Home & Garden Garden 12 Low-Maintenance Flowers You Can't Kill By Stacy Tornio Writer University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee University of Oklahoma Tornio has authored more than 15 books about nature, gardening, and getting kids outside. our editorial process Stacy Tornio Updated May 17, 2020 Marigolds look great, and they're heat-drought and drought-resistant. 'Plants You Can't Kill' Share Twitter Pinterest Email Home & Garden Planting Guides Indoor Gardening Urban Farms Insects Sometimes you just want a guarantee. You don't have the money or time for that picture-perfect garden that you know someone spends hours upon hours on each week. In short, you’re probably looking for flowers that you can pretty much plant and then forget. Yet, you still want them to be drought-tolerant, have beautiful blooms, and be reliable. It is possible! "Plants You Can't Kill" is a new book with 101 plant suggestions for every category — perennial, annual, shrub, tree, herb, houseplant, veggie and more. Here are 12 perennials and annuals plants from the book that you can definitely count on in your own garden — plus they all have great flowers. The botanical name listed for each one should help you find it online or at your local garden center. Happy planting! 1. Marigold (Tagetes patula) The marigold might take the top honor for being one of the most drought-resistant, heat-tolerant blooms in the garden. It doesn't seem to matter how hot it gets because the marigold survives and thrives. For an even a better display and strong impact, plant several different colors of this annual in one area. 2. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) Russian sage can attract a number of beneficial bugs to your garden. 'Plants You Can't Kill' In 1995, this plant earned the honor of being the perennial plant of the year, and here's why — it's drought-tolerant, doesn't have hardly any disease or insect problems and it's great for attracting butterflies and bees. Also as a bonus, Russian sage can thrive in a wide variety of soil types, so you don't have to have perfect conditions for it to look good. 3. Daylily (Hemerocallis) Dayliles come in a variety of colors, so they'll brighten up your garden all day long. 'Plants You Can't Kill' Daylilies have the great grassy foliage of an ornamental grass while also producing beautiful and colorful blooms. While flowers only last for a day (hence the name), the plants provides an almost endless supply of blooms because they really keep going and going all summer. It doesn't need much care at all. Plus, many gardeners consider them a drought-tolerant perennial. In addition, you can get them in a huge range of colors. 4. Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) They may not be actual sunflowers, but the Mexican sunflower is just as easy to grow as they are. 'Plants You Can't Kill' Though they aren't actually in the sunflower family, this native to Mexico still borrows the name. It's easy to write them off as just another sunflower, but don't! These annuals definitely deserve their own spot in your flower bed, and they're just as easy to grow from seed as the sunflowers you're probably already familiar with. They produce beautiful orange blooms in even the hottest conditions while also attracting bees and butterflies. 5. Goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) Goldenrod grows in fields and parks, but it'll be happy in your garden, too. 'Plants You Can't Kill' Gardeners often overlook the perennial goldenrod because it doesn't necessarily have big or showy flowers. It’s mostly known as a wildflower, growing wild in meadows, fields and parks. It does have some superior qualities, however. For instance, it's drought-tolerant and can grow in a wide range of conditions. The flowers bloom in late summer and then last all the way through fall. It's starting to make a bit of a comeback because it's so popular among bees and butterflies. 6. Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) Cosmos are the lowest maintenance plant of low maintenance plants. 'Plants You Can't Kill' You can't get any more low-maintenance than the annual, cosmos. You can seriously just throw some seeds out into the garden, and they'll likely come up with little care or attention from you. Oh yeah — butterflies adore cosmos, so don't be surprised if you see big swallowtails stopping by for nectar. 7. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) Butterfly weed is a perennial favored by many different kinds of butterflies. 'Plants You Can't Kill' Many don't realize it, but butterfly weed is actually in the milkweed family, so it counts as a perennial host plant for monarchs. And not just monarchs love it; plenty of other butterflies will stop by to enjoy its nectar, too. Butterfly weed is a native perennial that does really well in all types of soil, and it's known by gardeners to be drought tolerant. 8. Coreopsis (Coreopsis) Coreopsis will grow just about anywhere. 'Plants You Can't Kill' Heat, humidity and drought are no competition for coreopsis. Neither is poor soil. Coreopsis will do great in just about any condition. Of course, this can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. It's common to see this perennial plant growing as a wildflower out in meadows and fields. It's not a super tall plant, but it really adds great shades of sunshine in any garden. 9. Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora) Moss rose actually likes the heat. 'Plants You Can't Kill' Think of this plant as a cross between a rose and a cactus. The blooms look a bit like roses and a bit like the flowers you'd find on a cactus. It has soft but spiky, succulent-type leaves, and it does really well in sunny, dry, hot conditions — much like a desert. The hotter and drier it is, the better this plant will do. Even though it's an annual, it will often reseed. So don't be surprised if you see moss roses popping up from one year to the next. 10. Spider Flower (Cleome hassleriana) Spider flowers will likely grow wherever you scatter a few seeds. 'Plants You Can't Kill' For better or for worse, once you have spider flower in your garden, you may always have it. The plant gets its name because the blooms look a bit like spiders with spidery "legs" coming off the main flower. Definitely take a chance at growing these annual from seed. You can pretty much sprinkle them wherever you want, and they'll likely come up and produce gorgeous flowers for the bees and butterflies. 11. Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum) This is a very forgiving plant. 'Plants You Can't Kill' This perennial plant is closely related to the succulent family, and gardeners love it for its unique foliage. The best thing about this plant is that it's very forgiving. You can grow it in sandy or rocky conditions, and it'll do just fine. It grows very low to the ground for the most part until the main part of the plant (the hen) sends up a stout flower stalk in summer. Little offshoots (called chicks) will pop up all around the "hen" as the plant matures. 12. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) Yarrow grows very well in hot weather, and very quickly. 'Plants You Can't Kill' Yarrow is a perennial that sometimes gets a bad reputation because it spreads so easily. (This is because the plant has rhizomes, which send off lateral shoots.) Not all varieties are so aggressive, though. So if you don't mind how quickly it could spread, definitely try this plant in your garden. It's one of the most drought-tolerant options you can grow. While other plants will fade in the hot, humid, dry summer, it will keep right on growing and looking great. All information and photos are from the book, "Plants You Can’t Kill."