10 Low-Maintenance Outdoor Plants That are Good for Beginners

These potted wonders flourish with minimum care

Original Article: Franco Hubilla Photography: Gardening Know How and The Virginian-Pilot (Main Photo)

A beautiful garden doesn't have to be a challenge to grow. If you want a blossoming patch of land without the effort, all you have to do is browse through these pretty, but easy to care for plants and fresh blooms. The best part? None of these green wonders cost more than P500. Check them out below: 


Outdoor Plants for Beginners

1. Kalachuchi

Use a single large one as a focal point. Most people think that it’s a tree, but you can plant it in a planter or kawa to restrict its growth and it can look like a bonsai. Make sure to grow it under full sunlight. To propagate, just cut off a branch, and stick it in a pot.


2. Bird’s Nest Fern (Dapo)

Use one or several ferns planted on different levels to highlight an area; it’s very aesthetic with its large green leaves. It’s also good indoors—either in a kawa or a large pot. It grows best in partly shaded areas.

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3. Bromeliad

Use as a focal point individually or in groups. It complements arrangements because its leaves are broad. It has different varieties with shades of green, orange, and yellow.

4. Ti Plant

Use in groups to highlight an area. You can trim the main stem to keep it clean and to emphasize the maroon or dark purple leaves at the top. It can grow up to 1.5m high.


5. Peanut Plant

Use as fast-growing ground cover or “rug” in unused areas that you want to look nice and uniform. It is in favor of sunlight so try to grow it in open spaces.


6. Rhapis

Use in groups to create a massing of plants as background or to make areas look more uniform. You can trim the lower part so that only the top part is lush. Grow under partial shade or full sunlight. You can also plant these indoors in pots (but you need to bring them out from time to time).


7. San Francisco

Use in groups for better impact. This may be common but it has many varieties; you just have to pick them well. It also doesn't require constant watering as long as the soil is kept moist. 

8. Buhok ni Esther

Use as a hanging plant on grills or trellises to promote a vertical view. Here’s some trivia: “Esther” is supposed to be an engkantada whose hair got blown by the wind.


9. Schefflera

The schefflera houseplant is a popular plant that comes in many varieties and is best grown to border an area. Grow under full sunlight and trim to control growth. Giant schefflera can reach up to 1.5cm in height.


10. Mini-santan

Santan or Ixora coccinea is a flowering shrub native to tropical countries like the Philippines. It doesn't require much care at all, too—just grow under full sunlight and trim to control growth.


Cedarhills Garden Center

  • 57 Mother Ignacia street, Quezon City
  • 09079262707

Angel’s Blooms Garden

  • Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City
  • 439-3661

Bulacan Garden Corporation

  • Katipunan Road, White Plains Village, Quezon City
  • 911-4318

Frequently Asked Questions on Outdoor Plants for Beginners

How do outdoor flowers grow for beginners?

As the Philippines is a tropical country, it does not want for flowers that a beginner can easily grow. For most of these plants, such as the santan and the sampaguita, you only need to allow a cutting to take root prior to transfering it to a pot or a ground. The trick is patience: depending on whch flowering plant you choose, rooting them can go from two to four weeks, and you'll also need to give them time to acclimatize themselves to a their new environment after transferring them into soil. Do not expose them to harsh sunlight immediately; a bit of shade can help them get used to their new habitat faster.   


What plants look good all year round?

Any plant can look good all year round, but if you're looking for those that flower, santan consistently blossoms. In a locale with good humidity, so does ilang-ilang, kalachuchi, bougainvillea, sampaguita, and champaca. 

Which plants are good in pots?

We'd go with succulents for this, especially since contrary to popular belief, many species thrive better when they're not under direct sunlight, so being in pots allows you to move them around when needed. Moreover, these kinds of plants need the right soil to survive, which is a mix of pebbles and dirt, which allows water to easily seep through to avoid root rot. You can learn more about caring for them here.

Can these low-maintenance outdoor plants survive in extreme weather conditions?

Yes, these plants are selected for their ability to thrive in various weather conditions, including extreme heat and drought.

Do these plants require any special soil or fertilizers?

Most of these plants can grow in regular garden soil. However, it is recommended to enrich the soil with organic matter and use a slow-release fertilizer for optimal growth.


Can these low-maintenance plants be grown in containers?

Yes, many of these plants can be grown in containers, making them suitable for small spaces such as balconies or patios.

Are these plants safe for pets?

While most of these plants are safe for pets, it is always recommended to research specific plants and their potential toxicity before introducing them to your garden.

Do these plants attract pests or insects?

These low-maintenance plants are generally resistant to pests and insects. However, it is always important to monitor your garden and take appropriate measures if any pest issues arise.

What are some tips for watering these low-maintenance plants?

While these plants are generally drought-resistant, it's still important to water them appropriately. Most of these plants prefer deep, infrequent watering to shallow, frequent watering, and it's best to water in the morning to minimize evaporation.

How do I choose the right plant for my yard's conditions?

Consider the conditions of your yard, including the amount of sunlight it receives, the quality of the soil, and the local climate. Choose the plants that will then fit in this type of environment. For example, if your yard receives a lot of sunlight, consider drought-resistant plants like the Texas Ranger or Dusty Miller.


What should I do if my plant appears unhealthy?

If your plant appears unhealthy, it may be due to overwatering, under watering, or a pest infestation. Check the soil moisture levels, examine the plant for signs of pests, and adjust your care routine as necessary. If the issue persists, you may want to consult with a local nursery or extension service.

What are the benefits of low-maintenance plants?

Low-maintenance plants are ideal for busy homeowners and beginners because they require less care and attention than other plants. They can also be more resilient to changes in weather and soil conditions, and are generally more sustainable as they require less water and resources.

Can these plants be propagated?

Many low-maintenance plants can be easily propagated, either by seed, division, or cuttings. This can be a cost-effective way to add more plants to your garden. Always research the specific propagation methods for each plant to ensure success.


* * *

Read the original article ("Garden Elements: 10 Low-Maintenance Plants") in the October 2005 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details. With reports from Nica Jose.

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