WHAT TO PLANT WHEN YOUR THUMB IS MORE BROWN THAN GREEN

Written by Jaymi Naciri

When spring arrives, we all get a little itchy to get outside and enjoy our surroundings. For many of us, that means hitting the local nursery or Home Depot and hauling home a car full of flowers and plants for the yard. But for those of us who lack a green thumb, spring may be a bit bittersweet. We want a pretty, colorful garden. We just don’t want to waste our time planting stuff we know will die in two days.

“Many of us have trouble keeping plants alive in our garden, and have quite the “black thumb”. Either we are too busy to maintain them, or our gardens have issues that make it difficult; hot, dry sites, poor soil or bad weather, said The Garden Glove. “Don’t let that stop you from growing flowers! There is hope for even the most murderous of gardeners… you can grow flowers, and you can plant them today and trust they will still be there next year and the year after that.”

Here are some plants and flowers that may be your spring salvation.

Lantana

“The garden experts agree that sun-loving lantana is hard to beat, with a variety of colors and a low- maintenance profile that allows it to do well even next to hot pavement in spots like parking lots,” said The Tennessean.

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Aloe

“Aloes are succulents hailing from South Africa, Arabia and Madagascar. They’re reliable, tough and undemanding and flower in winter and spring, brightening up the garden,” said Home Life. They’re salt tolerant, like a gritty, well-drained soil and watering once a month when you remember!

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Thyme

“While most of you recognize this as a spice from the kitchen cupboard, there are many very ornamental varieties that can offer texture, color and scent in your garden,” said The Garden Glove. “Oh, and did I mention they grow like weeds? In a good way, of course. Drought resistant and sun lovers, these plants come in creeping forms to tuck between pavers, and larger varieties that fit right into any garden bed. Flowers are usually white, pink or red, and cover the plants spring through fall. They are fragrant when crushed, make great filler for flower arrangements, and attract butterflies like crazy! These plants come back every year, and yes, you can use them in the kitchen!”

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Mandevilla

“If you have a trellis or a place for a climbing plant in the sun, Mandevilla is a great choice. If it’s in the sun and you water it, it’s “hard to mess up,” said The Tennessean.

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Catmint

“This perennial blooms a long time throughout the season with spikes of bluish lavender flowers, and has gray-green foliage that is pretty even when not in bloom. “If you cut it back, it’ll even bloom a second time,” said Yahoo. “Catmint makes a good filler plant for the front of a garden, since it doesn’t get tall. It does best in sun, but doesn’t require particularly fertile soil, and once they’re established, they’re fairly drought resistant.”

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Crepe Myrtle

“Often the street tree of choice in some council areas around Sydney–basically the new powdery mildew resistant cultivars can be planted and forgotten,” said Home Life. “They like a hot, dry climate, and aside from the beautiful flowers from January to March, their bark makes them one of the most beautiful plants around.”

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Yarrow

“A tough and beautiful pick for any garden, Yarrow is an easy bet no matter how black your thumb may be. Flowers are tightly packed on flat heads, giving some architectural structure to your garden design,” said The Tennessean. “This plant thrives on neglect, loves poor soil, and blooms right through the summer. Its most common color is yellow, but there are also varieties in pink, red, salmon and white.

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The foliage is ferny and lower to the ground, but the flower stalks can be anywhere from twelve inches, to four feet off the ground! Foliage can be anything from a deep green to a soft sagey gray depending on variety. It is attractive out of flower, starts early in the spring/summer, and keeps going through the fall.”