Organic Gardening

11 Low Maintenance Flowering Bushes Infront of Your House

As the summer season draws near, you might be looking to spend more time in your garden. Gardening has many benefits both for your mental health and the environment, providing shelter and food to pollinators and wildlife. 

If you’re like me and pretty active in the summer, you want plants that require little to no maintenance and can still look great. 

Spirea Flowers infront of house
Spirea Flowers infront of house

Here’s a list of the top 11 low-maintenance flowers that bloom all summer and sometimes into the fall. All of these require little upkeep as long as they’re planted in the right environment. 

Whether you’re interested in adding some Cape Jasmine or a stunning Butterfly Bush to your garden this summer, here’s a handy guide to taking care of them: 


1. Cape Jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides)

Cape Jasmine
Cape Jasmine

Gardenia jasminoides, also known as Cape Jasmine, is an easy plant to care for. 

It prefers full sun, however, it can tolerate (and should receive) some mild shade so the leaves don’t get too scorched. If they do, the leaves could fall off and they won’t look good during their normal blooming season. 

If you’re fertilizing your plant, you should avoid using anything that contains too much nitrogen. This can affect the number of blooms it has. 

Here’s a helpful guide to planting Cape Jasmine in your garden: 

Botanical Name:  Gardenia jasminoides
Growth Rate:  Up to 6’ tall and wide
Native Range:  China
Hardiness Zones: 8-11
Dangers: Toxic to household pets and wildlife
Soil Needs:  Rich, moist, well-draining soil
Exposure: Partial shade to full sun
Ease of Care: Low-maintenance
Diseases: Leaf spot, sooty mold, powdery mildew, and anthracnose
Propagation: Divide plant during the summer
Fertilizer: Fertilize in early spring and then once a month through early summer.
Pests: Spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, and scales
Blooming Period: If planted in a warm climate, all year long; if planted in cooler areas, the blooming period is between late spring – early summer
Pruning: If plant has grown to 6’, trim down to 5’ feet after the flowers stop blooming
Water needs: Water when the soil has completely dried out
Cape Jasmine Growing Guide Chart

2. Azalea (Rhododendron)

Azalea
Azalea

Did you know that certain species of Azalea can grow up to 20’ tall? While most Azalea bushes stay at around 4-6’ tall, don’t be surprised to see this beautiful flower take off. 

Though it is relatively easy to care for, you have to be mindful of how much sun exposure it’s getting. 

Despite preferring full sun, too much sun exposure can actually burn the leaves. To offset this, it’s recommended that you add mulch to wherever you’re planting your Azalea plant. 

If you’re ready to get started, here’s a helpful Azalea care guide: 

Botanical Name:  Rhododendron
Growth Rate:  Up to 20’ tall
Native Range:  North America
Hardiness Zones: 6-9
Dangers: Non-toxic by touch, but can be deadly if swallowed in small amounts
Soil Needs:  Moist, well-draining soil 
Exposure: Full sun and partial shade
Ease of Care: Low-maintenance
Diseases: Flower blight
Propagation: Propagate in either late spring or early summer
Fertilizer: Apply fertilizer once a year as soon as the flowers bloom
Pests: Leaf miners and lace bugs
Blooming Period: Spring – fall
Pruning: Prune once the flowers are finished blooming
Water needs: If planted in a warm climate, water 1-2 times a week; if planted in a cool climate, water 2-3 times a month
Azalea Growing Guide Chart

3. Spirea ‘Little Princess’ (Spiraea japonica)

Spirea Little Princess
Spirea “Little Princess

One of the reasons why gardeners love Spirea is because it changes colors over the season, ranging in a variety of colors including pink, red, and purple flowers, and green or blue leaves. As such, Spirea is a huge show-stopper. 

Keep in mind that, even though it is low maintenance, you’ll have to make sure it has the right conditions to grow in to prevent disease and pests, which Spirea is highly susceptible to. 

In fact, spireas are susceptible to many of the diseases and insects that attack other rose family members, including leaf spot, fire blight, powdery mildew, root rot, aphids, leaf roller, and scale.” 

You can combat these by making sure the plant always has well-draining soil and full sun. Here’s a helpful guide to keeping your Spirea alive and thriving: 

Botanical Name:  Spiraea japonica
Growth Rate:  Up to 6’ tall and up tp 7’ wide
Native Range:  Japan
Hardiness Zones: 3-8
Dangers: Non-toxic
Soil Needs:  Well-draining loam
Exposure: Full sun
Ease of Care: Low-maintenance
Diseases: Powdery mildew, leaf spot, and fire blight
Propagation: Divide plant in the summer
Fertilizer: Fertilize once a year in the fall after the leaves have fallen off
Pests: Scale and aphids
Blooming Period: Early – mid-summer
Pruning: Prune plant back after the flowers have bloomed
Water needs: Water once a week during the summer, then to keep the soil consistently moist
Spirea “Little Princess” Growing Guide Chart

4. Meyer Lilac (Syringa meyeri)

Meyer Lilac
Meyer Lilac

These gorgeous flowers are great for attracting pollinators to your garden, which can help everything else grow. 

