Whether you don't have a lot of time to devote to your outdoor garden, or you simply just don't have a green fingers, there are many plant varieties that basically take care of themselves and require only minimal care. These plants can beautify the exterior of your home and grow with just occasional watering and care, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Petunias are a hardy, easy-to-grow plant that require little care. Most petunias will spread and reflower several times throughout the growing season without requiring fertiliser or excessive watering. In dry and windy climates, they require watering every day, but typically they can be watered every two to three days. Deadheading, the process of removing dead blooms, is not necessary, but will help the plant continue to produce more flowers.
Succulents, of which cacti are a member, are well known for being incredibly easy to care for. They need minimal watering, can be placed in full sun and largely forgotten about. Hen and chicks are one variety of succulents that will continue spreading year after year and come back stronger than ever, even after a freeze. Aloe vera plants typically need water only once a week, if that, and creeping red sedum provides ground cover without requiring any additional care or training. Most succulents only need to be watered when the soil around them feels dry to the touch.
Shrubs, particularly flowering varieties, can provide a lot of colour and showy blossoms without any extra care. Although they need to be watered frequently when planted, once they are established, they can typically survive on just rain water unless it is a very dry year. Common shrubs include honeysuckle, lilac and bilberry. These shrubs will appear to die off after the last freeze of the year, but will return with new buds in the springtime.
Perennials are the time-strapped gardener's friend. Plant them once, keep them watered occasionally and they come back year after year. Easy-care perennials include day lilies, Asiatic lilies, lavender and gallardia. These plants need to be watered about every two to three days unless there is extreme heat, then they should be watered once a day. Day lilies will self propagate and rapidly fill in an area. Even though these plants typically only bloom once a season, their foliage offers good cover and having them return every year cuts down on the expense and time needed for replanting.
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