Easy Care Flowers for Hopeless Gardeners

 

Most homeowners look forward to the first signs of spring so they can get outside and start their gardens. At the very least, most will want to plant some flowers around the entrance to their home for a pop of welcome color after the drab shades of winter. Some people have a naturally green thumb while other unfortunate, would-be gardeners can’t seem to get anything to thrive once it’s planted. For those hopeless gardeners we’ve put together a list of easy care flowers that are almost impossible to kill, even if neglected a bit. If you don’t think you have what it takes to be a gardener, try these hardy plants!

  1. Cosmos are Easy Care Flowers that Bloom for Months
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Cosmos look delicate but thrive even on the hottest days.

At the top of the chart are Cosmos. These delicate looking flowers are famous for being practically care free while blooming all summer long. Delicate, fern-like leaves and bright petals can cover your garden in color. Cosmos thrive in hot, dry weather and come in a wide variety of colors including white, pink, purple, gold and candy stripe. There are several varieties of Cosmos, ranging in height from four inches to over three feet, making them easy to stagger for a natural, meadow-like garden appearance.

  1. Easy Care Vinca are Small but Mighty

30345907 - beautiful flowers in a gardenThere are several strains of Vinca depending upon the leaves and height, but they are all hardy, ever-blooming summer flowers. The glossy, smooth leaves make an attractive ground cover, and the flat, five-petaled flowers resemble stars in shades of pink, purple, coral, red and white. The centers of the stars are usually a bright, contrasting color. They do well in almost any climate, including hot, dry, humid, cold and poor soil.

  1. Sunflowers Aren’t Just for Seeds
43267324 - beautiful sunflower and blue sky
Sunflowers turn their heads toward the sun as it crosses the sky.

The typical image of a sunflower is the six-foot-tall variety with enormous seed heads, but you can now grow sunflowers in a wide range of sizes and far more colors than the traditional, bright yellow. You’ll find gold, peach, burgundy and even bi-colored blooms that will grow anywhere from 10” to eight feet tall. Dwarf sunflowers are great for along fences while the larger varieties will attract songbirds who love the seeds.

4. Zinnias Offer Easy Care Flowers in a Multitude of Shapes and Colors

16623830 - bouquet with zinnias
Zinnias make ideal cutting flowers and come in dozens of varieties.

Zinnias are one of the easiest flowers to grow and they thrive whether planted in borders, flower beds or even containers. They attract hummingbirds and butterflies and are beautiful as cut flowers because they last for at least a week after cutting. An added bonus is that when you cut them, even more flowers will bloom. They love the heat and sunshine of summer and bloom repeatedly throughout the summer and well into fall. You can grow zinnias in colors ranging from soft pinks to deep reds, oranges and creams. Some blooms have seemingly endless mounds of petals while others are flat with distinct centers of gold or cream.

5. Daffodils – An Easy Spring Flower

27280547 - bright studio shot of a bunch of blossoming daffodils isolated on white background
Daffodils are associated with Easter because they bloom in the early spring and come back every year.

Daffodils have been linked to springtime for generations, and with good reason. Once the bulbs have been planted, Daffodils will rise again every spring in a profusion of cup-shaped flowers surrounded by a ring of brilliant petals. Although known for its bright yellow color, you can also get them cream, peach, gold and combos that have one color for the cup and another for the flat petals. These bloom in the spring, but the flowers last for weeks. Just plant daffodil bulbs in the fall and they’ll quickly spread every spring.

6. Phlox are Butterfly Magnets

26183179 - ruby throated hummingbird archilochus colubris in motion in the garden
Phlox blooms attract hummingbirds to gardens.

This cheerful flower used to bloom profusely, but only for a few weeks in the spring. Recent hybrids and newer strains, however, can bloom clear through the first frost. The flowers bloom in compact clusters that resemble the flowers on Vinca, but are smaller and grouped tightly together over long, spiky leaves. Phlox flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds but deer tend to stay away, making Phlox ideal for suburban gardens.

  1. Marigolds Grow Almost Anywhere
10493589 - a field of marigold flowers (tagetes patula) in vibrant colors.
Marigolds bloom continually from spring to fall.

Marigolds love bright, sunny spots and they are hardy enough to withstand even the hottest temperatures. They bloom profusely from late spring to fall. Traditional marigolds can grow anywhere from three to five feet tall, but you can also get dwarf varieties for containers and window boxes. The fern-like leaves are a deep green and the blossom colors include yellow, red and gold.

  1. Pansies are Dainty Delights
57518071 - mixed colors of pansy flowers in spring garden
Pansies are available in a rainbow of bright colors.

Pansies look delicate and frail, but they stand up to sunlight and grow well as long as they are watered during stretches of drought. Gardeners love the “face” on each pansy bloom that combines an overall petal color with vivid streaks of a deeper color forming a blaze in the center of the flower. Pansies come in an astonishing palette of colors, including burgundy, reds, purples, yellows, creams, golds and peaches. Pinching off spent blooms will force even more blooms. These do best in the spring and fall, reviving quickly after any hot spell. Pansies don’t grow very tall – a foot at the most, but usually more like 6 to 8 inches.

 9. Impatiens Come in Two Varieties

42003869 - impatiens flower in a pot isolated on white
These New Guinea Impatiens have darker leaves than traditional Impatiens.

