The Easiest Plants To Grow For Beginner Gardeners

In case you missed it, plants have become a huge trend in recent years, with newbies buying their first houseplants to tend as well as experimenting with gardening for the first time — and for good reason. The hobby allows you to connect with nature, serves as an outlet for stress relief, and can be immensely rewarding as you watch your plants grow and flourish (and maybe even produce food).

Whether you live on the fifth floor of an apartment building or have a sprawling yard with unlimited space, you can garden anywhere. Before you begin, brush up on what you need to know about planting a garden. But keep this in mind: Gardening is all about trial and error — and being able to laugh it off when Mother Nature throws your plans out the window. 

Even if your thumb isn't so green, load up your bags of potting soil or gardening soil, and gather your essential gardening tools: We've rounded up five of the easiest plants to grow for beginner gardeners. They're sure to make your first season of planting a successful one.


The cheerful sunflower is unmistakable. Despite their large heads and towering stature, don't be intimidated: They're actually quite forgiving for novice gardeners. Mental Floss suggests waiting until the threat of frost has passed and choosing a location that gets plenty of direct sunlight throughout the day. Then, plant the seeds in one-inch holes. You'll want to space them about six inches apart, as you don't want to risk overcrowding once their growth takes off. Be sure to check the seed packet label for any instructions specific to the variety you choose since some types need to be spaced much farther apart. 

Give the seeds a good drink of water after planting, but be careful not to overwater once the sunflowers are established, which could ruin your chances of success. According to Mental Floss, these hardy flowers do well even in poor soil, which means you don't need to worry about fertilizing them. You'll get to enjoy their bright faces throughout the hottest days of summer, and their seeds make a delicious snack, so you can't go wrong.


If you live in a part of the country where temperatures can fluctuate drastically throughout the course of one season, pansies are the perfect flower for you. You'll often see them sold in garden centers in the fall and spring because these hardy flowers are resilient enough to withstand winter weather. HGTV recommends adding a layer of mulch around your pansies to protect them through the cold months. 

When you're ready to plant them in the spring (or fall), pick a spot that has plenty of sunshine and rich soil that drains well — you don't want the roots to get soggy. The flowers do need regular watering, but the trick is not to overwater them. Certain varieties can thrive in partial shade, so be sure to read the label on the type you choose. An added plus? Pansies attract butterflies, according to Garden Design. So not only will you get to enjoy their colorful blooms, but you'll also be treated to the beautiful pollinators that stop by for a visit.


Whether you buy ready-to-plant marigolds or opt to start them from seeds, this annual will go easy on you regardless. The flowers bloom in shades of red, orange, and yellow. Some varieties are tall and leggy, while others remain short and compact. Choose whichever suits your garden aesthetic. If you decide to grow them from seeds, Mental Floss says to wait until after the last frost and plant them in moist, well-draining soil. Spacing varies by the type of marigold you choose, so consult the instructions on the seed packet. 

While marigolds are low-maintenance and long-blooming, they have an additional perk: protecting tomatoes. According to Modern Farmer, marigolds release limonene, a gaseous chemical. It acts as a natural deterrent of pests like whiteflies that wreak havoc on tomato plants. "Aside from looking nice, using another plant as a pest repellent is a far better solution than a pesticide, which kills beneficial insects as well as harmful ones," notes Modern Farmer. The flowers are easy to grow, last all summer, and help keep your tomatoes healthy. What more could you want?


Known for their trumpet-like shape and nearly limitless array of colors, petunias are a terrific option for an easy flower that packs a major visual punch. You can find compact varieties or trailing, striped or speckled blooms — there's even a black shade of petunia if you want to amp up the drama in your garden. Who knew that a flower with such a dizzying array of options could be so easy to grow? According to Garden Design, you'll get the most "prolific" flowers if you plant in full sun with fertile soil and good drainage. 

Petunias do require regular watering because their root systems are shallow, but, if the leaves on the plant begin to turn yellow, that's a sign you're watering too much. In order to keep them blooming all summer long, some petunia varieties need to be deadheaded. This means pinching off the spent blooms once they're shriveled up or crunchy. As always, check the label to see if the variety you've chosen will benefit from some deadheading maintenance.


If you're looking for something easy to grow that's also delicious in cocktails and cooking, look no further than mint. This tasty herb is actually a perennial, so it will return each year if you plant it in the ground. Better Homes & Gardens warns that mint can overtake your garden since it spreads with such ease. Keep it trimmed to prevent spreading, or just plant your mint in pots. 

Either way, mint does well in full sun to partial shade. It likes damp, well-draining soil, which means it'll need some extra watering if your area goes through a dry spell. When it comes to pruning, Better Homes & Gardens advises to "remove flowers as they appear, and pinch back the stems to encourage shorter, bushier growth. In fall, cut the plants to the ground after a hard frost has withered their stems." 

There are many varieties of mint — including classics like spearmint and peppermint as well as interesting varieties like chocolate mint and apple mint — so you can choose one that's perfectly tailored for your needs. Whether you muddle the leaves into a cocktail or dry them to make tea, the possibilities are endless and delicious.