Low Maintenance shrubs and perennials are a must have in landscapes today. Many homeowners are just too busy and do not have the time to maintain their landscape. Many more just don’t know how to care for plant material and opt for these low maintenance plants. Low maintenance does not mean you plant and forget it. It simply means that once the plant has established in your landscape bed, you should only have to perform minimal maintenance to keep the plant healthy for years to come.
Using perennial plants in your landscape is a great way to keep color in your beds without the hassle of annual flowers which need constant moisture and care. Using plants that flower at different times of the year will help promote color all year long. Some early blooming easy to care for perennials include creeping phlox, salvia and catmint. Perennials such as daylilies, coneflower and shasta daisy are all great summer blooming perennials. Try asters for late summer color. Hostas of course can give you year round interest as long as you have a partly shaded area.
Almost all shrubs are low maintenance shrubs as long as you plant them in the correct spot. If you want a particular plant in a certain area, just make sure to know that you will need to provide some additional care. There are many low maintenance and easy to care for spring blooming shrubs including forsythia, spirea and viburnum. For your summer blooms, try hydrangea paniculata or hydrangea arborescens. Both are very drought tolerant and are heavy bloomers even during hot dry weather. An old favorite is rose of sharon. Try these along fence rows or for summer blockage.
What does it mean for a plant to establish? This simply means that most plants act as if they are still in a pot in the nursery once planted. It takes about 3-8 weeks for a plant to root itself from its potted soil to the new soil in its surrounding. During this root stretching period plants can dry out quickly as their roots are still “root bound”. Give your plants plenty of water during this establishment period and check the health of your plants often.
Just remember that because a plant is considered low maintenance, it does not mean that you should not care for your landscape. Catmint for instance will flower May – September. This particular perennials loves to be cut back to the ground however and allowed to re-flush with new growth and flowers. Spirea has wonderful early summer blooms and requires very little water. You may be surprised to know that these shrubs like to be pruned down to 12″ every year. New flowers may be cut back once done blooming to allow the plant to flush out a second flower through the summer.
Try some new plants this summer in your garden. See how they grow and find out how much care they actually need. If you neglect a plant and it keeps growing well, you may have found yourself a great plant to put elsewhere in your landscape. Remember that plants need to establish themselves however. Give your new plants plenty of water for the first few weeks and check on them every few days until they establish themselves. For more information on what plants may do well for your home, call us at 614 876 BUCK (2825) or visit us at our website www.buckandsons.com