Low-maintenance shrubs: 6 species that will beautify your garden and require minimal care

by Mark Bennett

May 11, 2024


Do you want to beautify your garden quickly and effortlessly? If you like having greenery at home but don't want to (or can't) dedicate much time to gardening, you do have options...

Chose to cultivate low-maintenance plants and shrubs, which will not be demanding on your time. Below, we list 6 of these plant species:

1. Yew


The common yew is valued for its beautiful dark green, needle-like leaves and bright, red berries. This shrub is suitable for low-maintenance gardens thanks to its slow and compact growth. Yews are widely used as a decorative hedges that do not need pruning.

The yew can thrive in full sunlight or partial shade and requires well-draining soil (watering must be regular but moderate - normal rainfall should be sufficient). 

Be careful handling the berries as they are poisonous and should therefore not be consumed.


2. Dwarf lilac

Captain-tucker/Wikimedia Commons

The dwarf lilac is a compact, medium-sized shrub, which produces abundant, pink-lilac colored flowers. This plant is slow-growing and compact. For these characteristics, the dwarf lilac is particularly suited for setting up hedges and borders and for beautifying small areas in the garden.

It will grow well in full sunlight or partial shade in fertile, well-draining soil.

3. White cedar

F.D. Richards/Flickr

Thuja Occidentalis or White Cedar is a large, evergreen conifer (which also comes in dwarf varieties). Resistant to the cold, white cedar grows best if it gets a few hours of sun a day. It only needs watering the first few years after planting, thereafter, nomral rainfall will be sufficient.

Thanks to its dense foliage, the white cedar naturally has a compact form, making pruning unnecessary.

4. Indian hawthorn

H. Zell/Wikimedia Commons

Indian hawthorn is the perfect decorative plant for a garden due to the beauty of its abundant, light-colored flowers that bloom in spring; and in winter, it produces graceful, blue berries. This plant requires full exposure to sunlight and only requires minimal maintenance once it is established.

5. Boxwood


Boxwood is a slow-growing shrub with small evergreen leaves and can be cultivated in open ground or in pots. Its compact shape makes it a low-maintenance plant widely used for setting up hedges (but can be used in singles to decorate flowerbeds). Boxwood can tolerate the cold and prefers a sunny or partially shaded location. Boxwood should be watered regularly only in the first year after planting; in adulthood, local rainfall should be sufficient.


6. Chinese hibiscus


Also known as Alhea or Sharon's Rose, the Chinese hibiscus is a vigorous, upright deciduous shrub/small tree that produces wonderful large, variegated flowers. It can be grown both in pots and in open ground; choose a sunny location and well-draining soil (which should be kept moist).

Once planted and established, you can enjoy the beauty of this plant without worrying too much about its maintenance.

Which low-maintenance plants will you choose for your garden?