In addition to this, they are simply gorgeous to look at with their large pink and purple blooms. Plus, they can grow up to an impressive 8’ tall and 10’ wide, so they’re perfect to be used as garden borders or on the front/side of your house for decor. 

Keep in mind that the Meyer Lilac can fall victim to a common fungal disease called Verticillium dahliae. Once it does, there’s no way to cure it. 

However, you can combat it by regularly pruning the plant and making sure it has the right conditions to grow, including full sun and developing a root system in rich, well-draining soil. 

Here’s what you need to know about taking care of Meyer Lilac: 

Botanical Name:  Syringa meyeri
Growth Rate:  Up to 8’ tall and up tp 10’ wide
Native Range:  Europe and Asia
Hardiness Zones: 3-7
Dangers: Non-toxic
Soil Needs:  Rich, well-draining soil
Exposure: Full sun
Ease of Care: Low-maintenance
Diseases: Verticillium dahliae, leaf spot, and powdery mildew
Propagation: Divide the plant in the summer when there is new growth
Fertilizer: Fertilize in the early spring when the plant starts to grow
Pests: Scale
Blooming Period: Spring – summer
Pruning: Prune your plant as soon as it’s done flowering
Water needs: Water once every 10-14 days while the flowers are blooming, then the plant only needs water when the soil is dry
Meyer Lilac Growing Guide Chart

5. Chinese Fringe Flower (Loropetalum chinense)

Chinese Fringe Flower
Chinese Fringe Flower

This evergreen shrub with bright reddish-pink flowers makes the perfect centerpiece of your garden or when planted up against your fence. Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to grow and will require very little upkeep from you. 

In fact, the Chinese Fringe Flower is called this because the petals are very stringy, similar to the way fringe looks. 

In regards to proper care, it’s recommended that you add mulch around the plant’s roots to help combat weed growth. 

Furthermore, they require little to no pruning because they naturally develop a pretty shape. However, if you want to prune your Chinese Fringe Flower, do so either in the spring or fall. 

Here’s an overview of how to care for the Chinese Fringe Flower: 

Botanical Name:  Loropetalum chinense
Growth Rate:  Up to 15’ wide
Native Range:  Asia
Hardiness Zones: 7-9
Dangers: Non-toxic
Soil Needs:  Rich, well-draining soil 
Exposure: Partial to full sun
Ease of Care: Low-maintenance
Diseases: Root rot and anthracnose
Propagation: Divide plant in either the spring or summer
Fertilizer: Apply a slow-release fertilize once in the spring if you wish to do so, otherwise fertilizer is not required unless planted in poor soil 
Pests: Spider mites
Blooming Period: Spring
Pruning: Not required
Water needs: Only water once every 2 weeks if you live in an area with little rainfall 
Chinese Fringe Growing Guide Chart

6. Dwarf Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)

Dwarf Virginia Sweetspire
Dwarf Virginia Sweetspire

One of the most interesting things about the Dwarf Virginia Sweetspire is that it can actually grow really well in wet, swampy areas. 

In fact, it’s not uncommon to find this plant growing in heavily forested areas or near streams. So, if you live in or near wetlands, this would be an excellent plant to add to your garden. 

While this plant requires little pruning, if you do so, make sure not to remove more than 30% of the top, as this will stunt growth the following season. 

Here’s everything you need to know about caring for the Dwarf Virginia Sweetspire: 

Botanical Name:  Itea virginica
Growth Rate:  Up to 10’ tall 
Native Range:  United States
Hardiness Zones: 5-9
Dangers: Non-toxic
Soil Needs:  Moist, well-draining soil 
Exposure: Full sun and part shade
Ease of Care: Low-maintenance
Diseases: Not applicable
Propagation: Divide plant in either in late spring or late summer
Fertilizer: Apply fertilizer during the spring
Pests: Not applicable
Blooming Period: Early spring – early summer
Pruning: Prune the plant after the flowers have bloomed 
Water needs: Water once a week while growing, then regularly to keep the soil moist
Dwarf Virginia Sweetspire Growing Guide Chart

7. Camellia (Camellia japonica)

Camellia
Camellia

If you plant Camellia in your garden, the good news is that you can expect the flowers to bloom again next year. These plants typically bloom for a full four weeks anytime between March and October, depending on several factors such as location. 

When in bloom, you’ll be able to enjoy small circular, red flowers that look very close to roses. These are stunning flowers that thrive in well-draining, slightly acidic soil conditions. 

