Are you a wannabe gardener who almost always kills plants? If so, you probably have heard that there is a term for this condition, “Black Thumb”.
Not to worry. That’s not the end of the world. Good news for you: there are plants that are Godsend to this World to make your life easier and happier. I am talking about low-maintenance and hardy plants that are hard to kill.
First, consider plants that are a little invasive (therefore can withstand the negligence). This includes: vibrant Mexican Petunias (tall and short), fragrant and multicolor Four O’Clocks, beautiful rose Clerodendrum Bungei (Glory Bower), bushy Fire Bush, amazing Passion Vines, Liriope and many others. If you have a very large territory to fill, take a chance with a running bamboo. Just keep in mind that it sends runners fast and can “eat” your yard fast. As an alternative plant the clumping type of bamboo.
Secondly, self-reseeding annuals like Vinca (Periwinkles), Butterfly Weed, Porter Weed will add some desired green presence to your yard and on top of that will welcome butterflies, moths and bees.
Also, try out plants that grow from bulbs (like Amaryllises). All you have to do is plug the bulb into the ground and water it until established and watch it grow. Flowers are breath-taking and long-lasting.
For shady areas, especially under the trees where normally nothing grows, I suggest very forgiving Golden Pothos (Devils Ivy Scindapsus) and Wandering Jew Plant. The first one, Golden Pothos looks amazing when it “climbs” the tree. For some reason, it increases in size tremendously when allowed to grow on trees. The second one looks great as a ground cover. Some types of ferns grow nicely in shaded areas as well. No special care needed as long as your sprinklers work once in a while.
Finally, there are succulents that can live like in desert with minimal water usage. There are many varieties of Cactuses. They come in different shapes and sizes. My favorite is blue Agave, which looks the best in the large open area and Mother-in-Law Tongue, also known as a Snake Plant. It looks great in both containers and as a landscaping feature. By the way, it has a dwarf version too. Another one that deserves attention is called Peruvian Apple Cactus (Night-Blooming Cereus) with the most amazing large flowers that bloom after dark.
If you succeed in “greenizing” your thumb with those simple plants, you can then graduate into growing higher maintenance flowers and plants.
However, if you still manage to kill everything that is hard to kill, as an alternative decorate your yard with the stepping stone that says ““I tried but it died”. At that point, the only plants that can live with you are the fake ones. Just joking.