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Easy-to-Grow Perennial plants for gardening in Zambia

Updated: May 11, 2023

Evergreen plants are a popular choice for gardens for several reasons. One of the main benefits is that they retain their foliage throughout the year, providing year-round greenery and adding visual interest to the garden during the winter months when other plants may be dormant or bare. This makes them ideal for creating a lush and vibrant garden landscape that looks great all year round.

There is a wide variety of these available in Zambia at local nurseries so take a look at our garden supply directory to find a nursery near you.

If you're looking for easy-to-grow perennial plants for gardening in Zambia, here are a few options to consider:

The Resilient Aloes, Agaves & Cacti

These are the obvious first choice of an easy to grow plant as their succulent leaves and stems allow them to store water for extended periods of time.

There are many aloes and agaves that grow with varying shades of green and bluish leaves with variegation and speckling. When they are stressed they even can turn shades of red adding even more colour to your garden.

Young Potted Aloe Plants
Young Potted Aloe Plants

Technically Aloe Vera is not indigenous to Zambia but it can be found in nurseries, and its juice is commonly used in skin care and to treat burns. Aloe Vera is a succulent plant that is well-suited to the hot, dry climate of Zambia. It is easy to care for and can be grown both indoors and outdoors. There are many aloes that can be substituted in the garden and available in local nurseries.

Agaves similarly maintain their colour all year round and varieties include the agave attenuatta, agave amazonica, and the less common agave victoria reginae. Cacti are most commonly recognised by their spines. They have thick stems and modified leaves which form the spines, minimising the loss of water. One of the most common that you will find here in Zambia is the prickly pear cactus (opuntia) which is grown for its fruit.

The Colourful Bougainvillea: Perennial Plants

Young man picking colourful bouganvillea flowers in a dry area
Young man picking colourful bouganvillea flowers in a dry area

If you are looking or a show stopper, bouganvillea is your plant. It's a climber and so is useful to cover fences or grow up trees to create a colourful feature.

Bougainvillea is reported to be be Zambia's national flower. However, we have yet to confirm this from an official source as this plant is originally from South America so would be an unlikely choice for our national symbol.

Bougainvillea is a fast-growing, woody plant that produces bright, showy bracts in shades of pink, purple, red, and yellow. Modern cultivars can have variation in the leaves too. It is popular because it is well suited to the extremes of our climate because of the similarities with the Mediterranean climate it originates from. It is drought-tolerant and can be grown in a range of soil types. It flowers through the year so will always provide you with garden interest even in the dry winter months.

The Snake Plant: A Hardy Succulent

Uniform pots of clay sanseviera trifasciata lining a wall
Uniform pots of clay sanseviera trifasciata lining a wall

Every garden needs a staple, a plant that can be mass planted can provide a backdrop to the other bedding plants in the yard. Sanseviera or snake plant has been a popular plant in our gardens for decades because it has striking leaves and grows well in those difficult spots under trees, in the shade. It has many cultivars with a large variety of shapes, but they all have the slight mottling pattern that mimics snake skin, from which the plant gets it's common name. Variations include Sanseviera trifasciata (pictured here), Moonlight, Farnsworth, Starfish, cylindrica and birdsnest varieties.

Snake plant is a succulent plant that is well-suited to the hot, dry climate of Zambia. It is easy to care for, drought-tolerant, and can be grown both indoors and outdoors.

Zinnia and Marigolds

A field of orange zinnia flowers
A field of orange zinnia flowers

So technically these are annuals (not perennials), which means they grow from seed to flower to seed, in one growing season. But, there is nothing quite like a pop of colour in the garden which is why annuals remain so popular and in Zambia, these can be grown all year round. They bring some festivity into the garden as well as provide food for insects.

Zinnia and Marigolds are a popular choice for flower gardens in Zambia, as they are brightly coloured and easy to care for. They are fairly hardy and once established are very easy to care for. They come in a range of colours and are well-suited to the warmer temperatures and increased rainfall of the rainy season.

These are just a few examples of easy-to-grow plants for the garden in Zambia. When choosing plants, be sure to consider your local climate, soil type, and growing conditions, and select species that are well-suited to these factors. Your local nursery should be able to advise you on which plants would be suitable depending on the conditions in your yard.

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