These Outdoor Plants Are Incredibly Hard to Kill
Unlike indoor plants—which you can provided tailored care for in the form of temperature control, water, and sunlight adjustments—outdoor varieties are more susceptible to their environment and, let's face it, neglect. This is especially true if they are placed in a particularly deep bed or far-off nook in your yard. Luckily, there are a few options that can withstand harsher conditions or a forgotten water cycle or two (or three). Ahead, discover some of the most hard-to-kill plants you can add to your garden.
Believe it or not, chives, the edible perennial, are hardy in most areas. "In cooler climates, you can cut them back and they'll survive the harsher weather and re-sprout in the spring. In places where it's warmer year-round, they are a cut-and-come-again plant; you can harvest them continuously and they'll continue to thrive," explains Lara Hermanson, the co-founder of Farmscape. "But you never want to cut more than one third of the plant at a time, so they'll last several years."
If you like the look of succulents but want a bit more color, you can't go wrong with sedum, says Wendy Klusendorf, a garden expert at Rocket Farms. "Contrary to popular belief, Mother Nature does not provide a one-size-fits-all environment for plants," she says, noting that this perennial can tolerate nearly anything nature throws its way, from partial shade to full sun and poor soil (it can thrive in difficult sandy soil that most plants hate).
Another hardy plant with lush green foliage and a splashy hue is the geranium. "Species that thrive inside may not survive outdoors due to the inability to control the amount of light, shade, and fluctuations in water and temperature," Klusendorf explains. While geraniums pull double duty (they are popular as both indoor and outdoor plants), they're difficult to kill once you set them up somewhere they'll be happy outside—this typically involves moist soil and several hours of sunlight per day.
According to Hermanson, the kitchen staples growing in your cutting garden are actually pretty challenging to kill. If you're looking for plants that can withstand a lot of changes, both via the weather and shifting seasons, she suggests opting for some of the "woodsier" herbs. "These include sage, rosemary and thyme, which are all cut-and-come-again plants," explains Hermanson, adding that lavender, another herb, can also go the distance. Other edible plants that are particularly hardy, note our experts, are mint, jalapeños, and kale.
If you're lucky enough to live somewhere agave thrives—these plants prefer the hot, arid areas you'll find out west—then you can plant this can't-kill favorite. If you live somewhere warm, but aren't quite sure if agave is right for your area, Klusendorf suggests grabbing your car keys to find out. "A great way to pick what works best in your area is to take a quick drive or walk around the block and see what is thriving in your neighbors' yards," she notes.