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10 Best Garden Plants (From The Experts)

Ever stared at your outdoor space, wishing it was more vibrant and lush? The best garden plants can bring your garden to life, adding an aesthetic appeal that transforms your outdoor space. But the ordeal does not end with just planting; maintenance, weather adaptability, and the knowledge of which plants thrive together are crucial elements to a flourishing yard.

This might all sound overwhelming, particularly if you’re a garden novice.

So, what are the best garden plants to use for a lush yard?

Here’s a concise list to set you on your way:

  • Geraniums: These are colorful, drought-tolerant, and perfect for bringing a splash of cheer.
  • Hostas: They are versatile and undemanding, perfect for filling up your garden space.
  • Sedum (Stonecrop): Loved for their easy-care, these are fantastic in rock gardens and planters.
  • Coralbells (Heuchera): These attract pollinators, and thrive in various light conditions.
  • Weigela: Wildlife-attracting and maintenance-free, these make for an excellent garden addition.
  • Tomatoes: A garden favorite, tomatoes are versatile and delicious.
  • Peppers: Compact yet flavorful, they add a spicy touch to your garden.
  • Beans: Nutritious and easy to grow, these are a no-brainer for any garden.
  • Lettuce: Quick-growing and perfect in salads, they are a delight for any gardener keen on edible plants.
  • Cucumbers: Prolific and excellent for trellising.

best garden plants infographic

We will delve deeper into these ten best garden plants and the crucial rules to follow to ensure they turn your yard into a beautiful, flourishing sanctuary. Stay with us as we unearth the secrets to achieving that lush, green garden you’ve been yearning for!

Rule 1: Consider the Plant’s Needs

When choosing the best garden plants for your yard, it’s crucial to consider the specific needs of each plant. This includes understanding their hardiness zone and considering their sunlight and water requirements.

Understanding Plant Hardiness Zones

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is a valuable resource that can guide you in determining which plants are most likely to thrive in your local climate. This map is divided into 13 zones, each representing a different temperature range. It’s important to choose plants adapted to your zone to ensure they can survive the winter months. You can check your USDA Hardiness zone here.

Considering Sunlight and Water Requirements

Different plants have different sunlight and water needs. Some plants thrive in full sun, which means 6 or more hours of direct sunlight, while others require partial sun, about half that timeframe. There are also plants that can survive in full shade where an area gets no direct sun or only a smidge of the morning sun.

When it comes to watering, overwatering can kill more plants than underwatering, as mentioned in a Reddit post. As a rule of thumb, most plants should be watered once a week, but this can vary depending on the type of plant, its size, and its sunlight exposure.

At Liberty Landscape, we are experienced in understanding the specific needs of a wide variety of plants. We can guide you in choosing the right plants for your garden, considering your USDA hardiness zone, and the specific sunlight and water requirements of each plant. This careful attention to each plant’s needs is one of the reasons why we are one of the leading landscaping companies in Kansas City.

The key to a lush and thriving garden is not just in knowing what to plant, but also understanding how to take care of those plants. So, choose your plants wisely and cater to their needs, and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, lush garden.

Rule 2: Choose Low-Maintenance Plants for a Lush Garden

To keep your garden lush and thriving without investing too much time and effort, you need to choose the best garden plants that are easy to maintain. Here are the top five low-maintenance plants we at Liberty Landscape recommend for your garden:

Geraniums: Colorful and Drought-Tolerant

Geraniums - best garden plants

Geraniums are a go-to for many gardeners, and with good reason. These vibrant plants come in a wide range of colors and can withstand the heat of summer, even with little water. They’re perfect for those busy periods when you can’t water your plants as often as you’d like. Remember to deadhead geraniums to keep their blooms growing strong, and plant them where they’ll get full sun for most of the day.

Hostas: Versatile and Easy to Grow

Hostas - best garden plants

Hostas can be one of the easiest outdoor plants to grow—as long as deer and slugs don’t frequent your garden. These versatile perennials range from tolerating dappled sun to accepting part sun, and their colors range from pure green to yellow-green variegation to blue-gray and beyond. If you have trouble with garden pests, there are natural repellents available to help protect your hostas.

Sedums: Perfect for Rock Gardens and Planters

Sedums - best garden plants

Sedums are a versatile group of plants that range from short groundcovers to midsize clumping plants. The creeping types are perfect for rock gardens and can burrow through cracks in walls. Once these perennials are planted, they require very little care—just water them if they look dry and cut back plants after flowering to maintain their shape.

Coralbells: Attract Pollinators and Thrive in Various Light Conditions

Coralbells - best garden plants

Coralbells are easy to grow and bring gorgeous color to your garden with their foliage. Plus, pollinators love the tiny flowers, making these plants great for supporting local wildlife. These perennial outdoor plants thrive in full sun to shade, but lime green varieties especially benefit from being planted in the shade.

