4 Plants To Use In Landscaping with No Maintenance Required

Tammy Sons
6 min readJan 23, 2022

We asked a leading plant expert, Tammy Sons of Tn Nursery if we moved to a suburban area and could only choose four different types of plants if we worked 12-hour days, six days a week, with no money to hire a landscaper or lawn expert, what could we plant? We specified “trees” or “shrubs” and various plants in the four types. What would they be? Tammy was quick to tell us, “This is a challenge to answer in five minutes, but I can answer this correctly and also give you 4 different types of plants so you can have diversity in your landscape project:

The hardiest of all includes:

  1. Slough Sedge — Carex Obnupta

The Slough Sedge is a robust sedge species that has a remarkably long blooming cycle that lasts for many months and continues to grow so you can enjoy the color and unique form they bring to your garden year-round. Their leaves never turn brown, even in the driest of spells making this tolerant plant stand true to the saying amongst the Hesaquiat First Nations tribe, which translates to “You are just like the citapt (Slough Sedge), you never change.”

Slough Sedge can grow between 12 to 18 inches tall within ten years and form attractive 4 to 8-long milky white flower spikes that can reach an extensive range of 2 to almost 5 inches. When ripe, the fruit it produces is plump and coated in a complex, dry, shiny pterygium, usually in a yellow-green or brown, dark color.

The plant rapidly grows in dense tufts from long, creeping rhizomes and has coarse, w-shaped luscious green leaves that give it a glass-like appearance with the margins rolled over.

They multiply and can survive various types of garden soil as long as sufficient moisture is available. Still, they usually thrive in more wet saline climates that provide a moist environment.

Slough Sedge is generally recommended to be planted from bare root stock or using seedlings from container stalks, even though they can be seeded directly into the soil. That is because the seeds have a chance of scattering or washing away, and plants that grow from the roots tend to stay unusually small for over a year giving you a considerable amount of time when the plant’s leaves are stunted and brittle.

Planting bare rootstock is the most successful and is best planted in the fall when the rains begin, so they are allowed time over the dormant season to develop a healthy root system to sustain them through the dry season.

These plants also attract all types of wildlife, such as beautiful singing birds, turtles, muskrats, and even amphibians, so that you can enjoy the feel of nature.

2.Magnolia Trees

If you are searching for the perfect tree to enhance your home’s landscaping, look toward the Southern Magnolia. It is a lush evergreen that does well in planting zones 7–9. This tree can be planted from seeds and is a rapid grower. Reaching an average height of 40–80 feet, the Southern Magnolia is drought-resistant, tolerating full sun to partial shade. It requires a larger yard of acidic, well-drained, rich soil for a height between 40–80 feet and a width of 30–40 feet.

The Southern Magnolia tree’s appearance is unique. The wide-spread branches form a cone, densely covered with large, broad leaves glossy and thick. The underside of the 5–8 inch long leaves appears velvety with a bronze tone. The 8–12 inch wide magnolia blossoms are sweet-smelling, similar to spice-infused lemon, creamy white, and quite dramatic, appearing with their broad petals. These trees bloom from spring through summer. Come autumn; the fruit appears as redwood-colored cones, about 2–4 inches long, with kidney bean-shaped, bright red seeds.

These trees can be used for street side, framing, windbreak, or shade in landscaping uses.

For limited space, you can still enjoy the charms of the magnolia using a cultivar named the “Little Gem.” Slower growing, it shares the same glossy, deep green leaves and fragrant, creamy white blooms as the Southern Magnolia. Topping at 15–20 feet, with a width of 8–10 feet and a narrower shape, it serves well as an espalier, growing flat against a fence or wall, blooming for six months.

Whether the Southern magnolia or the “Little Gem,” this tree provides shade and enjoys the coolness achieved by the multitude of broad leaves and, best of all, the heady, intoxicating, lemon spice scent of the magnificent, magnificent, beautiful blossoms is to appreciate this Southern native truly.

3. Flame Leaf Sumac

It is easy to see where the Flame Leaf Sumac gets its name since its dark, shiny, green leaves turn a brilliant, burgundy red every fall, and orange and purple mixed in with crimson fruit ripens. The plant is flashy and described as a shrub and an ornamental tree. This appealing deciduous plant sports various names, including Prairie Flame Leaf Sumac, Texas Sumac, Tree Sumac, Prairie Shining Sumac, Prairie Sumac, Lance-leaved Sumac, Limestone Sumac, Mountain Sumac, and Black Sumac, along with its more formal name of Rhus lanceolate.

Flame Leaf Sumac, native to Texas, grows best if left alone in open areas to naturalize and often forms thickets that provide an excellent cover for birds to nest and small animals to use for cover and food. Flame Leaf Sumac only grows to about five feet tall when left in places such as along roadsides, but if it is placed in an area with ideal soil and regular watering, it can grow to many trees and reach up to 20 feet.

Shrub-like varieties of Flame Leaf Sumac that are pruned during the winter months can form a lovely tree and even be cut to the ground regularly. If kept as a shrub, it is more accommodating to surrounding plants because it will not produce dense shade, allowing them more sunlight.

Flame Leaf Sumac grows the most between April and May, but only female plants produce berries and flowers. The fruit will ripen around September in dense clusters, hanging on throughout winter. Migratory birds, songbirds, quails, and even wild turkeys will feed on the berries over the winter, along with raccoons, possums, and rabbits that feast on the bark and twigs of the tree.

Given its name, the Flame Leaf Sumac will dramatically sprout after an ironic fire. The seeds, bark, leaves, and fruit contain many tannins for tanning leather hides.

Flame Leaf Sumac can grow in many locations with minimal watering. It can be placed on rocky slopes, woodlands, fence rows, and hillsides but not on shrub borders. It is fast-growing, normally pest and disease-free, and withstands drought.

4. Benefits of garden moss

There are several benefits of having garden moss. The first benefit is that it is highly adsorbent. That means that it will be able to retain a lot more water when compared to the other types of soil. Moss is one of the reasons it is great to include it inside of the garden soil. The second benefit is the acidic PH features. It is excellent for plants that like acids like blueberries and camellias. These plants are going to need acid to grow. If your garden soil does not have any acid, it is essential to add garden moss.

The third benefit of garden moss is it is a sterile medium. That means it is excellent for growing and planting all types of plants. It does not have any harmful chemicals to be suitable for your plants. It will be especially true for the more vulnerable and tender plants to take care of. That means that they will need more maintenance than some of the other plants. A starting mix is an excellent way to add the garden moss to the soil.

The fourth benefit of garden moss is compaction prevention. It is an organic material that can help to prevent soil compaction. When the soil becomes less beneficial for the plants, the soil will not absorb the water either, providing a happy medium for the plants to grow correctly. The garden moss can be rehydrated and used for many years to come.






Tammy Sons

Tammy enjoys writing about horticulture, life off the grid, and anything outdoors. Loves junk stores, antiques, and spending time with family. CEO of TN Nursery