Impatiens are most often seen in containers and hanging baskets, but they are excellent in shady areas of your garden as well. They can easily wilt in the heat of the day, so keep them well watered. If you keep them shaded, they will proliferate and spread with mounds of amazing color.  The leaves are softly rounded in a cheerful green in most varieties, although New Guinea Impatiens feature darker leaves with sharper edges. Impatiens come in a spectrum of warm shades ranging from a bright, pure white to cherry red with tints of pink, salmon, fuchsia and orange. For shady borders, nothing beats Impatiens for constant color.

 10. Grandma’s Begonias are Making A Come-Back

50583430 - beautiful red begonia plant closeup
The waxy leaves of Begonias are easily recognizable.

It’s almost impossible to kill a begonia, which is what has made this plant a favorite with gardeners for generations. Your grandmother probably planted “wax begonias” in her first garden. Back then, most begonias had waxy, spade-shaped leaves and flowers clusters in either red or a orangey flowers. Today you’ll find begonias with leaves of purple, citrus green or deep green that are round, spaded or rough around the edges. Flowers come in reds, oranges, golds and peaches as well as bi-colors. They are still as durable and reliable as ever, being disease and drought resistant.

  1. Snapdragons Add Height to Your Garden
7267492 - beautiful colourful and tall snapdragon flowers in the garden
Snapdragons are perfect for the back edge of a garden or along a fence to add height.

Snapdragons are easy to grow in even rocky soil, blooming into tall spikes of color that are perfect for bouquets. Their complex flowers grow in clusters along the top half of each spike, blazing in bright shades of yellow, red, pink and orange as well as variegated versions with multiple colors. You’ll find Snapdragons that grow anywhere from twelve inches to four feet in height depending upon the type. The intermediate height (one to two feet tall) are the hardiest and come in the deepest colors. Snapdragons are proficient bloomers in the summer and into early fall.

12.  Morning Glories are Easy Care Flowers for Fences and Trellises

3093071 - two vivid blue morning glories planted in a birdcage
Morning glories are well known for their vibrant blues and purples.

These charming, old-fashioned flowers sprout quickly from seed and flourish even in poor soil. To encourage sprouting, most gardeners soak the seeds in lukewarm water overnight before planting. Once they’re in the ground, just stand back and watch them grow. These are a twining vine, so plant them along a fence or trellis. The spade shaped foliage is usually a soft green. Gardeners prize morning glories for their easy growth and the vibrant blues and purples of the trumpet-shaped flowers. You can also find Morning Glories in pinks, purples and striking striped varieties.

If you aren’t sure what flowers you want to plant or need help with landscaping your home or garden, Mr. B’s Lawn Care can guide you with professional landscaping services.

 

 

 

 

 

March Outdoor Chores: Preparing Your Garden for Spring

Attractive landscaping is one of the most affordable ways you can add curb appeal to your home and create a beautiful retreat to relax in during the spring, summer and autumn. But to get the most from your lawn and garden, you need to prepare your property properly even before you have seedlings to plant. Pre-emergent weed treatments, fertilization and tilling of the soil will help you get ready for planting next month. If you’d prefer a professional touch, contact Mr. B’s Lawn Care by emailing Brian Bush at bush@amguard.us or calling Mr. B’s at 724-752-5551 to discuss your lawn care and landscaping needs.

If you’re still interested in doing it yourself, read on:

In most of Lawrence, Butler and Beaver Counties, we’re in what is considered Zone 6 for planting and gardening. This means in March, it’s time to begin thinking about prepping your lawn and garden for early planting and gardening. With this year’s particularly warm temperatures, it can even be tempting to start planting some spring flowers, but try to hold off for a while. The chance of a late frost is still very real, and the temperatures are supposed to dip below freezing more than once before Spring is here to stay.

potted flower

A few things you can do during March include:

  • Start seasonal vegetable seeds in small pots or paper cups for transplanting outside later. Put them in a sunny, southern window. You can start peppers and tomatoes this way so that they will mature earlier in your summer garden.
  • Add lime to the soil where you will be planting tomatoes and thoroughly blend it in so that it has a few weeks to break down into its usable form for optimum tomato growth and sweetness. Wait until after April 15th before planting tomatoes in order to avoid the danger of even a light frost.
  • Till up your flower beds to loosen the soil and add a pre-treatment for weed control (make sure the weed treatment is for floral gardens, not lawns. Lawn treatment may be too strong for flower gardens.
  • If you like to start your flowers from seeds, plant them now in flats or paper cups and keep them indoors in a sunny window. You can transplant them after the danger of frost is past.
  • Draw out a map of your garden and design the layout so that you have something to start with when you visit greenhouses looking for annuals and perennials. Without a general layout, you may end up buying too many or too few plants.
  • Now is the time to divide any perennials and transplant them. Dig up bulbs and use a trowel or spade to break them in two or into thirds and replant immediately.
  • In late March, if the weather is consistently well above frost temperatures, you can begin planting seeds for beets, turnips, carrots and other cool root vegetables.

Exterior 524 NewtonLook At My Homes currently has several homes for sale or rent that have large yards you can customize with your own style of gardening or landscaping. If you’ve always dreamed of having a house with enough space to grow your own vegetables, check out listings such as 524 Newton Avenue in Ellwood City, PA, which has a large, level lot you can transform this summer with perennials and annuals.