Hygge gardening ideas for beginner gardeners
Gardening

Choosing The Best Plants To Grow For Beginners

Choosing the best plants to grow for beginners isn’t always easy.

If you’re anything like me, you mostly impulse buy plants only to find out that there isn’t a place for those plants in your garden.

Maybe you chose plants that need full sun, but you have a shady garden.

Or maybe you chose the wrong plants for the soil in your garden.

The secret that most beginners don’t understand, is that you don’t choose a spot in your garden for your plants.

You’re actually supposed to choose the best plants for the conditions in your garden!

If you want gardening to be more hygge and pleasurable, you don’t have to spend a million dollars or hire a professional gardener. All it takes is learning the right tips for beginner gardeners!

Decorative image of a garden with the best plants to grow for beginners
Looking out on a well maintained garden is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Tips For Beginner Gardeners

Before you buy plants, you should carefully consider your own garden.

See what areas get full sun, and which areas are in shade most of the day.

You should also know how well your soil drains. Some plants like to be a little wet, while others prefer to dry out between watering.

Also consider how the wind flows through your garden. Delicate plants won’t handle a strong wind.

Once you know these things, you’ll be ready to go and buy the best plants for your own garden.

The best plants to grow for beginners will depend on the climate of your local area, too.

The right plants for someone in Michigan would be all wrong for someone in Arizona!

Choose shade loving plants to go into sheltered areas under trees or in the shadow of your home.

Sun loving plants should be reserved for the warm and sunny areas of your garden.

If your area doesn’t get much rain, you should choose drought resistant varieties of plants.

But if your land is swampy and wet, you should choose plants that like a lot of water.

Decorative image of a garden with the best plants to grow for beginners
Potted plants are a great option both indoors and outdoors. Ferns planted in pots along a staircase will make your garden feel like a fantasy land.

Test Your Garden Soil

Another tip for beginner gardeners is to test your soil’s PH and nutrients.

You’ll need to know this information to choose the right fertilizers and plants for your garden.

While blueberries might like an acidic garden, there are plants that prefer alkaline soil.

Alkaline soil loving plants include the lily of the valley, phacelia, ornamental clovers, wild marjoram, and lavender.

Acidic soil loving plants include magnolias, Japanese anemones, bilberries, ferns, and begonias.

Most plants prefer slightly acidic soil, but you can ask a garden center worker for help choosing the right plants for your garden’s conditions.

You technically can altar your soil’s PH level, but it’s easier to choose the plants that are suited for the soil you have.

And as a beginner gardener, you don’t really have skills needed to keep up with changing soil PH levels.

Decorative image of a garden with the best plants to grow for beginners
Grasses can be some of the easiest plants to grow in your garden. They also add texture and height to your landscape.

Planting Your Garden For The Beginner Gardener

Once you have the best plants to grow for beginners, you then need to decide how you will plant them.

Take a look around your garden. You might see natural boundaries and lines that you want to follow.

Will you plant things in groups, or in a line, or maybe as single plants?

Hopefully you have bought multiples of your plants. Buying one of everything can be exciting, but it leaves your garden looking chaotic.

Planting in groups of the same or similar plants makes your garden look organized and harmonious.

You should also consider the colors of your plants. Having a general color for most of your plants helps to make your garden look ordered.

But that can be boring, too!

Make sure to have a few pops of other colors to keep your garden interesting.

Decorative image of a garden with the best plants to grow for beginners
Luscious lavender plants in a garden. Lavender can be a tough plant to grow in certain climates, so don’t get discouraged if your first lavender plant dies!

Before You Start Digging Your Beginner Garden

Before you start digging, take your plants around the garden. Place them in the spot you think you want to plant them.

Once you have everything laid out, you’ll have a better idea of how it all looks.

It is so much easier to rearrange plants before they have been dug into the ground! Take the opportunity to rearrange them so that they are very pleasing to your eye.

Grouping plants in sets of threes or fives usually looks better than planting in groups of even numbers.

Consider the colors and textures that the plants give to your garden.

Tall plants should be placed in the back of a grouping, with shorter plants up front so they can be more easily seen.