Weigela: Maintenance-Free and Attractive to Wildlife

Weigela - best garden plants

Weigela is a maintenance-free shrub that is loved by gardeners, hummingbirds, and butterflies for its abundant bell-shaped flowers. This outdoor plant thrives in sun or part sun and blooms in spring and summer, making it a beautiful addition to any garden.

By incorporating these low-maintenance plants into your garden, you can enjoy a lush, vibrant outdoor space without the need for constant upkeep. When you work with us at Liberty Landscape, we’ll help you choose the right plants that match your personal style and the unique conditions of your garden. Now let’s move on to the next rule for a lush yard: Incorporating vegetable plants for a functional garden.

Rule 3: Incorporate Vegetable Plants for a Functional Garden

Incorporating vegetable plants can turn your garden into a functional food source besides being a beauty to behold. Here are some of the best garden plants that are also a great addition to your kitchen.

Tomatoes: Versatile and Delicious

Heirloom tomatoes are one of the most flavorful and productive plants you can grow in your garden. They come in a wide range of colors and sizes and are much tastier than the store-bought varieties. Growing your own tomatoes also means you can enjoy varieties that are hard to find in the grocery store due to their delicate nature.

Peppers: Compact and Flavorful

Pepper plants don’t take up much space, and they keep producing a harvest for weeks at a time. Whether you prefer sweet or hot peppers, growing your own gives you the opportunity to experience a wider variety than what’s typically available in stores. Plus, you can choose the level of heat you prefer by selecting different varieties of peppers.

Beans: Easy to Grow and Nutritious

Beans are one of the easiest vegetables to grow, making them perfect for beginners. They are also highly nutritious, providing a good source of protein and fiber. Beans can be trained to climb on trellises, saving space and making them easier to harvest.

Lettuce: Quick to Grow and Perfect for Salads

Lettuce is another excellent choice for your garden. It grows quickly, is relatively easy to care for, and can be harvested continuously throughout the season. Plus, it comes in various types, from crisphead to butterhead and leaf lettuces, each with its own distinct flavor and texture.

Cucumbers: Prolific and Great for Trellising

Cucumbers are prolific producers, making them a great choice for your vegetable garden. They can be trained to grow vertically on a trellis, saving space and keeping the fruits off the ground. Plus, nothing beats the taste of a fresh cucumber straight from the garden.

Growing your own vegetables not only gives you fresh, healthy produce, but also contributes to a sustainable lifestyle. At Liberty Landscape, we’re here to help you make the most of your outdoor space, whether it’s creating a beautiful flower garden or setting up a productive vegetable plot. Don’t hesitate to contact us for expert advice on the best garden plants to grow in your yard.

Rule 4: Add Fragrant and Beautiful Flowers

Creating a beautiful garden involves more than just choosing plants that look good. It’s about creating a sensory experience that appeals to our sense of sight and smell. Including fragrant and beautiful flowers among the best garden plants is a sure way to achieve a lush, inviting yard.

Roses: Classic and Fragrant

Elegance and fragrance come to mind when we think of roses. They are a classic choice for any garden, and with good reason. Despite their reputation for being fussy, many new types have been bred to be long-blooming and more resistant to diseases. They add a romantic touch to any garden setting, whether it’s a tiny urban plot or a large, country backyard. Recommended varieties for your first attempt are Heirloom Roses and Coral Drift, as they require almost zero care.

Hibiscus: Tropical and Showy

For a tropical touch to your garden, consider the hibiscus. This plant brings bold, vibrant colors and is fairly easy to care for, making it one of the best garden plants for beginners. Remember that they need plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil to thrive.

Jasminum Sambac: Fragrant and Attractive to Pollinators

Also known as Arabian Jasmine, this plant is appreciated for its fragrant flowers. It’s a great choice not only for its beauty and scent but also because it plays a crucial role in attracting pollinators.

Plumeria: Exotic and Colorful

Plumeria, often associated with Hawaiian leis, is an exotic addition to any garden. Their flowers are stunning and highly decorative, coming in a variety of colors. They require full sun and grow best in well-drained soil.

Bougainvilleas: Vibrant and Drought-Tolerant

If you’re looking for plants that can handle heat and drought, bougainvilleas are an excellent choice. Their vibrant colors can light up any space. They’re also quite versatile and can be trained as a bush, a vine, or a cascading plant in a hanging basket.

At Liberty Landscape, we understand the local climate and can help you choose the best and most suitable plants for your specific situation. Our goal is to help you create a garden that not only looks stunning but also feels in harmony with the rest of your backyard.

