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10 Easy to Care for Summer Plantings

It’s almost the warmest months of the year, and vibrant, fragrant Minnesota summer flowers will soon be everywhere. However, what do you do if you aren’t known for your gardening expertise? Not everyone is born with the innate knowledge to take care of a garden. Fortunately, there are low-maintenance plants for summer that require little maintenance. And don’t worry, they aren’t succulents! These annuals and perennials will have your Minnesota garden looking summer-ready before you know it.

Low-Maintenance Plants to Add to Your Garden

You can get started adding greenery and color with the following suggestions that are easy to care for throughout a Minnesota summer.  

1. Blazing Star (Liatris)

The lavender blooms on these perennials that are native to marshy areas may not provide the gardener with other flowers’ delicious-smelling aroma. But while they lack fragrance, they make up in their low-maintenance profile. Although they like a marsh, they are also drought tolerant and do well in all soil types. 

The Blazing Star offers lots of return on investment as it blooms tirelessly. The spiky purple flowers and grassy leaves add visual interest to your garden. This flower also boasts a high nectar content, so monarch butterflies and other pollinators, like bees, flock to it.  

2. Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea)

Echinacea has long been used for its medicinal properties to strengthen the immune system and fight viral infections. Now it can add beauty and understated charm to your garden. You can find this sturdy prairie plant in almost any color of the rainbow. Coneflowers will keep your garden beautiful all summer if you trim off the dead flower heads to encourage new blooms. Apart from deadheading, these perennials are relatively self-sufficient.

3. Annual Geranium (Pelargonium)

Annual geraniums are a favorite decorative flower in Minnesota. It should be known that they are not actually “Geraniums” but belong instead to the genus Pelargonium. True Geraniums from the genus Geranium and are planted as perennials in Minnesota. There are over 200 Pelargonium species, and many of those are hybrids. They come in many colors, and leaf varieties and are often potted or hanging.

4. Coral Bells (Heuchera

This beautiful foliage plant got the name of Coral Bells because the original garden variety had tiny bell-shaped flowers. The leaves were pretty, but it was the burst of flowers that caught everyone’s attention. Now, Coral Bells are ​more often grown for the bright and multicolored leaves. The leaves can vary from light lime to deep purple with flecks and spirals thrown in. Expect it to bloom in late spring or early summer. Even though the flowers are relatively tiny, they are a favorite plant to attract hummingbirds.

5. Globe Thistle (Echinops Ritro)

Globe Thistle is a quick-growing, modern-looking flower at home in a cottage garden. Its spherical blue blooms are striking in the summer. Still, unlike other summer flowers, Globe Thistle plants are tolerant to dry soil, deer resistant, and a favorite flower to attract butterflies. While repulsive to curious rabbits and deer, the spiny, spiky leaves also serve an essential role in a wildflower garden by providing a source of food for Painted Lady Butterflies. Globe Thistle is also an attractive flower for drying.

6. Hosta (Hosta)

It doesn’t get much better than a low-maintenance Hosta. If you live in an area with deer, be aware that deer love Hostas. However, a deer repellent can help keep them away from your Hostas and lessen any destruction. Hostas do well in partial shade. However, the golden leaf varieties can take an abundance of sun. Its delicately-shaped purple or white flowers generally bloom in the mid-summer.

7. Peony (Paeonia)

This beloved, old-fashioned perennial thrives on neglect. The heavy double blossoms could require staking if they do not have other plants around to lean on, but the single-flowered varieties are usually okay to stand on their own. The bushy foliage looks charming all season. They should be cut back in the fall, and ants love the nectar on Peonies, but that is as fussy as a Peony gets. There are many varieties of Peonies to suit your landscaping and blooms in late spring or early summer with white, pink, red, or yellow flowers.

8. Catmint (Nepeta)

Catmint is a cousin of Catnip and is just as adaptable and easy to care for but slightly less appealing to cats. Although, it is just as attractive for humans. As a bonus, catmint is one of the best perennials that repels mosquitoes and other unwelcome insects. Catmint thrives best in sunny locations.

Catmint can grow three feet tall and spread out, is simple to maintain, and is resistant to both drought and deer, which can come in handy in variable Minnesota summers. Catmint spreads prolifically, so stay aware of its growth to ensure it does not take over. Catmint easily pairs with other perennials.

9. Petunia (Petunia)

Petunias are fragile perennials in zones 9-11. However, many gardeners grow them as annuals in colder zones, like Minnesota. They tolerate heat well and bloom throughout the growing season. Petunias fill containers, beds, and borders with bright colors. While petunias do grow in partial shade, they prefer full sun, where they will reward you with more blooms. Water them regularly and apply a water-soluble fertilizer according to the instructions on your product’s label. If you cut off the flowers as they begin to die, it will encourage more to come in. 

10. Marigolds (Tagetes)

Marigolds are dependable annuals that are easy to care for and need a sunny spot in your yard or garden with well-drained soil. There are many types of Marigolds, ranging from only a few inches to a few feet tall. Marigolds come in white, yellow, red, orange, and multicolored varieties of those colors. Some people believe that Marigolds help repel insects, so they’re often used in and around vegetable gardens.

Discover the Landscaping Solution for You

You can have a beautiful yard and garden, even if you’ve never had much gardening experience. Whether it’s finding colorful winter plantings or summer flowers that are easy to care for, you can find the best ones for your property. Contact Architectural Landscaping Design and elevate your gardening experience.