56 of the Easiest Plants to Grow

Success with growing healthy, beautiful plants leads to happy customers. Happy customers lead to more shopping at your plant business.

Keeping in mind that plant diversity is an important goal, not only for providing good product selection but also for the ecology of landscapes, salespeople can also help guide customers to plants that are easy to grow successfully. Here’s a plant list with good options especially for newer gardeners, like those who were inspired to beautify their homes and yards last year during the pandemic.

Xeric Plants (Low Water Use)

  • Apache plume – Fallugia paradoxa (native)
  • Cheyenne mock orange – Philadelphus lewisii Cheyenne™ (Plant Select)
  • Creeping western sand cherry – Prunus besseyi Pawnee Buttes™ (Plant Select)
  • Dragon’s Blood sedum – Sedum spurium (succulent)
  • Purple ice plant – Delosperma cooperi (succulent)
  • Yellow flowering currant – Ribes aureum (native)
Photo courtesy of Harriett McMillan

House Plants (Hardy for Indoors)

  • Cacti and succulents
  • Dragon tree – Dracaena marginata
  • Peace lily – Spathiphyllum
  • Rubber tree plant – Ficus
  • Snake plant aka Mother In Law’s Tongue – Sanseveria
  • ZZ plant – Zamioculcas Zamiifolia
Spathiphyllum Vivaldi

Container Plants (Hardy for Outdoors)

  • Gazania
  • Geranium
  • Marigolds
  • Moss Rose
  • Petunias
  • Snapdragons
Photo courtesy of Great Gardens

Perennials (Long-Lasting Blooms)

  • Autumn Joy sedum – Sedum telephium ‘Autumn Joy’
  • Black-eyed susan – Rudbeckia hirta
  • Daylily – Hemerocallis
  • May Night salvia – Salvia nemorosa
  • Moonshine yarrow – Achillea ‘Moonshine’
  • Russian sage – Perovskia atriplicifolia
Photo courtesy of Harriett McMillan

Shrubs (Full Foliage)

  • Barberry – Berberis
  • Dogwood – Cornus stolonifera
  • Lilac – Syringa vulgaris
  • Ninebark – Physocarpus
  • Potentilla – Potentilla fruiticosa
  • Spirea – Spirea japonica

Slow-Growing Trees (No Pruning Required)

  • Hawthorns – Crataegus (many species)
  • Honeylocust – Gleditsia trianthos inermis
  • Red Maple – Acer rubrum
  • Juniper – Juniperus chinensis
  • Spring Snow Crab – Malus Spring Snow
  • Sumac – Rhus
Hawthorns, Keith A Williamson

Grasses (Low Maintenance)

  • Blonde Ambition Grass – Bouteloua gracilis
  • Karl Foerster Grass – Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’
Karl Foerster Grass, Photo courtesy of Keith A. Williamson

Recommendations for New Mexico Gardeners

Coryphantha vivipara, Photo courtesy of Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority makes recommendations for plants to grow each month in its newsletter, and works with local nurseries to assure the recommended plants are in stock. Here are the plants for the first six months of the year. To learn about plants recommended during other months, sign up to receive the newsletter at www.505outside.com.

  • January: Mormon Tea (Ephedra species)
  • February: Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)
  • March: Chocolate Vine (Akebia quinta)
  • April: Crocus (Crocus spp.)
  • May: Galleta (Pleuraphis syn. Hilaria jamesi)
  • June: Clustering Pin Cushions (Coryphantha vivipara)

Special Thanks to members of the CNGA Board and Communications Committee who provided plant ideas for this article: Mike Bone of Denver Botanic Gardens, Joe Haskett of James Nursery Company, Jeff Jones of Great Gardens, Jessica McCool of Little Valley Wholesale Nursery, Kathleen McGuar, Harriett McMillan of Echter’s Garden Center, Bruce Rabeler of Little Valley Wholesale Nursery, and Mike Schleining of Arbor Valley Nursery. Additional thanks to Carlos A. Bustos, Water Conservation Program Manager at the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, for the New Mexico recommendations.