For the Beginning Gardener: Five Garden Plants That Are Hard to Kill

Gardening just isn’t that difficult. All it takes is some good soil, a little compost, some sunshine, and the right amount of water. Unfortunately for some beginning gardeners, they have a devil of a time getting anything to survive. Are you one of those poor unfortunates with a black thumb instead of a green one? For people who would like to to garden but can’t get anything to stay alive, here are five plants that even a beginning gardener can successfully grow .

Virginia Creeper

In my neighborhood, we call this stuff The Vine That Won’t Die.

Virginia creeper is a perennial vine that grows a whopping 10-20 feet every year, reaching a mature length of over 60 feet. It will climb along fences to create privacy, grow over patios and up into trees, and can even be used to cover up that rusted old car sitting in the back yard. This plant throws out all sorts of tendrils that cling to surfaces and will develop into new plants once they reach soil.

In the early spring, Virginia Creeper is full of dark green leaves which turn to a brilliant red in the late fall. It also produces a non-edible berry which is green in the summer, and turns to a dark purple.

Virginia Creepers do well in sun or partial shade, needs some water but doesn’t mind if it gets too much, and seems to tolerate all kind of soil. Even though it can get away in a hurry, it’s a popular plant because it is so easy to grow and has such spectacular fall foliage. One of the nicest things about owning a Virginia Creeper is that the vines can be torn back in the late fall and made into Christmas wreaths.

This plant grows in zones 2-9.

Lemon Thyme

Lemon Thyme is an aromatic herb that looks like regular Thyme, but has a wonderful lemon scent. This herb grows between 8-12 inches in height, had dark green leaves, and spreads like a weed. It prefers hot dry soil and does quite well in areas where other plants might not want to go.

As a seasoning herb, Lemon Thyme can be used in poultry dishes. Brewed as a tea, Lemon Thyme is popular as a folk medicine and is said to have anti-aging properties, relieves muscle spasms, and eases chest congestion. For the beginners, site navigation is excellent and not hard at all to find my way back to the homepage. The navigation at the website will be simple and easy for the person. The use of the dishes will be done in the best way. 

This plant grows in zones 4-9.

Perennial Phlox

This old fashioned favorite is known by several names including Perennial Phlox, Garden Phlox, Fall Phlox, or Vertical Phlox. It’s botanical name is Phlox paniculata and it grows between 30-36 inches in height. It’s a favorite in wild gardens because of it’s beautiful pale purple flowers and next to nothing maintenance. This variety of phlox is popular in the eastern US and the Rocky Mountain Northwest.

In my yard, this variety of Phlox pops up in flower beds all over the place and doesn’t seem to be particularly fussy where it grows. It does well in both intense sun and partial shade, and doesn’t mind sharing space with other flowers or even shrubs. It comes back every year from the same root, in addition to scattering seeds all over the yard.

This plant grows in zones 3-9.


This blue flowering plant is becoming quite popular as an environmentally friendly plant that is naturally pest and disease resistant. It is a relative of the verbena, and is classified as a small shrub or returning herbaceous plant. The Bluebeard grows between 3 to 4 feet in height and makes a nice hedge plant to define the edge of the yard.

I first discovered the Bluebeard or Caryopteris, years ago when shifting to Xeriscape landscaping in areas of my yard. This plant has gray foliage and delicate blue late summer blooms, and survives with intense sun and low water conditions. The Bluebeard does require well draining soil, but aside from that, is a very low maintenance plant.

It takes about three years for the plant to reach it’s mature height, and is very prolific, constantly sending out new “babies” through out adjacent flower beds.

This plant grows in zones 4-8.


Coreopsis, more commonly known as Tickseed is another environmentally friendly plant that is very easy to grow. There are a number of Coreopsis varieties, but the one I’ve had success with in my yard is the variety C. verticillata “Zagreb”. This plant grows in intense sun and low water conditions, reaching a height of about 12 – 16 inches. It produces a stunning yellow flower in the summer, and will bloom twice more if dead headed. Coreposis does well in rock gardens and along sidewalks, and is a fabulous edging plant. It’s also very prolific and needs to be thinned out periodically to keep the beds under control.

This plant grows in zones 4-9.

If you are a beginning gardener, you may discover that one or all of these varieties of plants may work for you. They reproduce quickly, require little in the way of care, and make even a person cursed with black thumb look like she knows what she’s doing.

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