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12 Ideas and Tips for Creating a Low-Maintenance Garden

Do you love having a garden but lack the time, space, or interest to maintain one? The good news is that you can still have a gorgeous garden space with these 12 tips and ideas for creating a low-maintenance garden.

Creating a beautiful garden doesn’t have to be hard work. With a few simple strategies and a little planning, these low maintenance garden ideas will reward you with an easier gardening life.

container garden

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I’m a self-taught hobby gardener, not a Master Gardener. Everything I share with you on my blog is my opinion and things that worked for me.

low maintenance garden perennials coneflowers

1. Limit the Variety of Plants in the Garden

The fewer types of plants you have in the garden, the easier it will be to maintain. Keeping your garden small with just 5-10 varieties will help to keep you organized and in control.

2. Use Organic Matter for Low Maintenance Garden Beds

Garden beds with organic matter like compost, leaves, or grass clippings can greatly reduce weed growth and minimize water needs.

The added nutrients that organic matter provides help to grow healthier plants in the garden.

low maintenance garden perennials coneflowers

3. Grow Low Maintenance Garden Plants

For more low-maintenance options, choosing the right plants can give you a lot of time back in your life, and keep you from working hard in the garden.

low maintenance garden perennials sedum autumn joy

Drought-Tolerant Plants

One of the best low maintenance gardening ideas is choosing primarily drought-resistant plants. You’ll spend less time watering the garden and more time on other things you love.

Native Plants

Plant natives that are already adapted to native soil types in your garden.

low maintenance garden evergreen shrub

Evergreen Shrubs

Another low-maintenance option for the garden is growing evergreen shrubs. They are perfect for providing interest in the garden throughout the year when other deciduous plants are leafless.

Grow low maintenance evergreen plants for pots for year-round interest in the garden.

Non-Invasive Perennial Plants

Do your research before purchasing and planting any plants you’re unfamiliar with. Avoid invasive, fast-spreading perennial plants that will invade other areas of your garden.

low maintenance garden perennials blazing star

4. Avoid Planting Perennials That Attract Pests

Try to avoid growing any plants that attract pests, such as snails, slugs, aphids, deer, and rabbits. This will reduce the need to perform the daunting task of using pest control.

5. Use Ground Cover in Your Garden

Using ground covers will result in fewer weeds while adding beauty to your garden. Mulch, pea gravel, and river rock will reduce the need for watering.

low maintenance garden perennials salvia

6. Avoid Plants That Need Support

If you’re looking for less work in the garden, avoid perennials such as dahlias and other tall plants that may fall over in the rain and wind, causing damage.

These plants need to be supported by stakes or tied to trellises. It can be quite time-consuming each year with not only the setup support process but raising the support tie height as the plants grow.

cut flower annuals in container garden for low maintenance

7. Pick the Best Location to Grow Your Low Maintenance Perennials

Be thoughtful when deciding which plants you will grow in your garden.

Read the information about each plant, so you’re not only aware of how big it will get but to make sure you choose a variety that won’t overgrow the space or spread to areas in the garden you don’t want them to. The last thing you want to do is have to transplant it.

Pick low maintenance garden perennials that will thrive in your garden’s light and soil conditions.

sunset and cottage garden with vintage bike and flowers

8. Add Hardscape Elements for a Low-Maintainance Garden

Hardscape elements can help to define any space. The more hardscaping you have in your garden, the less work you’ll have to do in the garden.

Low maintenance cottage garden ideas such as patios, arbors, pergolas, gazebos, and water features are great options to add beauty to your garden without much work.

Natural stone, brick, tile, or concrete can create a gorgeous space that requires less maintenance.

seating area overlooking the bay at sunset

9. Planning a Low Maintenance Garden with Seating Areas

Adding seating areas to your garden is a great way to relax and enjoy your outdoor space.

You can create a low-maintenance seating area with benches, swings, or outdoor furniture that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep.

water irrigation system

10. Install a Garden Watering System for a Low Maintenance Garden

Investing in an irrigation system with drip irrigation or soaker hoses will help to reduce water usage, keep your plants healthy, and reduce the risk of disease.

These systems apply the water directly to the soil, reducing the water loss from evaporation, overspray, and runoff. Because this method keeps water from setting on the plant leaves, you will reduce the risk of disease.

container garden

11. Grow a Garden of Low Maintenance Outdoor Potted Plants

You don’t have to plant your flowers in the ground to enjoy a garden.

Planting flowers in containers or window boxes is a great way to add color and beauty to your garden without much maintenance.

You’ll have fewer weeds and a better way to control plants from spreading to areas where they shouldn’t be growing. They require less water and are easy to move around.

Growing flowers in containers is also a great option for those gardeners that only have a balcony or patio to work with.

12. Keep a Garden Journal

Keeping a journal with watering, fertilizing, and pruning schedules will keep you organized and help keep you up with your garden’s maintenance needs.

birdhouse and cottage garden

Creating a low-maintenance garden is possible, even for those with busy lives and little time.

By following these tips, you can have a beautiful garden with minimal effort. This will leave you with more time to enjoy your outdoor space.

I hope this post has given you some ideas on creating a low-maintenance garden. I’d love to hear what you think. Be sure to leave a comment below.

Until next time,

Happy Gardening!


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12 tips for creating a low-maintenance garden

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  1. Your 12 tips for creating a low-maintenance garden were super helpful and gave me great ideas. I love gardening, but sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the maintenance. Your article taught me some smart ways to make gardening easier.
    I liked how you talked about planning and choosing the right plants.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that this post was helpful. It’s so nice to know that gardening can be easy if you change your thinking a bit. Thanks for following along!

  2. Thank you for explaining how you should look to invest in drip irrigation or soaker hoses for your garden. I’ve been thinking about improving my gardening skills. I never would have thought about a watering system, but I can see how it would make maintenance easier.

  3. These are very helpful tips! We moved into a new home two years ago and my husband recent retired, so we are trying to do more with our landscaping, and we definitely have a lot to learn! It’s such a blessing to have experienced gardeners like you who share your expertise!?????

  4. These posts always help me so much, Kim! I definitely want to have pretty flowers around but I’ve realized over the past few years it takes more time than I have to give. So, I’ve mostly stuck to container gardens on our porches. Love these tips and tricks for when I’m ready to dabble into flower beds and even garden veggie beds too. Loving and pinning, CoCo

    1. The great thing is that you can always garden as much or as little as it works for you. Thanks for visiting CoCo, and for pinning.

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