A giant swallowtail butterfly rests upon a zinnia in a  flowerbed. 
Photo: Special to the American-Statesman
Photo: Special to the American-Statesman

5 garden plants that you probably won’t kill 

Atlanta braves a fierce forecast of muggy, sizzling and often rainy weather conditions yearly.

Despite the sometimes challenging elements, almost nothing will stop the following plants from flowering into natural perfection.

That said, amateur gardeners desiring plants that require easy upkeep to accessorize their yards and homes within the city limits (and four seasons) can guarantee these annuals — and ones that actually act like annuals — will produce long-term color and harmonious landscapes. 

Atlanta Botanical Garden’s manager of display gardens, Amanda Bennett, shares just how simple it is for beginner gardeners to care for these fit flowers while living in Hotlanta: 


Candytufts are small evergreen bushes that can bloom into pink, red and white flowers. These wildflowers grow in cute clusters that create fun accents to yard designs.

Ideal Elements: Warm weather. Plant candytufts in the springtime to summer.

Ideal Use: To amplify urban rooftop to rock gardens, adding bundles of beauty to basic surroundings.


Blossoming in a kaleidoscope of colors, impatiens are soft, tropical flowers. They naturally light up dim areas, including rooms, too.

Ideal Elements: Warm weather. Plant impatiens in the springtime and by summer they can possibly grow into knee-high mounds.

Ideal Use: To cascade over decks, entryways or outdoor furniture, offering bursts of decorative tint to dull spaces.

Pansies start fading when daily air temperatures are in the lower 70s and soil temperatures are in the mid-60s. (Walter Reeves)


These low-maintenance, high-pigmented flowers are a popular choice for creating fairytale-worthy lawns, outdoor potted ornaments and indoor windowsill trimmings to brighten your humble abode.

Ideal Elements: Cool weather. Plant pansies in the fall and watch their color pop from fall and winter to springtime.

Ideal Use: To boost front and backyard appeal with vibrant hues, which naturally uplift dark, dreary days.

Vinca minor (periwinkle or creeping myrtle), a commonly used groundcover, that prefers rich, moist soil but can tolerate poor, dry conditions and sunny exposures. (Dean Fosdick/Associated Press)
Photo: Dean Fosdick


Beginner gardeners will appreciate a vinca, because the plant requires low water and can smoothly confront Atlanta's heat without compromising their rich coloring.

Ideal Elements: Warm weather. Plant vincas late spring, so they can bloom by mid-summer.

Ideal Use: To dress up containers and hanging baskets in tight living quarters, which organically form an open-air effect. Vincas also attract nature to your front door. These plants are popular among hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.


Known as the hardest-working flower to tackle summer months, zinnias are bushy, multicolored flowers that resemble daisies. The petals come in either curved, pointed or twisted patterns. And although they're small, zinnias are low-maintenance plants that effortlessly handle extreme heat and droughts all while still preserving their bold hue.

Ideal Elements: Warm weather. Plant these cut-and-come-again flowers in the spring for mid-summer blooming until the first hard fall frost.

Ideal Use: To hang creative bouquets of flowers along high-rise apartment porches and patios for artistic, skyline appeal.

Atlanta @ Home is a monthly series from The Atlanta-Journal Constitution that offers inspiration and ideas for home party planning, decor, improvement and other helpful tips Atlanta's homeowners can use. Contact Stephanie Toone at stephanie.toone@ajc.com to share any insights or home ideas for future series.

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