17 Plants That Give You Bang For Your Buck


Wondering which plants are worthy of your money and efforts? I had a similar dilemma last summer, and after a lot of research, I chose a few plants for my home garden and they were a good investment! 

Let’s say it, gardening can be a great hobby but it can get expensive if there is no efficient cost-cutting. From buying seeds to planters and fertilizers, everything just adds up, and things can get messed up anytime. Worst nightmare, isn’t it? So, why not look for a failsafe option in such a scenario? 

We call them bargain plants- those who need minimal input and give us the maximum output. From being the flag-bearer of extravagant natural beauty to classic, showy ornamental flowers, the bargain plants can be your savior with no compromise in beautifying your garden with its wild touch. 

Whether it’s the elegant white spiraea flowers or the gorgeous purple hyacinth beans, these plants provide year-round interest and multiply real quick. From healing herbs to wildfire magnets, we have it all!

17 Plants That Give The Bang For Your Buck 

1. Black-eyed Susan

If you want a low maintenance variety of the mighty sunflower, bring home this self-seeding perennial and watch the show winner perform! 

A North American native, this wildflower boasts beautiful golden leaves which are perfectly contrasted by dark black centers on the eye. They perform well in poor soil and can tolerate neglect gracefully. The flowers can also bloom in red and mahogany colors for that extra beauty. 

The blossoms attract bees and pollinators and it spreads rapidly during the fall which is the blooming season as well. No wonder it is a minimum input, maximum output plant! 

2. Snapdragons

You must have come across this one several times when you were shopping for a nice and colorful flower bouquet. With 40 vivid varieties, this one is hardy in all zones and is an annual perennial. 

The Mediterranean native grows well in sunny areas with damp soil and the blooming season starts from late summer which is very unlikely for a flowering species. The showy and classic structure of the snapdragon blooms can be used for decorative purposes any day, and some of them are fragrant as well. 

Also, this species is deer resistant. So, if you want to offer some protection to your favorite vegetable garden, use snapdragons as a border plant! 

3. Lavender

Here comes the mighty lavender! I mean, who can forget this blue wonder if we are talking about best bangs for those gardening bucks. Once established, they won’t demand much of your time and would bless your garden with its majestic properties. 

A hardy plant that has average water requirements can be used to make lavender oil which can be used for bathing, baking, and also for medicinal uses. The soothing aroma is a blessing to your smell buds, yet they are mosquito and deer repellents. 

Whether it’s an aromatic border for a formal garden or a lavender accent in a unique rock garden, lavender can carry them all! 

4. Apple Tree

Taking a break from showy, floral species, here comes something big, and worth the investment. Apple trees produce fragrant pink blossoms and for an amazing garden setup, train the tree to make their way through walls and arches. 

If grown from seeds, they provide better yield and facilitate faster growth. With little care, they produce apples of good quality and are often used for cedar production. 

Besides the beauty and the touch of nature, you will also have those fresh, organic apples as a bonus! 

5. Zinnia

Sometimes defined by the ‘must-have’ flower, zinnia belongs to the sunflower tribe and is a native of central Mexico and South America. Zinnias are annual flowers that prefer dry grassland to grow. 

One of the easiest flowers to grow, zinnia blooms heavily and they are popular for the rainbow of colors that would bless your garden from spring to early fall. They need full sun and well-drained soil but they are quite tolerant of poor soil as well. 

Sow an empty border with zinnia seeds and you will be blown away with a plethora of eye-catching colors in no time! 

6. Clethra

Evergreen and deciduous shrub, clethra is all about dark-green leaves and sparkling white flowers. They multiply well once established and they are quite tolerant of temperature fluctuations. 

Clethra blooms well in shady areas and hence you can use it as a corner plant and woodland garden. The flowers also give spikes of dark brown fruits that blush in the winter season. 

Freshen up your garden with the incredibly aromatic clethra flowers and enjoy the goodness of nature with those butterflies and bee hummings! 

7. Maiden Grass

Mainly an ornamental grass, maiden grass is a wonderful shrub with fine-textured, golden blade-like flowers with a tall grass stem. Also known as Miscanthus Sinensis, the gracefully arching stems have a clumping habit which enhances the beauty of the shrub. 

An East Asian native, silver grass is extremely low-maintenance and can be used as a filler for your garden. The white variegated foliages turn golden-bronze after the first frost making the handsome perennial extra charming. 

Like lavender, this hardy species can also repel insects, deers, and diseases and yes, we have got another border plant! 

8. Hyacinth Bean

Ever heard a colorful vine can make you go head-over-heels? Well, hyacinth bean simply can! The delicately colored blossoms, purple-tinted leaves, and red-purple pods, those twirls of the vine up a trellis can create a stunning view any day.

This annual vine is ornamental and the pods can add unusual yet unique twists to the flower arrangements like bouquets or vase setup. The blooms remain fresh for a longer period and the plant can never disappoint you with its blossoms. 

