Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Finding My Green Thumb: Flowers that are easy to grow

Caleb and I will be the first to admit that gardening is not our strong suit. I can cook and Caleb is quite the handyman, but when it comes to growing plants and actually keeping them alive, we fall considerably short. Caleb's mom always has a beautiful garden filled with gorgeous flowers and great veggies, and Caleb's brother has a PhD in something to do with plants that is way too complicated for me to understand, but that green thumb did not get passed along to Caleb. In case any of you struggle with plant life like we do, I thought I would share a few flowers that we've found to be easy to take care of  this summer (read: they haven't died). 

1. Hydrangeas // I love hydrangeas. My aunt and uncle gifted up this plant when we first bought our house, and we haven't done anything to it except water it. We will probably prune it now that it has gotten a little bigger. I know there is something about the pH of the soil that determines whether the flowers are blue or pink, but ours are pink and I'm fine with keeping it like that. Read more about hydrangea care here.

2. Zinnias // We planted these zinnias around our mailbox from seeds - seeds, people! If we can put tiny seeds in the ground and have flowers spring forth, you can too. We planted a couple of varieties and just followed the instructions on the packets. Again, all we've done is water them and they've done great. I love these because they are great for cutting and putting around the house. More about zinnia care here.

3. Marigolds // Marigolds are known as one of the easiest annuals to grow, so it's no surprise we picked them! We picked up several trays at Lowe's and planted them in neat rows in one of our front beds. They've done great with just watering. Tips for caring for marigolds here.

4. Petunias // ok full disclosure here: I think these are petunias. That might give you a clue as to how plant illiterate I am. Petunias and impatiens look deceivingly similar, but impatiens don't thrive in lots of sun, so that leads me to believe that ours are indeed petunias. Plus when we bought them at Lowe's I remember that they were a flower that started with a "p". How's that for some reliable gardening advice?! Again, all we do with these guys is water them. They are in our front bed next to the marigolds, and I love all of the color! More instructions on petunia care here. And just in case I've steered you wrong, care for impatiens here.

5. Knock Out Roses // There are several varieties of knock out roses, but I believe ours are the double knock out rose. We have these planted all along our deck and screened-in porch, and I absolutely love them. They were already planted when we bought our house, and they are super easy to care for. I don't even think we water them that much. We prune them back each winter (no careful pruning needed, Caleb just lops some off the tops with garden shears), and they bloom several times throughout the spring and summer. You can see the different varieties and read about care instructions here.

I hope this helps some of you who may be intimidated about growing flowers in your yard! I am, by no means, an expert, so please take everything with a grain of salt. These are just the flowers that we have found to be little to no maintenance needed, and we love how they look. We live in South Carolina, so please also keep in mind I am only familiar with our plant hardiness zone and temperatures throughout the year. 

What flowers or plants have you found you enjoy growing? Please share any tips you have - I still need all the help I can get!


  1. Beautiful flowers! :)
    I am just as "talented" at gardening as you are and was very pleased this year with tulips (planted the bulbs in the fall and did nothing with them but water when they came up - as I remembered to) and then also with black eyed susans (plants were given to me and I watered only) ... Love your suggestions and may have to give them a try!!
    (Oh - I did cut up some Irish Spring soap bars to put at the base of my tulips to keep the deer away ... either it worked or the deer weren't interested.)

  2. Great post! I have trouble finding flowers that work on our very shady patio. I did dahlias last year and it was so fun to be able to cut them and have fresh flowers in the house! I'll have to keep these easy options in mind for the next flowers I get.

  3. Look at you! These are gorgeous!

  4. Love this post! Yes, those are petunias :) I really miss having flowers around our home. I also liked having lemon balm (it doesn't flower) in my flower beds. It added nice greenery to floral arrangements, the scent is lovely, but not overpowering, and it spreads without having to do anything. Gaura is another easy one, and it blooms throughout the summer (it's whispy and perfect for adding to bouquets).