DIY ProjectsGardening TipsOrganic GardeningPlant Care Guides25/05/2024by mabramczTop 10 Easy-Care Garden Plants for UK Gardens

Creating a beautiful garden doesn’t have to mean spending endless hours on maintenance. Perennial plants are a fantastic choice for low-maintenance gardens, providing year-after-year beauty with minimal effort. Here’s a guide to ten of the best low-maintenance perennial plants that will thrive in your garden with just a little care.

Key Takeaways

  • Lavender is a versatile and fragrant plant that thrives in well-drained soil and full sun.
  • Hardy Geraniums produce delicate blooms and are highly resistant to pests and diseases.
  • Rudbeckia, also known as Black-eyed Susan, adds vibrant yellow flowers and requires minimal watering.
  • Sedum is a drought-tolerant succulent that provides year-round interest with its fleshy leaves.
  • Echinacea, or coneflower, attracts pollinators and is known for its medicinal properties.

1. Lavender

lavender garden in UK

Lavender is known for its fragrant flowers and silvery-green foliage. It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in sunny, well-drained locations. Despite its Mediterranean origins, English lavender thrives in the cooler UK climate, making it a staple in herb gardens.

Why It’s Great

  • Lavender is known for its bright scent and soft hue.
  • It’s drought-tolerant and thrives in sunny, well-drained locations.
  • The plant has upright flower spikes and a tight, shrub-like shape.

Maintenance Tips

  • Prune annually after flowering to maintain shape and promote new growth.
  • Avoid overwatering, as lavender prefers dry conditions.
  • Lavender is very low-maintenance, requiring minimal watering and no fertiliser.

English lavender is a very low-maintenance plant and I have several in my garden. They never need watering, don’t like fertiliser, are pest-free and I only prune them once a year.

2. Hardy Geraniums

hardy geraniums in a UK garden

Hardy geraniums are much prettier and more delicate than the types of geranium you may typically have in and around your home but are actually more robust. This plant is almost indestructible and produces flowers throughout the warm months. You don’t need to do anything to help the plant survive in your flower beds, but cutting it right back after the first time it flowers will encourage it to come back with more abundant flowers before the end of the summer.


Hardy geraniums are known for their delicately-veined mauve blooms. These plants are almost indestructible, with the potential to flower for months on end. No deadheading is needed – instead, cut right back to the ground after the first flush of flowers. This will encourage a second flush of foliage and flowers to form, with little effort.


These are a staple in many gardens as they fill voids quickly, produce lots of foliage and blooms, and require very little care. I’ve never had issues with pests or diseases and each winter, they die back to ground level and then bounce back the following spring.


If you had to choose one low-maintenance plant for your garden, it would be a hardy geranium. They are perfect for those looking for easy-care options and are ideal for Garden Clearance projects.

3. Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia flowers in a UK garden

Rudbeckias, commonly known as Black-Eyed Susans, are a delightful addition to any garden. They are easy to grow and maintain, making them perfect for adding a splash of colour to your borders, beds, or containers. These plants thrive in sunny locations and well-drained soil, ensuring they flourish with minimal effort.


Rudbeckias are known for their bright yellow flowers with dark centres. They are hardy and can thrive in a variety of soil conditions, making them a versatile choice for many gardeners.

Maintenance Tips

  • Plant the flowers early in the spring.
  • Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil.
  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming.
  • Divide clumps every few years to prevent overcrowding.

Removing the spent flowers will encourage them to keep blooming for longer.

Recommended Varieties

  • Rudbeckia fulgida: Known for its resilience and vibrant blooms.
  • ‘Goldsturm’: A popular variety with striking yellow petals and a dark centre.

4. Sedum

Sedum plant in a UK garden

Sedums, also known as stonecrops, are succulent perennials that are highly valued for their low maintenance and drought tolerance. These plants thrive in poor soil conditions, making them ideal for rock gardens and borders. They are particularly well-suited for UK gardens where water conservation is important.

Why It’s Great

  • Sedums require minimal water and care.
  • They are perfect for rock gardens and borders.
  • These plants are resilient and can thrive in poor soil conditions.

Maintenance Tips

  • Trim back in early spring to promote new growth.
  • Water sparingly to prevent rot.

Sedums are an excellent choice for gardeners looking to minimize maintenance while maximizing visual appeal. Their ability to thrive in less-than-ideal soil conditions makes them a versatile addition to any garden.

