Planting a garden with your kids can provide an amazing opportunity for family bonding. Kids gain a sense of purpose and responsibility as they watch the vegetables and flowers they planted grow. Digging and planting can even help improve your child’s mood.

Still, if you don’t know what plants will do well where you live, getting started on a garden can feel overwhelming. So, Crème de la Crème of Mount Laurel put together this guide to help take the guesswork out of discovering plants you can easily plant at home.

How to Choose Plants for Mount Laurel Gardens

A butterfly rests on a pink flower in a low maintenance garden in Mount Laurel, NJ

Free Butterfly” used with permission via Unsplash by cvnhst

The first step to planting a low-maintenance garden? Finding plants that will thrive in the place where you live. After all, you don’t want to set up a beautiful garden, only to find those flowers wilting and dying at the first signs of cold weather. The USDA plant hardiness zones map offers a good guideline for at-home gardeners.

Mapped across the United States and Canada, these zones give you a sense of plants that can typically thrive in a given area. The zones come from the coldest temperatures an area usually reaches in winter, and they’re separated in increments of 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The lower a zone number, the colder the weather gets in that area. Mount Laurel is located in zone 6, which gets a typical yearly low of -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most seed packets and plant information tags mention the USDA zone on them. The zone listed indicates the coldest area a plant can likely survive. Keep in mind that not all plants and flowers for zone 6 will actually survive if temperatures reach -10 degrees Fahrenheit. That lowest number usually applies to perennials meant to last through winter and bloom again.

You’ll also find annual plants that die with the frost. You can even plant perennials meant for warmer zones as annuals here. All in all, gardening in this zone is a rewarding experience as you’ll find an abundance of plants that do well.

Perennials for Mount Laurel

You’ll find plenty of annual plants that create stunning displays in Mount Laurel. If you’re looking for easy plants you only need to plant once, though, you’ll want to add some perennials to your list. Perennial flowers grow back every year, often even displaying more growth over time. So, perennials can offer an incredibly low-maintenance experience for years to come if you choose the right plants.

Pay attention to an individual plant’s needs before diving in. Perennials can be finicky in terms of placement. Some need full sun to grow well, while others will wilt in the afternoon heat. Various perennials also need different soil conditions. Some plants tolerate drought, some like sandy soil, others demand rich, moist soil — the list goes on. You’ll need to play matchmaker with your plants and your yard conditions, but once you do, you can enjoy planting perennials once with your kids, then sitting back and watching them thrive for years to come.

Here are some perennials that do well in zone 6 to get you started:

  • Daylily (Hemerocallis): Daylilies are some of the easiest plants to grow. They’re fragrant and beautiful, coming in an array of shapes, sizes, and colors that range from yellow to pink to red to purple. You’ll find varieties of daylilies that bloom continuously and others that bloom twice, one time in the summer followed by another time in the fall. They can grow up to 3 feet tall. These low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants thrive when you put them in full to partial sun.
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): You can’t go wrong with yarrow if you’re going for a cottage vibe. This classic wildflower is rugged and drought-tolerant, and it elevates any space with flat blooms in hues like white, yellow, orange, pink, or red. The continuously blooming flower delivers color from spring into fall and can grow up to 12 inches. Yarrow is low-maintenance if you put it in a sunny spot, and it will attract birds and beneficial insects without any effort on your part. Yarrow is also a deer-resistant plant.
  • Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea): Another deer-resistant flower, echinacea is a type of coneflower. This beautiful choice delivers big, bright flowers from around June up until the first frost. Colors like purple, pink, yellow, and orange come in daisy-like blooms and add a majestic touch alongside other flowers. Echinacea will also attract birds and butteries. They’re drought-tolerant and prefer full sun, and they require very little maintenance.
  • Astilbe (Astilbe Chinensis): If you have moist areas in your backyard and you’re looking for some gorgeous ground cover, look to astilbe. The fern-like foliage adds character to your outdoor space even when it’s not in bloom. You’ll want to plant astilbe in full to partial sun and moist soil so it can thrive. The fragrant blooms will also attract birds to your yard.
  • Hosta (plantain lilies): This shade garden plant comes in various styles, all with variegated leaves and colors. Hostas are ideal if you’re looking to fill in space beneath trees or in the shadows of tall flowering plants as they grow well in partial sun to full shade. The low-maintenance plants are drought-tolerant, too.

Edible Plants for Mount Laurel

Growing edible plants like vegetables with your kids can offer an incredibly rewarding experience. Kiddos will love watching the plants they helped create flourish into edible items, and they may even feel inspired to start tasting new veggies this way! While you may have to start some seeds inside in March and April, the Mount Laurel area delivers a long and productive growing season.

Cold-weather crops such as peas, radishes, and lettuce are easy to grow, and you can plant them outside earlier in the season. Other vegetables that perform well in zone 6 conditions include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes

There you have it, Crème de la Crème of Mount Laurel just gave you some amazing and easy-to-grow plants to try when you’re planting a garden with your kids in our area. Do you have a favorite low-maintenance plant we didn’t include on this list? Drop us a line so we can add it!