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Around 27 million time-poor Americans employ lawn services and landscapers every year to make their gardens look their best. However, you don’t have to outsource the job to enjoy a head-turning garden with these attractive, low-maintenance plants.

Dracaena plants look good all year round

You needn’t wait for spring to enjoy the appearance of dracaena plants. While so many plants look their best only when flowers bloom, the striped, multi-colored leaves of these hardy species are beautiful all year round.

Dracaena

(image: Starr Environmental)

 

Indoors, they rarely bloom, but they can produce delicate sprays of white or pink flowers two or three times a year when kept in tropical or subtropical conditions outdoors. Dracaena plants need regular watering when the mercury soars, but they should retain moisture well during winter.

Camellias offer stunning flowers

Many people overlook camellias when they’re thinking of low-maintenance plants. However, once these plants are established, they require very little supplemental watering and rarely attract diseases. They’re worth some early effort for their glossy green leaves and big, bold flowers.

Camellias

(image: Faungg)

 

Make sure your gardens have adequate drainage, slightly acidic soil, and relatively high sun exposure to enjoy the white, pink, or red flowers from fall through the early spring. When the flowers drop, they create a gorgeous carpet of colored petals.

Strelitzia makes a strong statement

The Strelitzia is such an unusual looking plant that many gardeners assume that it’s difficult to grow. However, this sun-loving variety thrives in the warm climates of Florida and California. It’s so beloved around Hollywood that it’s become the official flower of Los Angeles.

Strelitzia

(image:Ruth Hartnup)

 

It’s fairly tolerant of a variety of soil conditions but prefers rich, loamy ground. It enjoys living in full-sun or semi-shady conditions, yet requires little supplementary watering once established. You’ll need patience to appreciate its full splendor as most plants don’t bloom for three to five years. However, once it reaches maturity, you’ll see its distinctive bird-like flowers several times a year.

Nerium oleander thrives in unlikely conditions

The nerium oleander flourishes in conditions where most plants would perish. It doesn’t mind dry, sandy soils, and salty coastal winds, extreme heat, and drought are no match for this Mediterranean beauty. That makes it a great option for America’s beachside neighborhoods.

oleander

(image: Hadley Paul Garland)

 

Pretty white, pink, apricot, and red flowers can cover the shrub for months at a time, so it’s an attractive addition to any garden. However, parents and pet owners should plant it with caution. All parts of the plant are toxic if eaten, and contact with the sap can cause skin irritations. It also releases noxious fumes when burned.

Bamboo brings good luck

Bamboo isn’t a traditionally attractive plant, but it can look striking in an Asian-inspired garden. It’s so hardy that even a lack of water, light, and air won’t kill it. Running varieties can take over a garden, so look for clumping versions like Fernleaf Stripestem, Willowy, and the grand Giant Buddha Belly.

bamboo and sparrow

(image: Kristin “Shoe” Shoemaker)

 

Bamboo is meant to bring luck and good fortune, so planting it could help the other plants in your low-maintenance garden thrive.

A base for success

These attractive, low-maintenance plants help to provide a base for success when it comes to defining an existing yard, or completely redefining it. But, a lot of the plants that are native to your area, and don’t need as much of your intervention has to do with your climate.

What plants in your area thrive and look great while they’re doing it? Tell us about it in the comments section of this post!

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.