8. Salvia A popular low-maintenance garden border bloom, salvia produces spikes of densely packed tubular blossoms that bloom in dark blue, red, deep purple, pink, white and yellow. Available in annual and perennial varieties, some salvias do better in certain regions, so take care when choosing your varieties. Plant salvia seeds well after the last frost in your area, and enjoy richly hued summer blooms that beckon hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Pest-resistant salvia is heat and drought tolerant and will thrive when planted in direct sunlight and well-drained soil. Some species grow 18 inches to 5 feet tall, depending on the variety.
USDA Hardiness: Zones 5 to 10
9. Morning Glories Arriving in pink, purple, blue, red and white trumpet-shaped flowers that greet the day atop slender climbing vines, morning glories are energetically self-sufficient flowers that bring butterflies and hummingbirds to the yard. Just soak morning glory seeds a day before planting, then plant the sprouted seeds and they’ll take care of the rest, with seedlings emerging within 10 days. Water thoroughly after planting, and see blooms as early as July. Morning glories self-sow enthusiastically, so to help control unwanted seedlings, make sure to mow, rake or heavily mulch under the plant.
USDA Hardiness: Zones 3 through 10
10. Bleeding Hearts Achingly beautiful with its pink and white hearts dripping from arched 3-foot stems, the bleeding heart is surprisingly hardy, despite its fragile-sounding name and delicate appearance. Plant this favorite perennial in the shade after the last frost has passed, and enjoy their sentimental blooms that attract butterflies and birds. Bleeding hearts go dormant midsummer, making them a highly low-maintenance perennial that’s ideal to plant next to other perennials that will fill in when it goes dormant. Plant bleeding hearts in moist, rich soil with a layer of compost, and add a layer of mulch to keep weeds out. Bleeding hearts can be started from seed, but for more laid-back gardening, it is recommended to purchase seedlings or divisions found at your local nursery.
USDA Hardiness: Zones 3 through 9.
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