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Everything You Need to Know About Low-Maintenance Plants (Australia)

Taking care of plants will require much of your time and attention—only some have the time and energy to devote to constant watering, weeding, and deadheading. Furthermore, getting your plants to thrive may be difficult if you do not have a green thumb.

Even if you do not have the time or are not confident enough in your gardening skills, rest assured that you can still have the neat, lovely, low-maintenance garden you’ve always wanted. Many low-maintenance plants are perfect for beginners and easy to care for.

We have listed everything you need to know about low-maintenance plants to get you started on your landscape.

What Should I Consider for My Low-Maintenance Garden?

Observe your garden’s climate condition
Observe your garden’s climate condition

1) Observe your garden’s climate condition.

The best place to start is with your garden’s climate condition. Some plants thrive in direct sun exposure while others avoid it at all costs.

Even if it appears simple, learning more about the needs of different plants will assist you in determining the most effective strategy for maintaining your new plants in the garden.

Once you’ve decided which plants you want in your garden, plan by grouping them according to their needs and demands. Take note of which areas of your outdoor space receive the most or least amount of sun, rain, or wind, and place the appropriate plants in those spaces accordingly.

It may take some effort at first, but with some prior planning, you can drastically reduce the amount of work that you have to do in the future.

Get to know your garden soil
Get to know your garden soil

2) Get to know your garden soil.

Before choosing the best plants for your garden, you should learn everything you can about your garden soil. Your soil has a significant impact on the health and well-being of your plants.

It is important to understand what type of soil you have. A professional soil test will help you get your garden off to a great start by determining which fertilizers and amendments to use.

You can make better plant choices if you know whether you have clay, loamy, or sandy soils because not all plants will thrive in all types of soil.

Choose easy-to-care-for outdoor plants
Choose easy-to-care-for outdoor plants

3) Choose easy-to-care-for outdoor plants.

Native plants are the best choice for low-maintenance gardens. They are more localized and require less water and fertilizer than exotic species. Several low-maintenance plants thrive in full sun and are appropriate for Australian gardens. Many Australian natives prefer these plants because they do not require constant maintenance.

Instead of keeping up with endless chores, you can create a relaxing outdoor space by selecting the best low-maintenance plants for your Australian gardens. You can transform your garden into a more relaxing environment with simple plant selections.

Best Low-Maintenance Landscaping Plants

These native plants will make maintaining your landscape easier, with less pruning and great drought and frost tolerance.

1) Strappy Leaf Plants

These plants thrive in commercial and residential landscaping, particularly in tough roadside conditions.

They are tough, low-maintenance plants perfect for border planting, mass planting, accent plants, attractive foliage or grassy gardens, Japanese-style gardens, and low-water requirement gardens. They tolerate various soil types and climatic conditions, preferring full sun and part shade to moderately heavy shade.

Once established, they will require only minimal attention. Their maintenance will involve occasional watering during the first few months as the roots take hold, then later, occasional pruning and trimming to keep them neat and up-to-size.

Some examples of low-maintenance, strappy leaf plants suitable for your low-maintenance gardens include Blaze™ Dianella, Amethyst™ Liriope, Great White™ Lomandra, and Banana Split™ Dietes.

Blaze™ Dianella tasmanica ‘NPW2’ PBR

Amethyst™ Liriope muscari ‘LIRTP’ PBR

Great White™ Lomandra longifolia ‘MURU’ PBR

Banana Split™ Dietes grandiflora ‘DI3’ PBR

2) Native shrubs and groundcovers

Several low-maintenance groundcovers function just as fine as lawns and can even be considered a more attractive and less time-consuming alternative.

Although some preliminary work, such as weeding and feeding, will be generally required before you plant the groundcover, you will see that these naturally compact and robust groundcovers are hardy plants that require little maintenance once they are established.

Because most of these plants prefer well-drained soil and are drought-tolerant and frost-tolerant, they are also excellent for making low-growing hedges because they respond well to pruning. They thrive well in sun or shade; thus, it is relatively easy to find the best plant and maintain your garden low.

Some examples of low-maintenance, small shrubs and groundcovers include Slim™ Callistemon, Mundi™ Westringia, Cherry Cluster™ Grevillea, Coastal Pink™ Correa, and Straight and Narrow™ Syzygium.