Applications in Landscaping

  • Artificial Grass: Complements the low-maintenance aspect of sedums.
  • Patio & drive way laying: Ideal for borders around patios and driveways.
  • Raised beds: Perfect for adding height and texture.
  • Turfing: Can be used in conjunction with turf for varied textures.
  • Ponds & fountains: Suitable for dry areas around water features.
  • Hedge trimming: Minimal interference with hedges due to low water needs.
  • Planting: Easy to plant and establish.
  • Tree cutting: No interference with tree roots.
  • Waste Clearance: Minimal waste due to low maintenance.

5. Echinacea

Echinacea flowers in a UK garden

Echinacea, commonly known as coneflower, is a herbaceous perennial that is highly valued for its large, daisy-like flowers. These vibrant blooms not only add a splash of color to your garden but also attract butterflies and bees, making it a great choice for those looking to support local wildlife.

Botanical Information

  • Botanical Name: Echinacea purpurea
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Hardiness Rating: H5
  • Recommended Variety: ‘Summer Cocktail’

Maintenance Tips

  • Watering: Regular watering is essential, especially during dry spells. Mulching can help retain moisture.
  • Deadheading: Remove spent flowers to extend the flowering period. Leave some seed heads in autumn to provide food for birds.
  • Pest Control: Keep an eye out for slugs and snails, which can damage the leaves.

Why It’s Great

Echinacea is a robust plant that can thrive in various conditions. Its large, daisy-like flowers are not only visually appealing but also beneficial for local wildlife. The plant’s resilience and minimal maintenance requirements make it an excellent addition to any UK garden.

Echinacea is a versatile plant that can elevate your outdoor living space by adding both beauty and ecological value.

6. Hosta

Hosta plant in a UK garden


Hostas, also known as Plantain Lilies, are herbaceous perennials highly valued for their lush and attractive foliage. They thrive in shaded areas and are particularly well-suited to the moist, temperate climate of the UK. Their broad-leaved, multi-coloured appearance makes them a popular choice for gardens.

Recommended Varieties

  • ‘June’: Known for its striking variegated leaves.
  • ‘Patriot’: Features dark green leaves with white edges.
  • ‘Blue Mouse Ears’: A compact variety with blue-green leaves.

Maintenance Tips

  • Watering: While Hostas appreciate regular watering, especially during dry spells, they are relatively drought-tolerant once established.
  • Slug Control: Slugs are particularly fond of Hostas, so implementing a slug control plan is essential.
  • Soil: They prefer moist, well-drained soil.

Ideal Growing Conditions

Condition Requirement
Light Shade to partial shade
Soil Moist, well-drained
Hardiness H7

Hostas are a relaxed or lesser-abled gardener’s best friend, requiring minimal attention once established.

7. Heuchera

Heuchera plant in a UK garden


Heucheras, also known as coral bells, are perennial plants cherished for their vibrant foliage. The leaves come in a variety of hues, ranging from acid-green to warm orange and deep purple. Additionally, they produce delicate spikes of flowers from spring to summer, adding to their ornamental value.

Ideal Growing Conditions

These plants thrive in shadier areas of the garden and are also a favorite for containers. While they appreciate regular watering during the height of summer, most heucheras are relatively drought-tolerant once established.

Maintenance Tips

  • Weeding & Pruning: Regular weeding and occasional pruning are essential to maintain plant health and aesthetics.
  • Mulch to retain moisture and protect the shallow roots.
  • Divide every few years to sustain plant vigor.

Companion Planting

Heucheras pair nicely with hostas, another attractive foliage plant that is easy to grow. Opt for slug-resistant varieties to ensure a low-maintenance garden.

Note: Heucheras are not only visually appealing but also require minimal care, making them an excellent choice for easy-care UK gardens.

8. Alchemilla Mollis

Alchemilla Mollis in a UK garden


Alchemilla Mollis, commonly known as Lady’s Mantle, is a versatile and easy-care perennial that thrives in UK gardens. Its soft, velvety leaves and chartreuse flowers add a touch of elegance to any garden setting. This plant is particularly valued for its ability to thrive in a variety of soil conditions and its low maintenance requirements.

Growing Conditions

  • Soil: Prefers moist, well-drained soil but can tolerate a range of soil types.
  • Light: Grows well in both full sun and partial shade.
  • Water: Requires moderate watering, especially during dry spells.


  • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established.
  • Versatile: Suitable for borders, ground cover, and even containers.
  • Attractive Foliage: The leaves collect morning dew, creating a visually appealing effect.

Lawn Care & Mowing

While Alchemilla Mollis itself does not require mowing, its presence in garden borders can complement well-maintained lawns. Regular lawn care and mowing around the plant can enhance its visual appeal and ensure a tidy garden appearance.

Alchemilla Mollis is an excellent choice for gardeners seeking a low-maintenance yet visually appealing plant. Its adaptability and minimal care requirements make it a staple in many UK gardens.

9. Nepeta

Nepeta plant in a UK garden

Nepeta, commonly known as Catmint, is a hardy, drought-tolerant perennial with grey-green foliage and spikes of lavender-blue flowers. It’s excellent for edging and attracting pollinators.

10. Bergenia

Bergenia plant in a UK garden

Bergenia, commonly known as elephant’s ears, are low-maintenance, easy-going evergreen perennials that will brighten up the early spring garden with their colourful blooms. They are often grown as ground cover plants, making them ideal for covering patches of bare soil. The evergreen foliage provides year-round colour, and in spring, they send up stalks bearing pretty pink flowers that attract bees.

Botanical Characteristics

  • Botanical Name: Bergenia
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Hardiness Rating: H7
  • Recommended Variety: ‘Margery Fish’

Growing Conditions

Bergenias thrive in a variety of soil types but prefer well-drained soil. They are tolerant of both sun and partial shade, making them versatile for different garden settings.

Maintenance Tips

  1. Watering: Moderate watering is sufficient. Ensure the soil is not waterlogged.
  2. Pruning: Remove dead or damaged leaves to encourage new growth.
  3. Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring.

Bergenias are an excellent choice for gardeners looking for a plant that requires minimal care while providing maximum visual impact.


  • Attracts Pollinators: The pink flowers are a magnet for bees.
  • Ground Cover: Ideal for covering bare soil patches.
  • Evergreen Foliage: Provides year-round colour and interest.


In conclusion, cultivating a beautiful and thriving garden in the UK is entirely achievable with the right approach and selection of easy-care plants. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, from choosing the appropriate tools and preparing the soil, to mastering watering techniques and implementing effective pest control strategies, gardeners can ensure their plants flourish with minimal effort. Additionally, understanding the importance of pruning, maintaining soil health, and providing seasonal care will further enhance the garden’s vitality. Embrace these practices and enjoy the rewards of a low-maintenance yet stunning garden year-round.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of choosing low-maintenance plants for my garden?

Low-maintenance plants save you time and effort as they require minimal care, making them ideal for busy gardeners or those who prefer a more hands-off approach. They can also be more resilient to pests and diseases.

How often should I water low-maintenance plants?

The watering needs of low-maintenance plants vary, but in general, they require less frequent watering compared to more delicate plants. It’s best to check the specific needs of each plant, but many can thrive with just occasional watering.

Can low-maintenance plants thrive in any soil type?

While many low-maintenance plants are adaptable to various soil types, it’s important to check the specific requirements of each plant. Some may prefer well-drained soil, while others might thrive in clay or sandy soils.

Do low-maintenance plants need to be fertilized regularly?

Most low-maintenance plants do not require regular fertilization. They can often thrive with just occasional feeding, or by using slow-release fertilizers at the beginning of the growing season.

Are low-maintenance plants suitable for beginners?

Yes, low-maintenance plants are perfect for beginners as they are generally more forgiving and easier to care for. They provide a great way to build confidence in gardening without the stress of high-maintenance care.

Can I use low-maintenance plants in containers or pots?

Absolutely! Many low-maintenance plants do well in containers or pots, making them a versatile option for patios, balconies, or small gardens. Just ensure the pots have good drainage and use suitable potting soil.

How do I choose the right low-maintenance plants for my garden?

Consider your garden’s conditions, such as sunlight, soil type, and climate. Research plants that are known for being low-maintenance and match your garden’s conditions. Consulting with local garden centers or experts can also be helpful.

Do low-maintenance plants require any pruning?

While low-maintenance plants generally require less pruning, occasional trimming may be needed to keep them looking their best. The amount of pruning will vary depending on the plant species.

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