Here’s everything you need to know about taking care of these flowers: 

Botanical Name:  Camellia japonica
Growth Rate:  Up to 12’ tall 
Native Range:  Japan and China
Hardiness Zones: 6-10
Dangers: Non-toxic
Soil Needs:  Well-drained, acidic soil 
Exposure: A mix of full sun and partial shade
Ease of Care: Low-maintenance
Diseases: Leaf blight and root rot
Propagation: Divide plant in the summer
Fertilizer: Fertilize once in spring and summer 
Pests: Caterpillars, scales, aphids, and spider mites
Blooming Period: Early spring – fall 
Pruning: Trim the plant after the flowers have finished blooming
Water needs: Water once a week if there is no rainfall, then water every other week all other times
Camellia Growing Guide Chart

8. Peony (Paeonia)

Peony
Peony

Everyone loves peonies and for good reason – they are absolutely gorgeous and super easy to care for, making them the best flowers for beginning gardeners. 

They do best when exposed to a minimum of six hours of sun per day, as well as being planted in very rich, well-draining soil. 

Here’s how to care for these stunning flowers: 

Botanical Name:  Paeonia
Growth Rate:  Up to 3’ tall and up to 4’ wide
Native Range:  North America
Hardiness Zones: 3-7
Dangers: Toxic
Soil Needs:  Fertile, well-draining soil 
Exposure: Partial sun
Ease of Care: Low-maintenance
Diseases: Botrytis blight
Propagation: Divide the plant during the fall 
Fertilizer: Fertilize once in the spring before new growth emerges and then again in the fall 
Pests: Hoplia beetles
Blooming Period: Spring and early summer
Pruning: Trim in the fall when the blooms have died
Water needs: Water when the soil has dried out
Peony Growing Guide Chart

9. Summersweet Clethra (Clethra alnifolia)

Summersweet Clethra
Summersweet Clethra

The Summersweet Clethra is a visually-stunning plant with tall cone-like flowers that bloom either pink or white. 

Though it can withstand shade and full sun, it will bloom best when it gets partial sun, especially if it’s growing in a warmer climate. 

Check out this helpful care guide below: 

Botanical Name:  Clethra alnifolia
Growth Rate:  Up to 6’ tall and wide
Native Range:  United States
Hardiness Zones: 3-9
Dangers: Non-toxic
Soil Needs:  Well-draining, acidic clay 
Exposure: Partial sun
Ease of Care: Low-maintenance
Diseases: Pseudocercospora leaf spot
Propagation: Divide plants in early summer
Fertilizer: Apply a slow-release fertilizer in early spring
Pests: Spider mites
Blooming Period: Late summer
Pruning: Not required
Water needs: Water so the soil is consistently moist, but not soaking wet
Summersweet Clethra Growing Guide Chart

10. Butterfly Bush (Buddleja)

Butterfly Bush 1
Butterfly Bush

As the name suggests, Butterfly Bushes commonly attract butterflies due to their nectar. If you’re thinking of planting this low-maintenance bush, be prepared that it can get pretty big – up to 12 feet tall! 

It only really needs watering once a week while the roots are being established. This process usually takes about a year. After that, the plant requires little upkeep, as it rarely suffers disease or pest infestation. 

Here’s how to take care of your newly-planted Butterfly bush: 

Botanical Name:  Buddleja
Growth Rate:  Up to 12’ tall 
Native Range:  China
Hardiness Zones: 5-10
Dangers: Non-toxic
Soil Needs:  Well-draining, moist soil 
Exposure: Full sun
Ease of Care: Low-maintenance
Diseases: Phytophthora
Propagation: Propagate either in the spring or early summer
Fertilizer: Fertilize once in early spring, late spring, and early summer
Pests: Spider mites and aphids
Blooming Period: Summer – early fall 
Pruning: Trim the plant in the spring once new growth appears
Water needs: Water once a week until roots are established
Butterfly Bush Growing Guide Chart

11. Hydrangea (Hydrangeaceae)

Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas

These low light plants have different colored flowers depending on the type of soil they’re grown in. 

If you want pretty pink blossoms, be sure to plant them in soil that has a pH of 6.5 or higher. For blue blooms, plant in acidic soil with a pH of 5.5 or lower. 

Hydrangea makes gorgeous additions to any landscape, especially due to how big they get. Here’s what you need to know about caring for them: 

Botanical Name:  Hydrangeaceae
Growth Rate:  Up to 12’ tall
Native Range:  United States
Hardiness Zones: 3-7
Dangers: Toxic
Soil Needs:  Heavy clay that has organic compost added to it, but they can adapt to different types of soil 
Exposure: Partial sun
Ease of Care: Low-maintenance
Diseases: Cercospora leaf spot and botrytis blight
Propagation: Propagate plant between spring and late summer
Fertilizer: Fertilize in early spring
Pests: Black vine weevils, Japanese beetles, aphids, and deer
Blooming Period: Mid-spring to early fall 
Pruning: Prune just above the bud in either spring or late winter
Water needs: Water 3 times a week until deep roots are established; water in the morning, where possible
Hydrangeas Growing Guide Chart

Final Thoughts

All of the plants mentioned here are going to bloom all summer long, as well as the following season. Creating the garden of your dreams is possible with this list of incredibly low maintenance plants. 

With this helpful guide, you’ll be on your way to manifesting the perfect garden and landscape this summer season. 



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