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Low Maintenance Landscaping Ideas

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Since I’m always looking for faster, easier ways to do everything, when it comes to curb appeal, I’m all for low maintenance landscaping. I want a yard I don’t have to spend hours each week grooming.

Exterior of home with simple landscaping elements

If you happen to have a green thumb and love to spend time outdoors planting, trimming, and nurturing plants, really enjoy yard work, or if you need expert tips on how to revive your lawn, this post is not for you.

These landscape ideas are for those of us who love the polished look of beautiful walkways and decorative flower beds. We just don’t want to devote our lives to maintaining our outdoor living space.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a beautiful yard? The only problem is that you don’t have a lot of time or energy to invest in the upkeep.

The good news is you don’t have to. There are so many low maintenance options for landscape design that will give your home gorgeous curb appeal without breaking your back.

Minimal Maintenance Mulch

Mulch is an excellent way to keep weeds at bay and prevent erosion. And some, like cedar bark, are great at repelling insects too.

Unfortunately, traditional mulch requires regular replacement which takes a lot of time, hard work, and money.

Save yourself the annual hassle by using an alternative that stands the test of time. Clean out your garden beds and put down a weed barrier, then fill it with one of these options:

front yard landscaping with weed barrier being installed

Rubber Mulch

There are a few reasons why rubber mulch is best. First of all, it’s a great way to recycle. Second, it’s safe for pets. Lastly, it lasts for years.

With regular mulch, you’ll have to replace it each year. Talk about a waste of money.

Gravel

Like rubber mulch, gravel is a great low maintenance alternative to traditional mulch since it won’t need to be replaced very often. And there are so many varieties!

close up of gravel landscaping with two small bushes

You have dozens of options when it comes to color, size, shape, and texture. River rock and polished pebbles are popular choices, but head to your local landscaping materials center to see all your options.

This is as close to no maintenance landscaping as you can get. 

Ground Cover

Trees and bushes are popular for landscaping because they create big visual appeal. The trick is to choose ones that don’t require hours of trimming, pruning, and special treatment.

Simply planting some evergreens around your home can give your curb appeal an instant boost. Plus you get the added bonus of having trees to decorate during the holidays.

Evergreens

Evergreens are a wonderful investment. With evergreens, your home can look beautiful, even in the dead of winter. Evergreens can be expensive but are well worth the money.

iron fence outside wall of evergreen trees with bushes outside the fence

Tolerant, Easy to Maintain Trees

For added dimension and a more diverse look, there are other trees that are super easy to maintain. For example, the silver birch has a beautiful white bark and grows well in a variety of conditions.

If you like flowering trees, opt for Magnolia (which also has beautiful, shiny leaves) or Crape Myrtle.

close up of magnolia flower on tree

Low Maintenance Shrubs

Low maintenance shrubs are an excellent option for those who want to add beauty to their landscaping without the need for constant attention. These types of shrubs require minimal pruning, watering, and fertilization. 

Some popular low maintenance shrubs include boxwood, juniper, and yew. Boxwood is a great choice for hedges and borders, while juniper is ideal for ground cover and erosion control. 

woman's hands tending boxwood bush

Yew is a versatile shrub that can be used as a specimen plant or in a mixed border. Other low maintenance shrubs include viburnum, spirea, and barberry. These shrubs are also resistant to pests and diseases, making them an even better option for those who want a hassle-free landscape. 

Add Hardscaping

Do you hate mowing? Then why not turn part of your yard into a patio? A large section of hardscaping can make it so much easier to get your weekly mowing done.

decorative brick patio with bricks arranged in circular pattern

You can use concrete, asphalt, brick, pavers, or even stones. This will be a hefty investment, but it will save you so much work in the future.

Consider creating a rock garden. By incorporating different sizes, shapes, and color, these can have as much visual appeal as a traditional flower bed.

Choose the Right Flowers and Foliage

Nothing enhances curb appeal like colorful, beautiful flowers. Plus, they often attract butterflies and bees to make your yard or garden even more interesting.

There are also several low maintenance plants that work well in landscaping. Succulents, for instance, are a good option as they require minimal watering and can thrive in various soil types.

close up of succulent garden

Plant ornamental grasses if you want to add a low maintenance option that has beautiful texture and movement to a garden or yard. Just make sure to consider the climate and sun exposure so you can choose plants that will thrive in your specific environment. Stick with native plants, if you can.

If your yard has a lot of shade, or even just partial shade, there are low maintenance shade plants that will provide stunning foliage, unique flowers, and vibrant colors. 

Pick Perennials for True Low Maintenance

Perennials are great because you plant them once and get to enjoy them for years afterward. These are the anchor of low maintenance flower beds.

Some perennials require coddling to keep them coming back year after year. Others don’t need any help at all. Great examples include:

daffodils in landscaping with rock border

Do your research and find the best low maintenance perennials for your region.

Integrate Annuals with Intention

While annuals only last a season, you have many more to choose from if you go this route. Plus, most won’t need special care during the season so once you’ve planted them, you can leave them alone.

Some excellent annuals for your garden that require minimal effort are:

  • Zinnias
  • Marigolds
  • Pansies
  • Snapdragons
  • Geraniums

Consider Artificial Grass

Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to consider artificial grass . Artificial turf has come a long, long way. Most people can’t tell the difference in an expensive turf and real grass.

