If you’ve tried gardening before and all your plants simply withered and died despite your best efforts, it’s worth giving it another shot. After all, studies show that gardening is great for boosting mental health, and has been linked to increased longevity.
Now that you've got all the tools you need to get your garden growing, here are 12 plants that are so easy to grow, even a beginner gardener can manage them.
Hostas are an excellent plant for the novice gardener, and are available in dozens of color combinations and leaf patterns. They’re also available in sizes ranging from miniature to gigantic, and tolerate nearly any soil condition, making them suitable for a variety of spaces. The most exciting part about hostas, however, is the showy sprays of fragrant white or lavender flowers they produce towards the end of summer. Hostas will thrive in partial or full sun, with regular waterings. They are prone to attracting slugs and snails, which can easily be managed by scattering iron phosphate pellets around the base of the plants.
Daylilies feature colorful and often fragrant flowers, and easily adapt to a wide range of soil conditions. They can reach several feet tall, and will come back year after year. One little known fact is that daylily buds are edible! Steam, boil, stir-fry, or eat them right off the plant.
Marigolds are a hardy flower, and are often used as a companion plant in vegetable gardens to help keep away pests such as insects and stray cats. They are available in shades of yellow, orange, and red, and thrive in areas with full sun.
Like hostas, sedum are another hardy plant family that comes in a wide range of sizes, colors, and varieties. Low-growing varieties provide excellent ground cover, while taller-growing versions make for pretty back borders in flower beds. All they really need is some well-drained soil and a lot of sunlight to thrive.
Trailing pansies provide a pretty pop of color into the cooler fall months, and will bloom and grow again as soon as the snow melts. They can be grown in containers or in the ground, and are best-suited in areas with full to partial sun.
The petunia is an exceptionally hardy plant, and can even withstand an occasional trampling from kids or pets. They are drought-tolerant, which means if you forget to water them for a day or two (or go away for the weekend), they’ll be just fine. They bloom from spring until fall, and do well in areas with full sun to partial shade with well-drained soil.
Impatiens might need to be planted each year, but they are prolific bloomers that make a nice border in the garden. They can also be grown in pots indoors for a punch of color during the dreary winter months. Ensure they have enough water if you’re planting them in full sun, otherwise they also thrive in areas with partial to full shade.
This easy-to-grow plant features edible leaves and flowers, and is available in plenty of vibrant colors. Nasturtiums grow quickly and easily, and make an excellent addition to a cut flower arrangement with their pleasant scent. They require well-drained soil in full sun, but will still grow in partial shade -- just with fewer blooms. They actually prefer poor quality soil, so you don’t have to add any fancy manures or fertilizers for them to grow well.
Goldenrod gets a bad rap for triggering seasonal allergies, but the blame should really rest with ragweed, which blooms around the same time. Adding a few goldenrod plants to your garden will bring a blaze of color at the end of summer when everything else is beginning to die off. They prefer full sun to light shade with moderate watering, and grow about 1.5-3 feet tall and about 2 feet wide.
When it comes to edibles, herbs are one of the easiest things to grow. In fact, they often grow so well that you might want to consider keeping them in pots rather than planting directly in the ground, as some herbs, such as mint, can quickly take over your entire garden plot if you’re not careful. As a rule, most prefer well-drained soil and full to partial sun.
Beans are a staple of nearly every vegetable garden and for good reason -- they don’t require a ton of space, produce well, and are versatile in the kitchen. Bush varieties are better for black thumbs, as they don’t require support, need less maintenance throughout the growing season, and produce earlier than pole varieties.
Generally speaking, greens like Swiss chard and kale are great for beginner gardeners to grow their confidence in the garden. Sow seeds in mounds in moist, fertile soil as soon as the chance of frost is over. They need full sun to grow well. Harvest by breaking leaves off at the base. The smaller the leaf the more sweet and tender it will taste.