Rule 5: Use Companion Planting for a Healthy Garden

In our quest for the best garden plants, understand not just the individual needs of each plant, but also how plants can work together to create a healthier, more vibrant garden. This strategy is called companion planting, and it’s a natural way to enhance your garden’s productivity and beauty.

Understanding Companion Planting

Companion planting is a gardening technique where certain plants are grown together because they complement each other in some way, whether it’s enhancing growth, deterring pests, or attracting beneficial insects. This method is a natural and sustainable way to maintain a healthy garden, as plants help each other grow instead of competing for resources.

When implementing companion planting, understand the needs and characteristics of each plant. This includes their growth habits, light and water requirements, and their potential pests and diseases.

Successful Companion Planting Examples

When it comes to companion planting, there are numerous successful examples to draw inspiration from. For instance, beans, carrots, and corn make a great team. Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, which benefits corn, a heavy feeder. Carrots, on the other hand, can grow in the shade of the taller plants.

Another example is the classic combination of tomatoes and basil. Basil helps repel pests that are attracted to tomatoes, and some gardeners swear that it even improves the flavor of the tomatoes.

Moreover, peas and cucumbers can be planted together as well. Peas also fix nitrogen in the soil, which cucumbers can benefit from. Just remember that cucumbers prefer more sun than peas, so plant your rows accordingly to ensure both get the right amount of light.

These are just a couple of examples of how companion planting can enhance your garden. The possibilities are practically endless, and part of the fun is discovering combinations that work best for your specific garden conditions.

A well-planned garden can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run, and can result in a healthier, more vibrant outdoor space.

Rule 6: Consider Seasonal Changes for a Year-Round Lush Garden

One of the keys to having a lush garden all year round is to consider the changing seasons. By selecting a range of plants that bloom at different times, you can ensure your garden remains vibrant and colorful regardless of the time of year. Let’s take a look at some of the best garden plants for each season.

Spring-Flowering Bulbs for Early Color

Spring is the season of renewal, and what better way to welcome it than with a burst of color in your garden? Spring-flowering bulbs like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are perfect for adding that early splash of color. They’re easy to plant, require minimal maintenance, and can survive the winter in the ground, making them a fantastic option for any garden.

Summer Flowers for Heat Tolerance

As the weather heats up, you need plants that can handle the heat. Sun-loving plants like Geraniums and Hostas are excellent choices that can thrive in full sunlight. Geraniums are particularly drought-tolerant, while Hostas are versatile and come in an assortment of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them one of the best garden plants for summer (House Beautiful).

Fall Flowers for Late-Season Interest

When the weather starts to cool down, it doesn’t mean your garden has to lose its charm. Fall flowers like Japanese anemones or ornamental grasses can create an evocative texture and add color to your garden. Ornamental grasses, for example, can draw the eye up in the garden and create movement, making them a great choice for autumn.

Winter Plants for Structural Interest

Winter doesn’t have to mean a barren garden. There are many plants that can provide structural interest during the colder months. Evergreen shrubs like holly or boxwood can provide a sense of weight and permanence, while winter-flowering plants like winter jasmine can add a splash of color to an otherwise dull winter landscape.


Recap of the Rules for a Lush Garden

Throughout this article, we’ve walked you through the essentials of choosing the best garden plants to create a lush, vibrant, and sustainable yard. The journey of designing your perfect garden is an exciting one, filled with discovering the unique personalities of each plant and understanding how they can transform your outdoor space.

We’ve explored how understanding a plant’s specific needs, including hardiness zones and sunlight and water requirements, is key to its successful growth. We’ve also highlighted the value of low-maintenance plants such as geraniums, hostas, sedums, coralbells, and weigelas for a thriving garden.

We delved into the benefits of incorporating vegetable plants like tomatoes, peppers, beans, lettuce, and cucumbers to enhance the functionality of your garden. We’ve discussed the beauty and fragrance that flowers like roses, hibiscus, Jasminum Sambac, plumeria, and bougainvilleas can add to your garden, making it a feast for the senses.

We’ve also touched on the strategic approach of using companion planting to promote a healthier garden, and how considering the seasonal changes can ensure a year-round lush garden.

Encouragement for Personalized Garden Creation

Your garden is a reflection of you. It should resonate with your personality and passions. Whether you’re a food lover with a penchant for fresh produce, a relaxation seeker who desires a tranquil oasis, or a social butterfly who loves to host gatherings, your garden can be designed to cater to your unique lifestyle and preferences.

This guide has given you the foundational knowledge to get started, but the beauty of gardening is that there are always new things to learn and new plants to discover. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new!

Through our personalized approach, we can help you navigate potential problem areas in your property and create a landscape that truly reflects your personal style and meets your outdoor living needs.

Ready to take the next step in your gardening journey? We can’t wait to help you bring your vision to life! Explore our gallery for inspiration, or contact us today to start planning your dream garden.

lush garden - best garden plants