If your garden will be viewed from all sides, tall plants are best placed in the center of a group.

Try to keep your plants away from trees.

The roots of trees are fiercely competitive and will steal all the nutrients and moisture meant for your new plants.

Decorative image of a garden with the best plants to grow for beginners
A lovely garden that even a beginner gardener could put together! Choosing colors that work together will bring your garden together nicely.

Choosing The Right Colors For Your Garden

You can create harmony in your garden by choosing the right colors in your plants.

Make sure to consider the color of any flowers when they are in full bloom.

You should also consider how the plants will look in Autumn, when all is gray and brown.

Some colors may clash with others, but they can still be planted side-by-side if they have a different blooming season.

The color of the leaves is important, too. Silver, gray, and purple foliage can clash against lime green leaves.

The foliage is what you will see most of the season, so try to keep similar foliage types together.

Decorative image of a trowel, bell peppers, lavender, and cilantro on green grass.
Bell peppers are another easy plant to grow for beginners.

The Easiest Plants To Grow For The Beginner Gardener

So you know everything you need to consider when starting your garden.

But what are the easiest plants to grow?

There are so many plants that grow easily and without a lot of hassle!

If you want a hygge garden without having to spend hours on it every day, choose some of the plants below to start with.

Decorative image of many varieties of pansies. Pansies are hardy plants, perfect for the beginner gardener.
Pansies are hard to kill and come in many colors.

Pansies

Pansies are super hardy! That means they’re near impossible to kill.

And they add gorgeous color to your garden.

In most parts of the US, pansies will survive the winter, so you won’t have to replant them every year.

And if you like variety, there are over 300 kinds of pansies out there!

You’re sure to find a couple that are perfect for your area and aesthetic.

Pansies are best planted when the soil in your garden is around around 50° to 60°F.

In colder states like Michigan, pansies should be planted in direct sunlight. They’ll need that warmth.

But if you live somewhere hot and dry, you should plant pansies in a bit of shade. Around 3 to 4 hours of shade a day should be enough to keep them alive during the height of summer.

Just make sure you water them well!

Decorative image of mint leaves. Mint is great for herbal remedies and is essential in any beginner garden.
Mint is an essential plant for herbalists to grow. It has many medicinal properties.

Mint

This plant is very hardy! Which makes it a great choice for the beginner gardener… with a caveat.

Don’t plant mint directly in the ground, or it will spread through your whole garden.

It’s impossible to completely get rid of it, and your neighbors will probably be pretty mad about that!

Instead, plant mint in pots. Placed strategically around the garden, the sweet smell will waft through your whole yard with the breeze.

Mint is also a good friend for the bees and other polinators.

Mint needs damp soil and good drainage. It’s also best in an area that gets some shade during the day.

That said, my strongest mint plant is in full sun and I probably watered it 3 times this summer.

Seriously, it’s hard to kill this plant!

Decorative image of luscious basil plants. Basil is a perfect plant for the beginner gardener.
Basil is a favorite in Italian foods. Grow it near tomatoes to ward off pests and make both plants taste better.

Basil

This fragrant herb is also a staple for most herbalists.

Perfect for chefs, herbalists, and anyone that likes a garden with many strong smells.

Basil is also a natural bug repellant! That means basil will help the beginner gardener keep out the pests.

Some say that planting basil and tomato plants together makes both taste better. It’s worth a try!

Basil seeds should be plants 6 weeks before the last frost in spring. Plant them 12 inches apart to give them space to grow.

Water them lightly, when the soil feels dry.

Decorative image of a woman plucking tomatoes from the vine in a garden for beginners
Tomatoes just want a ton of sun and water. Add a cage around them so they don’t slump to the ground, and you’ll have a glut of tomatoes every year.

Tomatoes

It’s not impossible to kill a tomato plant, but it is easy to put them in conditions for them to thrive.

The beginner gardener will probably prefer buying seedlings rather than starting from seed.

Then, they just need full sun and a lot of water!

Choose the variety that you find most tasty. I love heirloom varieties, with their odd but beautiful colors and shapes.

Do keep in mind that most tomato plants need a cage to keep the fruit off the ground.