an easy to grow accent piece that makes the best contrast against bold-textured foliage plants in full sun areas. If you leave fountain grass standing through the winter, the arching foliage and dried seed heads can create architectural winter interest.
Lavender ‘Munstead’ (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’) – Zones 5-8. A favorite plant for herb kitchen plots and cottage gardens, the lavender plant can also be an excellent addition to a basic foundation planting. The silver foliage combines easily with other plants; drought tolerance means little watering time is needed, and the fragrance is nice to have near the house. Growing lavender is easy, and the plant can be added to any sunny border.
Rosa rugosa – Zones 3-8. This species of rose is more tolerant of part shade conditions than most other rose plants. Unlike fussier hybrid tea roses, the Rosa rugosa is fairly disease resistant, blooms spring through late summer, and has brightly colored fall foliage as well. Plant these 4-5’ tall deciduous shrubs in front of some evergreen shrubs to show off the colored flowers.
Christmas Rose (Hellebore spp.) – Zones 4-8. Hellebores are great for underplanting shrubs and larger perennials because of their tolerance for shade tolerance. Hellebores have year-round evergreen color and winter flowers, providing interest during a time when little else is blooming in the garden. Grow hellebores for easy-to-maintain color in the garden year-round.
Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantine) – Zones 4-8. An herbaceous perennial known as lamb’s ear, this foliage plant has long, broad silver leaves. Lamb’s ear is a favorite choice for edging beds and borders because the silvery foliage combines well with other plants, and the long, fuzzy leaves are so much fun to touch. Lamb’s ear does best in full sun and is fairly drought tolerant making it a perfect addition to low-maintenance foundation plantings.
If you’re looking for more gardening tips and tricks, check out these host plants for nd butterflies and edible landscape plants that would be great additions to your outdoor space. These aromatic herbs may add a nice touch to your garden.