Best of all, it’s very low maintenance. Just hose it off every now and then and you’re good to go.

This is a great option for pet owners who hate brown spots. The urine will flow through the turf and other messes are easier to pick up from artificial turf. 

Hose it down once a day and you’re done. Lawn maintenance doesn’t get any easier than this!

More Low Maintenance Ideas

Above I’ve shared some of my favorite easy landscaping ideas for you lawn and garden. If you’re looking for even more ideas, consider going the natural route. Install a good landscaping border and fill the space with wild flowers or ground cover flowers or other native plants.

You don’t have to invest a lot of time and energy to make your yard gorgeous. There are so many front and back yard landscaping ideas that don’t involve a ton of time and effort to maintain but still provide you with a beautiful lawn.

Best of all, after the initial work and investment, you’re pretty much free to spend your time doing the things you love. Does it get any better than that?

More Ideas for Easy Yard Care

If you love having a beautiful yard, but also have other things you like to spend your time and energy on, search the entire library of low maintenance landscaping tips:

25 thoughts on “Low Maintenance Landscaping Ideas”

  1. Thank you for the low-maintenance landscaping suggestions. Could you offer a time-saving suggestion that doesn’t diminish the beauty of the surroundings?

    Reply
  2. I am in the process of cleaning up my yard and making the landscaping easier to care for. This article was so helpful and gave me a lot of great things to think about. We just got our dumpster rental so we can get started. I hope mine turns out as good as yours!

    Reply
    • I’m so glad my article was an inspiration to you. Thanks for commenting and letting me know. Enjoy working on your yard!

      Reply
  3. Exploring low-maintenance landscaping ideas has been a game-changer for my outdoor space. From choosing drought-tolerant plants to incorporating mulch and automated irrigation systems, I’ve created a beautiful landscape that requires minimal upkeep. These ideas have allowed me to enjoy my yard more and less time maintaining it.

    Reply
    • That’s great! Thanks for sharing with us that you’ve been able to make low-maintenance landscaping work for you.

      Reply
  4. We just moved to Florida and have a small yard I want to beautify but I don’t have time to maintain, the last owner had a million plants they killed, enough to fill a small dumpster rental, so that made me a little nervous about my abilities to grow things here! Thank you for sharing these ideas, I’m making my husband take me to the plant nursery tomorrow!

    Reply
  5. I enjoyed reading this even though I garden a lot. One thing I will say is that rubber mulch is expensive and if you get much rain, snow or wind rubber mulch will disappear. It’s like it bounces away. I would stick to products that will feed the soil like a good mulch. Your plants will thank you which does lead to less work in the end. Healthy soil equals healthy plants which is less work.

    Reply
    • I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for the suggestion about using a different kind of mulch if needed due to weather conditions. I’m sure my readers will appreciate the tip, especially since you mentioned “less work.”

      Reply
  6. We are starting to plan a big landscaping project, and this post is super inspirational. We are going through our to-do list and once our dumpster rental gets here next week we will get started!

    Reply
    • I’m glad this post is an inspiration for your landscaping project. Have fun working on your yard! Thanks for commenting.

      Reply
  7. Wildflower! I planted them 4 years ago and they look great and come back every season. I pull them up once a year and clean out the bed. That’s it. That’s all I do for 12 months.

    Reply
    • Wildflowers are wonderful! That’s great that they’re so easy to maintain, and you don’t have to buy more every year.

      Reply
  8. Love some ideas! Live in San Diego area (92084) so zone 10. Have a pool that has a varied 3ft – 4 ft area to the fence on the back side of the pool Like Zosta’s but I think they have to have shade and we really don’t get that there until 6pm. Can’t have any flowers or things that Bees like (grandson allergic). Could so some grasses. Got any ideas????
    I tried to attach a picture but I couldn’t 🙁

    Reply
    • You can use artificial turf, or succulents. There are lots of succulents that don’t produce flowers. You can put down a weed barrier, then maybe some bark or river rocks, even making them in a path to look like a river, and have some succulents all around.

      Reply
  9. Our house in Tampa Florida faces the north so in the afternoon it gets intense sunlight.
    Suggestions on plants that survive?
    We want to upgrade our curb appeal and would love help.

    Reply
  10. Beware rubber mulch….over time soil and leaves gets on top of it…..same problem with weed block cover. My garden is only about ten yrs old but areas where weed block fabric were put down is very difficult to redo or add plants……it never breaks down and eventually weeds grow on top and even thru it and then you have to cut thru it….it’s still there after 15 yrs.

    Reply
  11. I gave a slope ( bank) in my backyard that I want interest on. Rather not just have flat ground cover. Also, I broke. My year a couple years ago sliding down so as I’m getting older don’t want something up there that needs trimming or deadheading. Any bushes or plants you can think of to make it pretty? Oh by the way , morning sun shade in afternoon, terrible soil although I’ve been adding gypsum and conditioners to it. Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Excellent Article! The tips you have mentioned in this article for low maintenance landscaping ideas are impressive. Thanks for sharing valuable information!

    Reply
  13. Hi,

    This year I planted six Gaura and I am not so happy with the amount of flowers. They get much sun and water?

    What do you think?

    Reply
    • How’s the drainage where you have them planted? They don’t love wet soil so that might be interfering with their growth.

      Reply

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