First up in the week of lists are fuss-free flowers that can easily be grown in containers. Yes, beauty in the garden often comes in plants that need a lot of work, but there are also tough plants that require no pampering, that are just as beautiful. And these aren’t boring, or typical plants either. Beautiful, tough, and interesting, a hard to beat combination!
If you want a pretty garden without a ridiculous amount of effort, try these five plants:
- Baptisia (False Indigo) – Has tall spikes of flowers that look a little like those on a sweet pea plant. They bloom in late spring, and if allowed to go to seed, will produce interesting black seedpods. Drought tolerance makes it easy to keep happy, even during warmer weather. While most Baptisias have blueish flowers, check out Twilight Prairieblues’ rust and gold combo!
- Nepeta (Catmint) - Forms attractive clumps of mint-like leaves that are covered all summer long with spires of white, pink, or purple flowers. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and look great in pots with roses. Look for a dwarf variety like Blue Ice, if space is at a premium.
- Portulaca (Moss Rose) – The hotter and drier the better, as far as moss rose is concerned. It looks great trailing out of pots and will happily reseed itself. This succulent will put out pinkish/orange or yellow flowers without even the thought of fertilizer.
- Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco) – This cousin of the cancer-causing plant makes fragrant flowers that are like magnets for hummingbirds and butterflies. There are tall all-white varieites which would make quite a statement in a container garden or smaller, colorful types that are the perfect size for even a tiny balcony. As Louise noted, Nicotiana was named plant of the year by the National Garden Bureau.
- Caladium (Elephant Ears) - Last year, I bought two caladium bulbs packed in some peat moss and wraped in a perforated plastic bag. I got them home and promptly forgot about them. When I rediscovered the bulbs over a month later, they had sprouted roots and leaves! Doesn’t get much easier that! They have riotously colored leaves and love the shade.