Slim™ Callistemon viminalis ‘CV01’ PBR

Mundi™ Westringia fruticosa ‘WES05’ PBR

Cherry Cluster™ Grevillea rhyolitica x juniperina ‘TWD01’ PBR

Coastal Pink™ Correa alba ‘COR10’ PBR

Straight and Narrow™ Syzygium australe ‘SAN01’ PBR Intended

3) Hardy exotic species

The Hardy Exotic plant range combines the beauty of exotic plants with improved performance and lower maintenance for the landscape. These plants have been developed and bred to be non-invasive.

These plants are suitable for various applications including groundcovers, feature planting, and green walls. All that is generally required is the removal of spent leaves and adequate sun exposure.

Some examples of hardy plants include Mighty Coral™ Aloe, Bingo Blue™ Agapanthus, Blush™ Nandina, Thin Red™ Photinia, and Dense Fence™ Viburnum.

Mighty Coral™ Aloe hybrid ‘AL04’ PBR

Bingo Blue™ Agapanthus hybrid ‘ANDbin’ PBR

Blush™ Nandina domestica ‘AKA’ PBR

Thin Red™ Photinia x fraseri ‘NP01’ PBR

Dense Fence™ Viburnum odoratissimum ‘VOC1’ PBR

4) Flowering plants

We frequently associate flower gardens with time-consuming gardening routines, copious watering, and confusing sun exposure requirements. In reality, whether or not you need to spend much time in the garden is determined by the flowers that you planted in the first place.

Low-maintenance flowering plants are easily adaptable, heat-tolerant and drought-tolerant, and require little to no deadheading. They can be annual plants, which live for one season and then die, or perennial plants, which flower every year.

Furthermore, when selecting flowers for your low-maintenance garden, remember to choose flowers that are NOT:

  • Vigorous spreaders;
  • Too particular about sun exposure and soil; and
  • Prone to pests and disease.

The huge, hot pink flowers of the native pigface Aussie Rambler™ Carpobrotus are an example of a low-maintenance flowering plant that can be found almost anywhere in Australia and will thrive with little care. On the other hand, Double Gold™ Gazania is completely sterile and will not spread via seed to become a bushland weed, and it is a popular groundcover with large, bold flowers that bloom throughout the summer.

Low-seed varieties, such as Queen Mum™ Agapanthus, have excellent disease resistance, making them an ideal low-maintenance flowering plant for most Australian gardens. These plants are also suited to an open, sunny position but will perform well in moderate shade. They are drought-, humidity-, and frost-tolerant. Most soil types are tolerated.

Similarly, Cosmic Pink™ Rhaphiolepis, which has pink flowers and grows to 80 cm, and Cosmic White™ Rhaphiolepis, which has white flowers and grows to 2m, are both excellent landscape plants because they are very hardy, flower well, and rarely produce seed, making them a safer choice near bushland.

Aussie Rambler™ Carpobrotus glaucescens ‘CAR10’ PBR

Double Gold™ Gazania hybrid ‘GT20’ PBR

Queen Mum™ Agapanthus orientalis ‘PMN06’ PBR

Cosmic Pink™ Rhaphiolepis indica ‘RAPH02’ PBR

Cosmic White™ Rhaphiolepis indica ‘RAPH01’ PBR

5) Native grasses

Native grasses are excellent for those with difficult and tricky garden spots. They are tough, thrive in various conditions, and require little maintenance.

These plants can be used as specimen plants and are very effective when mass planted along a pathway, driveway, or fence or as a backdrop providing year-round colour and interesting textures. They attract birds and wildlife to your property and send down deep roots to provide a drought-tolerant solution to Australia’s changing climate.

Some examples of low-maintenance native grasses include Kingsdale™ Poa and Pennstripe™ Pennisetum.

Kingsdale™ Poa poiformis ‘PP500’ PBR

Pennstripe™ Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘PAV300’ PBR

Final Words

Everything begins with the right plants. Choose the low-maintenance plants best-suited to your space and lifestyle, and watch your garden thrive with minimal attention and effort.

Do you need help caring for these amazing, low-maintenance plants? Ozbreed Green Life is Australia’s plant breeding, marketing, and distribution company, well-known for its reliable landscape plants. Ozbreed thoroughly understands where each plant will thrive and what extremes it can withstand.


Todd Layt is a renowned plant and turf breeder, researcher, and marketer with a passion for developing high-quality landscape plants and turf that are tough, resilient, and sustainable.

Over the years, Todd has established himself as an industry leader and has built an impressive portfolio of over 60 different plant varieties, many of which are now selling in large numbers across the globe.

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