Garden Plants for Beginners

Beginner gardeners often feel overwhelmed at the prospect of caring for a yard full of living things. Many problems can arise. The cost of supplies and plants really adds up when starting from scratch---this, coupled with inexperience, seems daunting at best. Starting with low-maintenance plants will break new gardeners in slowly, allowing them to learn the basics of the hobby before investing much money.

Dianthus

Choose dianthus as a beginner plant for its drought tolerance and brilliant flushes of multicolored blossoms. Dianthus is simple to care for, requiring only good drainage, minimal food, water and regular deadheading (trimming spent flowers). Feed actively growing plants with a bloom-enhancing fertilizer once a month. Encourage solid, sturdy plants by pinching growing tips. Provide full sun to get the most blossoms. Grow dianthus from seeds or cuttings, or by root division. Dianthus comes in a wide array of colors including red, white, pink, fuchsia, yellow, and nearly black as well as several combinations of these shades.

Oxalis

Pick oxalis for sunny or shady areas. In drier soils, provide ample water and mulch. Well-drained soils that contain decent amounts of organic matter provide the conditions oxalis requires for the best growth. Avoid wet areas, as this will cause the roots to rot. Fertilize oxalis plants monthly with a bloom-enhancing fertilizer. This plant adapts well to pot culture, requiring little upkeep or care. Oxalis grows from seeds and by dividing overgrown clumps. The roots are brittle, so take care when disturbing them. Healthy oxalis blooms in large flushes in shades of white, yellow, pink and salmon. Foliage colors include red, purple and green as well as variegations of these colors.

Yarrow

Plant yarrow in dry or moist, sunny garden areas. Like dianthus, yarrow does best with minimal care and light mulching. Water deeply and only when the plants begin to wilt slightly, as this encourages maximum root penetration, creating more stable plants. Deadhead fading flowers as they appear. Pinching growing tips will keep plants strong and bushy---this compact growth best shows off the large blossoms. Grow yarrow from cuttings or seeds or by root division. Bloom colors include, but are not limited to, red, orange, pink, yellow, white, and combinations of these colors.

Keywords: easy garden plants, good beginner plants, tough garden plants

About this Author

Izzy McPhee has been a freelance writer since 1999. She writes about gardening, nature conservation, pond care, aquariums, child care, family, living on a budget and do-it-yourself projects. Her paintings have appeared in the well known gallery The Country Store Gallery in Austin, Texas. Her work can be seen on Suite101.com and Demand Studios.