So, you’ve never muddied your hands with garden soil. You can never remember what a perennial is. You’ve drowned or deprived all your past plants. Do not despair. Below is a list of some of the hardiest, low-maintenance plants you can put in the ground. These, according to the experts, are harder to kill than cultivate. Once rooted, these toughies are here to stay. Of course, as with all plants you’re thinking of adding, be sure they’re not invasive. (For a list of some of those, see our Web Exclusive at


Mints don’t need much. These aromatic, cocktail fresheners will do just fine in moist, well drained mulch and moderate sunlight. Fast growing and bushy, by summertime you’ll have ample mint for mojitos.


Sunflowers love sunshine, stretching their bright, happy faces up to 15 feet above the soil. Adaptable to various soils, sunflowers require heavy, infrequent watering, enjoying constant, direct sunlight. Keep the soil drained and your sunflower will flourish.


Begonias are made in the shade. With only the slightest bit of sunlight, this flower will brighten the darker regions of your garden. The hotter the area, the shadier begonias like it, enjoying an occasional misting of water.


Whether it’s one daffodil or a hundred, little work is needed to appease these low-maintenance beauties. Plant them in autumn and they’ll bloom by early spring. Leave them as a sea of color in your garden or trim them to decorate your home.


Neglect your plants? Never water them? Cosmos are the way to go. With a lackadaisical sprinkling of seeds, these pretty little flowers will sprout every year, attracting birds, bees and hummingbirds.


With a name that covers thousands of flowering species, morning glories untwist their leaves like a phonograph, spreading up and down gardens in silent symphony. Only needing water in dry periods, these garden explorers are good to go.


As Washington state’s flower, the rhododendron takes many forms and colors. Plant them in acidic soil, where they’ll get direct sunlight for part of the day. Once they’re planted the right way, rhododendrons are relatively low maintenance, showing their gratitude in thick, green leaves and vivid blooms.


Plant this aromatic shrub somewhere in full sunlight with space to grow round and tall. Nature will do the rest.


Their wide, moth-shaped flowers grow clustered and in a variety of colors, sometimes many in unison. Indifferent to the soil used, Hydrangeas bloom mid-summer to fall, when many other plants don’t.


A strong and vivacious winter plant, this mahonia hybrid will show its bright colors in rich plumes. Once planted it will hold its own, regardless of soil, sunlight or water conditions.


Daylily petals look as if they were painted by an artist, with vivid colors. They blend and complement. And when they tuck their heads after first bloom, fret not. Daylilies bloom twice, no matter the conditions.


Water and the occasional fertilizer is all you’ll need to make Impatiens thrive in your garden. Their heart shaped petals grow taller when planted together and numerous if their seed pouch is popped.

The roots are in. And while you don’t need to helicopter-parent your plants to maturity, be sure to check in with them from time to time. Show them some love. Enjoy the aromas, the bees and the birds, and sprinkle in some water here and there. Your plants will do just fine. And congratulations. You’re a gardener.