Gardening: Low-maintenance flowers

By Tiffany Selvey, Master Gardener and mama of 1

The dog days of summer are just around the corner and I know you’re looking for more ways to spend your time out in the hot, steamy sun of Northwest Arkansas. Am I right? No? If you’d prefer to spend a warm day with the kids by the pool versus a sweaty day maintaining a flower garden, here’s your solution: Replace those annuals with low-maintenance perennial blooms.

Blue salvia

To be considered low-maintenance, the flowers in this list had to meet a few requirements. First, who has time to remember to fertilize? The lovely blooms on this list are not fussy about soil. In fact, they prefer “lean” soils. Just work about about a half-inch layer of compost into the soil when you plant and don’t worry about fertilizing unless they start looking bad.

As for weeding, I specifically chose these flowers because, after a few years, they will spread to fill in the flowerbed, leaving no room for weeds or requiring mulch.

About the only maintenance these flowers need is “deadheading” and some water when it’s really dry. Deadheading means you should snip off the dried up blooms when you think of it, and water the flowers deeply any time the soil is dry one inch below the surface.

These flowers are good for attracting bees, and everything on this list blooms from summer through fall.

  • Salvia– Available in whites, pinks, blues and yellows, salvia is drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, making it a good option for challenging areas. Red salvia is particularly striking in the garden and is a favorite of hummingbirds.

    low maintenance flowers
    Photo of pink yarrow in the garden
  • Yarrow– This is my favorite all-purpose plant and I struggle not to add it to every list of flowers I make. Yarrow comes in red, pink, white and yellow so there’s a option for every color scheme. The feathery foliage comes up in early spring and the blooms appear around mid-March. This plant is so full and dense that it chokes out weeds. Ladybugs love it.
  • Mondarda Also known as bee balm, this mint relative grows and spreads quickly so it’s a good option for areas that need to be filled fast. As the common name implies, this plant is well-loved by bees, but it also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Available in purples, pinks and reds, monarda is a showy summer bloom that will have your flower garden teeming with life.

Having an attractive flower garden doesn’t have to be a ton of work. By selecting perennial flowers that bloom all summer, not only will you save time and energy, you’ll also have a flower garden full of beauty and life.

Tiffany Selvey, Master GardenerTiffany Selvey is a Master Gardener who writes about her passion for growing, cooking, and living naturally at

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