Low-Maintenance Plants for Your British Backyard Garden

Low-Maintenance Plants for Your British Backyard Garden

In today’s time-pressured world, it can be difficult to find the time to attend to our favorite hobby.

To help ease the pressure of everyday life, we’ve identified 7 low-maintenance plants for a typical British backyard garden. These beauties will keep your garden looking stunning with minimal effort, so you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor without breaking a sweat.

Identified below are simple carefree plants you can buy at your local plant nursery.


nasturtium, annual flower

With a little patience and dedication, it’s relatively easy to grow flowers from seeds, and Nasturtiums are probably the easiest of them all. Their annual plants and in the right frost-free conditions can re-seed themselves. Once the plant loses its luster, you can easily collect the plant, provide a shake and the mature seeds will fall from the plant for germination the following year. Just add a little topsoil over the seed so the native animals don’t digest them.

Whether used as ground cover or a trailing plant in a hanging basket, these colorful flowers will add a touch of simple charm to your outdoor spaces. Whichever option you choose, they’ll need sandy, neutral, or slightly acidic soil.

Although Nasturtiums can grow in partial shade, full sun is best. Place them where they’re sure to receive at least six hours of sunlight a day. This plant is fairly water-wise but performs best in soil that is kept a little moist. Water it deeply at least two to three times a week.

They are resistant to pests and diseases, and they self-seed, meaning you can enjoy their beauty year after year without having to lift a finger. It has been stated, aphids might attack the plant.

If you notice that your nasturtium plant is producing more foliage than flowers, your soil’s nitrogen levels are likely too high. 


lavender, low maintenance plant

Lavender is a water-wise perennial herb and perfectly low maintenance. This herb is treasured for its potent fragrance and delicate purple flowers all over the world, from the UK to the Mediterranean countries.

This butterfly and bee-friendly plant is ideally suited to both garden and pot cultivation. If you choose to grow it in pots on the patio, remember that it needs full sun to bloom and thrive. Propagation from cuttings is far easier than germination from seed, but it can still be done with minimal effort.

It’s best to water it on demand until it becomes properly established where you’ve planted it. Take care not to underwater it during the initial stages though, as this will limit the root formation.

Lavender prefers well-draining, loamy, nutrient-rich soil. It cannot tolerate acidic soil, so don’t plant it in soil with a PH of six or less.

This is another plant resistant to pests and diseases, and it can be left to grow wild or trimmed back for the more manicured garden setting.

Recommend Lavandula intermedia ‘Grosso’ is a large growing French hybrid lavender with dark blue flower spikes in mid-summer. An impressive profuse bloomer ideal for drying or culinary use.


hydrangea, shrub, shade gardening

For a plant to be low-maintenance, it also needs to be winter hardy. Hydrangeas fit the bill, surviving the winter in most areas of the UK. However, they’re more likely to survive the winter cold in pots under shelter than in open soil. With regular pruning, they grow rather well in pots. When grown in open soil, they don’t require much pruning or maintenance.

Keeping them in shade will reduce flowering, so choose a sunny spot for them. Known for their high-impact appearance with their showy blooms of white, pink, and blue, you’ll want to maximize flowering potential.

Hydrangeas require consistent moisture but the exact amount of watering depends on the particular variety you plant. About three times a week is usually sufficient. The amount of cold they’re exposed to will affect their need for sunlight. An average of 4-6 hours of sun per day is sufficient in summer.

Although they are perennial shrubs, many gardeners believe they are annual plants because they failed to thrive in their local conditions. Most varieties only bloom once a year, but they have a long bloom time. Don’t neglect them even when they are not blooming, they will come back to life.



Another hallmark of a low-maintenance plant is its ability to grow in all types of soil.

Calendulas, also known as pot marigolds, are annual plants that can grow in soil with a neutral, basic, or even slightly acidic PH. They’re not commonly plagued by pests, and they can even help to keep pests at bay in your vegetable patch. Like lavender, calendula prefers full sun and well-drained soil rich with organic matter.

Once established, calendula plants don’t need very much water to grow. Calendula flowers add a splash of cheery yellow to your backyard garden to brighten even the most dismal of days. Their fragrant leaves also attract butterflies to your garden.

To prevent the plant from becoming leggy, periodically pinch it back to promote more robust growth. They self-seed so you can expect to enjoy these plants year after year without much effort.



The Geranium is hardy and easy to grow from seeds or cuttings, making it a worthy contender for our low-maintenance plant list. They come in a variety of beautiful colors to brighten up your garden.

Geraniums don’t need a lot of water, but they do need regular watering. Don’t allow the soil to stay consistently damp, as it will encourage the growth of mildew. Reduce the watering in times of heavier rainfall.

The perennial Geraniums, bloom all year long. They enjoy well-drained, moderately rich soil and at least six hours of sun a day for optimal results. They can grow naturally and require little pruning or intervention.

If conditions have not been ideal, cutting the plant back after flowering and moving it to a sunnier spot can encourage another burst of blooms.



Looking for a plant that needs minimal care after flowering? Coneflowers, also known as Echinacea, are a perfect choice. You can find them in shades of pink, purple, and white.

Coneflowers are herbaceous perennials that pretty much take care of themselves. They’re even considered fairly deer-resistant which is good to know if you have deer roaming about nearby.

This flowering plant needs little water, and average well-drained soil, but plenty of sunlight. You’ll know they aren’t getting enough sun if your coneflower plants become leggy with fewer blooms. They are also disease and pest resistant. Under the right conditions, they have a long bloom period, and look delightful in pots in your backyard.

Once flowers have died off, leave them intact and the plant will re-seed itself for the next flowering season.

Sheep’s Fescue Grass

Fescue grass, low maintenance plant
Fescue Grass

While we agree that every garden needs at least a few fragrant herbs and pretty flowers, grasses are the ultimate low-maintenance plants. Common in mountain pastures and native to the UK and Europe, Sheep’s Fescue grass is water-wise and tolerant of cold making it sustainable and cost-effective.

This semi-evergreen grass will fill in the blank and uninteresting spaces in your backyard and give you a soft carpet underfoot. It can tolerate many soil types, and full sun to partial shade. Novice gardeners often fear that taking care of a lawn will be too much effort. That’s why this grass is a perfect choice. It requires very little mowing as it’s slow-growing, making it even more low-maintenance.

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