Plants — published on March 5, 2008

Five easy-care plants

No need to sweat it this summer. These plants will provide colour for most of the season, don’t need deadheading, are drought tolerant, and are resistant to pests and disease. And all but the petunia will grow in poor to average soil.

Five easy-care plants

1 Hardy geraniums

Not to be confused with your grandmother’s windowsill Pelargoniums. New hybrids of these perennials bloom continuously from early summer to autumn. Look for cultivars like ‘Ann Folkard,’ ‘Okey Dokey,’ ‘Purple Pillow’ and ‘Rozanne’ for their dependable floral display. (Perennial, part shade to full sun.)

2 Zebra grass

A striking, non-invasive grass “striped” with horizontal gold bands. Hardy to -30°C. A fast grower that adds instant architecture. (Perennial, part shade to full sun.)

3 The ‘wave’ petunia series

Available as single- or double-blooming plants in a wide range of colours, each plant can spread to one metre in width. Blooms don’t go soggy after rainfall like old-fashioned petunias. (Annual, part shade to full sun.)

4 Daylily

Many new, large-flowered, multicoloured cultivars are available (avoid the old-fashioned orange daylily as it’s invasive). Buy an assortment of early-, middle- and late-blooming varieties to keep the show going all season. (Perennial, part shade to full sun.)

5 Yew

The most forgiving of all shrubs because it will grow almost anywhere, including dark corners where nothing else will survive. Doesn’t require frequent pruning. Bonus: provides deep green colour with red berries in winter. (Evergreen, shade.)