As a homeowner, you’ve had it drilled into your head a thousand times by now: curb appeal is crucial! For those who love being out in the soil and leaves and sunshine, it’s no problem. For the rest of us, sometimes life just gets in the way, and yard maintenance gets pushed to the bottom of the list. But there’s good news: having a beautiful yard doesn’t have to mean constant watering, weeding, and pruning. You can get away with bare-minimum upkeep by choosing plants, grass, and other landscaping materials that are low-maintenance. Here are a few examples of grasses and flowering bushes and trees that don’t require all that much attention.
A lot of homeowners tend to take grass for granted, but if you’ve ever had a lawn that’s super shady or tends to get covered by falling leaves, you know the struggle. Grass needs mowing, fertilizing, and watering, and sometimes it’s hard to find the time to do it. Keep your grass maintenance easy by planting what’s natvie.
Bermuda grass is hardy and difficult to kill. It can grow from seed to full lawn quickly, even in poor soils, and stands up to lots of abuse from outdoor play. Bermuda grass does great in a drought, loves hot weather, and tolerates salt water well, making it perfect for our coastal community. If your yard is particularly shady, though you’ll want to consider another type of grass. Bermuda grass does poorly even in light shade.
Centipede grass is quite common and widely grown in South Carolina. If you want a dense-looking lawn that doesn’t require much mowing or fertilizing, you’ll want to consider this slow-growing grass. It’s good for yards that get full sun or are partly shady.
St. Augustine grass, also known as “Charleston grass” is the perfect coastal grass. It tolerates salt spray well and can be grown in even the shadiest of lawns. This is a fast-growing grass, so it’ll need more mowing than some other types, but too much watering or fertilizing can cause it to become thatchy, so you’ll save time in that area.
BUSHES AND TREES
Choose native bushes that don’t need a lot of pruning or watering, and you’ll be golden.
Azaleas are a local favorite, and they actually look best when they’re allowed to grow naturally and unpruned. With over 10,000 named varieties, there’s an azalea bush out there that’s perfect for your yard. Azaleas are very hardy and can literally live for a hundred years.
Hydrangeas produce some of the most beautiful flowers out there. They grow quickly and are covered with gorgeous blooms from spring all the way through fall. Hydrangeas like shade, and they hate to be pruned. In fact, a pruned hydrangea bush will not bloom.
Crepe myrtles are a prevalent tree in the Lowcountry. It’s common for new home builders to plant them as starter trees in a new neighborhood. Crepe myrtles thrive in our climate and produce brilliant blooms of pink, white, red, and purple. Even without flowers and leaves, the crepe myrtle’s branches are sculptural and lovely.
Camellias have a long blooming season and tend to flower in winter and spring, when other plants are still hibernating. While a new camellia does need to be watered regularly during its first year, established camellias don’t need much supplemental watering at all. Make sure to give them partial shade, where they’re sheltered them from hot afternoon sun.
Emerald green arborvitae is an evergreen that grows quickly and can stand up to Charleston’s famous heat and humidity. It enjoys full sun or light shade, and its natural conical shape means it won’t need pruning.
FLOWERS AND PLANTS
Yellow flag iris is a vigorous plant that loves wet spots like ponds or water gardens. It has sunny yellow blooms in the spring, and its foliage is evergreen, which means you’ll still have beautiful greenery in the colder months. They need full sun or part shade and moist soil.
Crinum, often called a bog lily, is one of the toughest low-maintenance plants you can grow. The crinum loves moist soil and full sun, and it produces beautiful and fragrant flowers in pink, white, and purple clusters from spring to fall.
Canna is a classic tropical plant for a low-maintenance garden. With gorgeous, variegated foliage that stands out in the crowd, it looks great next to Lantana. Canna prefers full sun a moist yet well-drained soil.
Black-eyed Susans are the perfect summer flower for your garden or flower beds. They have no problem withstanding hot summer climates, and they enjoy full sun and well-drained soil. In fact, Black-eyed Susans are at their very best in hot temperatures.
Phlox is the perfect low-maintenance perennial for drawing bees and butterflies to your yard. This incredibly fragrant plant flowers in the early summer and lasts for the season. Phlox thrives in full sun or partial shade and likes moist, well-drained soil.
While there are dozens of varieties we could include here, these are just a few of the least fussy yet beautiful plants, flowers, and trees to jumpstart your low-maintenance landscaping.