The beautiful plant is edible too, but don’t forget to boil the beans and leaves before consuming. A wonderful investment for a scented species, isn’t it? 

9. Aloe Vera

I am sure you don’t need me to tell how incredible this plant is and it would no doubt be a good addition to your garden. Also known as the ‘plant of immortality,’ aloe is a succulent plant species belonging to the Arabian peninsula and can be grown in tropical and arid climates. 

It is nothing less than a medical herb like lavender and it is showy as well. The aloe vera juice can help in digestion and give you that essential nutrients boost whereas the mighty aloe gel can cure anything. The thick, short-stemmed leaves have water stored in them and it can produce offsets actively. So, your initial input will double in no time! 

10. Morning Glory

The Mexican morning glory or Ipomoea tricolor is a lovely annual vine, popular for those heart-shaped leaves, and is a native to New World tropics. This species is a well-behaved climber that does not come with thuggy plants. Just small support to climb and you will see a train of heavenly blue blossoms!

The trumpet-shaped flowers are azure-blue with a white and yellow eye and come with that rustic, old-fashioned charm which is simply beautiful. Just like snapdragons, they multiply soon and give maximum output, but don’t fertilize the plant as it accelerates foliage growth. 

11. Yaupon Holly

Ilex Vomitoria, commonly known as yaupon holly, is a North American native that has the word ‘tree’ in its name. This evergreen shrub can pass for a small tree that bears vibrant red berries to add some color to your garden. 

It is a drought-resistant species and survives well in hot and dry places. Yaupon holly is loved for its berries and also it tolerates anything, even transplant shock. Pruning can help you regulate its growth because it does spread quickly and can be up to 15 feet tall. This can make your money spread! 

12. Cleome

Cleome, well-known as the spider flowers or bee plants, belongs to the caper family and has about 170 species. It is a fast-growing, sweetly fragrant plant that can be very showy if the right variety is chosen. 

They thrive in bright sun and are native to South America. During the early summer days, you will see the colorful flowers blooming from the buds, topping those tall, leggy leaves. Just like clethra, this one can be used to add delicate airiness to the borders of your garden. Bring in the essence of tranquility with the spider flowers to your yard with this vibrant beauty! 

13. Spiraea

My favorite from the lot, spiraea, belonging to the shrub family of Rosaceae, comes in a variety of 80 to 100 species. The white, dense inflorescences are native to the Northern Hemisphere and are also called Japanese meadowsweets.

Spiraea is a deciduous, hardy shrub which has toothed-margins in the foliage. From the book of gardeners, it is a care-free, landscape species that burst into colors as spring sets in. The abundant combination of pink and white clusters together with pleasing foliage would be a terrific addition to your garden and so worth the input! 

14. Sourwood

Coming to another elegant tree variety, sourwood blushes in the summer and fall. It is an east North American native and is also known as a sorrel tree. Featuring some of the best fall colors, the medium-sized sourwood is a single species in the genus Oxydendrum. 

You have to plant the tree in full sun and use slightly acidic, well-drained soil for healthy growth. The fall colors get more vibrant with sun exposure and I am sure you would be thrilled to see those highly fragrant, lily-like blossoms. Ranging from charming crimson to purplish-red, the deciduous flowers are extremely ornamental! 

15. Scarlet Runner Beans

Phaseolus coccineus, commonly known as runner bean or multiflora bean, is an ornamental floral species that would yield you maximum output in no time. This central American climber is very efficient in terms of multiplying and germinating from seeds.

The runner beans are edible and so are the flowers. The fresh bean pods are tasty and you can have them fresh or the mature beans when they start shelling. The fast-growing vines can attract hummingbirds and butterflies and make your garden come alive!

16. Cherry Rose

 Cherry Rose is a hybrid variety of sunflowers and can be grown from fresh flower seeds without any hassle. It is an annual flowering plant that blooms profusely in the summer months and once established, they stand strong! 

The beautiful blooms can be cherry red or even maroon with light peach or salmon petals tips. It enjoys full sunlight and must be watered regularly, especially during the blooming months. Almost every variety of sunflower is the most sought after flowering plant, and this one is no exception. They bear pollen-free blooms and can be up to 6 feet tall. 

This eye-catching sunflower species would also be an amazing choice for floral decorations and is so worth the money and time! 

17. Amaranth

One of the beauties that can easily claim the winning title for the get your buck back category is amaranth or pigweeds. A cosmopolitan genus, amaranth can be the focal point of your garden with its showy and dramatic appearance. 

They can be easily grown from seeds and those unique, deep red florals would bloom from summer to fall. They prefer full sunlight and average, well-drained soil for the maximum output. 

You can use the dried-up amaranth flowers to make a protein-rich flour that would be beneficial to your health and wallet! 

These plants can return an unparalleled return on every buck invested and they are incredibly easy to grow. You can also add some culinary herbs to the list like mint, basil, and rosemary and almost effortlessly, get every penny back!