Gardeners are always looking for new and interesting ways to make their garden more low maintenance. One way to do this is using low maintenance plants for pots. For those that prefer for their garden to grow in containers, then this is a great option, to aid in uplifting the natural beauty of a garden, whilst making them easier to maintain. In this article, you will learn about the top low maintenance plants for pots, so that you can add a fresh spark of colour and originality to your garden, whilst maintaining the integrity of its blissfulness.
- Identifying Low-Maintenance Plants for Pots
- Maintenance Tips for Potted Plants:
- Top 10 Drought-Tolerant Plants for Pots:
- 1. Mexican Fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus):
- 2. Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina):
- 3. Cistus Albidus:
- 4. Pelargonium:
- 5. Lavender:
- 6. Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus):
- 7. Rosemary:
- 8. Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’:
- 9. Common Houseleek (Sempervivum):
- 10. Echeveria:
- 8 Tips for Keeping Low Maintenance Plants for Pots Fresh:
- 1. Deadheading:
- 2. Disease Control:
- 3. Soil Enrichment:
- 4. Weed Prevention:
- 5. Diversifying with Resilient Plants:
- 6. Creative Containers:
- 7. Easiest Potted Plants for Beginners:
- 8. Caring for Plants in Non-Draining Pots:
- Effective Low Maintenance Methods for Plants for Pots
Identifying Low-Maintenance Plants for Pots
There are many kinds of plants that can last in different weather conditions, even if they are less-than-ideal. Drought-tolerant plants, for instance, have evolved to withstand prolonged dry spells. Their leaves might have tiny hairs to trap moisture, spines to reduce surface area, or even a silvery hue to reflect sunlight. These are nature’s way to conserve water and ensure survival.
Benefits of Drought-Tolerant Plants:
Having drought-tolerant plants in your garden is not only convenient for plant pot ideas and low maintenance gardens, but also offers the following benefits:
- Environmental Conservation: With water becoming a scarce resource, these plants significantly reduce the need for frequent watering.
- Economic Savings: Less water means lower utility bills.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Their unique structures, colours, and textures can transform a garden, making it stand out.
Maintenance Tips for Potted Plants:
While low maintenance plants for pots sounds appealing, it doesn’t mean “no maintenance.” Here’s how to ensure that your low maintenance plants for pots will survive in all environments, including containers too:
- Initial Care: Newly planted pots, especially smaller ones, need regular watering until they’re established.
- Monitoring: Even drought-tolerant plants can fall prey to pests or diseases. Regular checks can prevent larger issues.
- Soil Quality: Over time, soil can become compacted, affecting root health. Loosening the soil occasionally can help.
Top 10 Drought-Tolerant Plants for Pots:
Now that we have underlined what qualities to look for from having low maintenance plants for pots, here are our recommended choices for drought-tolerant plants for pots:
1. Mexican Fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus):
Mexican Fleabane gracefully drapes over terracotta pots, with its flowers cascading like a waterfall, and is therefore worthy on this list of low maintenance plants for pots. It naturally seeds itself and spreads through its roots. Ideal for stone steps or wall gaps. Measures 30 x 60cm.
2. Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina):
Recognised by its soft, silvery leaves that help minimise water loss. Lamb’s Ear is a standout in low maintenance plants for pots and pairs well with other drought-resistant plants. Measures 20 x 45cm.
3. Cistus Albidus:
Originating from the Mediterranean’s rocky terrains, cistus plants thrive in large pots with free-draining compost. It complements Mediterranean shrubs like rosemary and lavender. If you want to add a touch of the Mediterranean to your low maintenance plants for pots, choose cistus. Measures 100 x 150cm.
These scented-leaf varieties are especially drought-resistant due to the aromatic oils in their leaves, making them perfect for your low maintenance plants for pots. While their flowers are modest in size, combining different types of pelargonium can create a captivating foliage display. Measures 80 x 80cm.
With its slender, silvery, and aromatic leaves, lavender is tailor-made for hot, dry conditions, perfectly suitable as low maintenance plants for pots. It fits snugly in a 30cm pot, either solo or alongside other drought-tolerant plants. Opt for dwarf varieties like ‘Nana Alba.’ Measures 30 x 30cm.
6. Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus):
These plants, whether evergreen or herbaceous, bloom best when their roots feel confined, making them perfect for pots. Agapanthus appreciates some water and nutrients in summer but require no pruning. Incorporate easy gardening techniques by choosing agapanthus as one of your low maintenance plants for pots. Measures 60 x 45cm.
This aromatic herb thrives in full sun and can withstand temperatures down to -15°C. Initially, rosemary needs watering to establish, but then it’s best left alone. Ensure it has ample space in its container. Measures 100 x 100cm.
Check out our tips about adding trellis to an existing fence now.
8. Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’:
A perennial wildflower that blooms year-round, you cannot go wrong with including Erysimum in your low maintenance plants for pots collection. While Erysimum doesn’t demand deadheading or trimming, summer cuttings can help propagate new plants. Measures 100 x 100cm.
9. Common Houseleek (Sempervivum):
With a vast array to choose from, these hardy succulents are a delight for low maintenance plants for pots. Sempervivum thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, enhanced with horticultural grit. A gravel top layer completes the look.
These succulents, typically indoor plants in the UK, can be grown outdoors in milder areas. Echeverias showcase an evergreen rosette of thick leaves. Best in well-drained compost and sunny spots. Bring these inside during colder months for an easier experience for growing these low maintenance plants for pots. Measures 20 x 30cm.
8 Tips for Keeping Low Maintenance Plants for Pots Fresh:
The allure and charm of a garden lies upon its freshness and vitality. To ensure that your low maintenance plants for pots remain vibrant, you should adopt appropriate care methods to keep them fresh. Here are some ways to keep potted plants fresh:
One of the most effective ways to invigorate your low maintenance plants for pots and stimulate new growth is through the process of deadheading. This involves the regular removal of faded or spent blooms. By doing so, you not only enhance the plant’s appearance but also redirect its energy towards producing more flowers.
2. Disease Control:
Vigilance is key when it comes to spotting the early signs of plant disease. At the first hint of any dead, yellowing, or diseased leaves, you should remove these promptly. This not only prevents the spread of potential diseases but also ensures that your plant remains healthy and robust.
3. Soil Enrichment:
Just as we require a balanced diet to thrive, plants too need a rich blend of nutrients. Annually replacing fresh compost to your potted plants can work wonders in replenishing the essential nutrients that the soil might have lost. This organic matter enhances soil structure, promotes root growth, and ensures your plants have a steady supply of vital nutrients.
4. Weed Prevention:
Weeds can be quite the menace, competing with your garden planting ideas and plant for pots. The best way to deter these unwelcome guests is by adding a top layer of gravel or slate. This not only suppresses weed growth but also adds an aesthetic touch to your pots. If weeds are a major concern for your garden, then read up on our useful guide about how to get rid of weeds in your garden.
5. Diversifying with Resilient Plants:
If you’re keen on adding variety to your garden, consider integrating plants for pots known for their hardiness. The Anemanthele lessoniana, with its feathery texture, is a delightful choice.
Similarly, Asters, commonly known as Michaelmas daisy, can infuse your garden with a range of colours and are known for their resilience.
By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure that your potted plants remain a vibrant and refreshing sight, which will stand the test of time with the right care.
6. Creative Containers:
Who said plants only belong in pots? Think outside the box! From old boots to woven baskets, there’s a myriad of unique containers that you can use for your plants. This is a very helpful exercise for recycling old items that you may no longer need, or if you feel unready to depart from old items, then many stores will also sell custom designs for plant pot containers.
7. Easiest Potted Plants for Beginners:
Have you just started your gardening journey and are unsure where to begin? We recommend these low maintenance plants for pots, including Pothos (Devil’s Ivy) or the resilient Snake Plant (Sansevieria) are perfect for beginners. Even if you would prefer to grow houseplants, then snake plants are perfect for this task, so long as you know how to repot snake plants too.
8. Caring for Plants in Non-Draining Pots:
Pots without drainage can still present a challenge to your gardening methods for plant pots. The trick here is to prevent waterlogging. Use well-draining soil, add a layer of pebbles at the base, and water judiciously.
Some may consider box to be a useful plant to include in your low maintenance plants for pots. However, keeping box contained in a pot is not easy, and can be susceptible to diseases such as box blight. If you are not familiar with this disease, we know some handy ways on how to treat box blight.
Effective Low Maintenance Methods for Plants for Pots
Gardening is a journey of discovery. By choosing low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants, you’re not only making a wise choice for the environment but also embarking on a rewarding adventure. So, roll up those sleeves, get planting, and watch your garden come alive.
Can I grow low maintenance plants indoors?
Yes, many low maintenance plants can thrive indoors, especially if they receive adequate light. Plants like Snake Plant and ZZ Plant are popular indoor low maintenance choices.
How do I repot a low maintenance plant?
Gently remove the plant from its current pot, shake off excess soil, and place it in a new pot that’s slightly larger. Fill with well-draining soil, water lightly, and ensure the plant is at the same soil level as before.
Do low maintenance plants attract pests?
While they generally have fewer pest problems, no plant is entirely immune. Regularly check for signs of pests and treat as necessary.
How do I know if a plant is suitable for pot cultivation?
Check the plant’s natural growth habits and size. Plants that naturally grow in rocky or sandy environments or have a compact growth habit are often suitable for pots.
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Ryan Jenkins is a professional gardener and has been working in the gardening industry for over 25 years. This has allowed Ryan to accumulate a vast wealth of gardening knowledge which he shares on the Sefton Meadows blog.