If you live in a drought area, choosing plants that are resistant to landscape conditions and dry weather allows you to conserve water. Additionally, drought-resistant plants generally require less maintenance, so you can enjoy relaxing in your garden more than working in it. With some soil conditioning, there’s a wide variety of plants that fall into this category.
Tips for Drought-Tolerant Foliage
Part of planting drought-resistant flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees is knowing how to plan ahead and care for the plants once they’re established. When you’re planning your garden, make a rough sketch so that you can mark where your plants will go. You want to group together plants with similar soil, sun and water needs.
Before you start planting, add organic matter to the soil to improve water availability and drainage. Don’t add fertilizer because it could promote an abundance of growth that may flop in extreme temperatures. Also, use mulch in your garden so that the soil can better retain moisture.
When you’re ready to plant, start in April and use small specimens so that they can get used to their environment as they grow and develop established roots by winter. Although you want to deeply water your plants, giving them too much water could make them flop. Using a drip irrigation system may help you control this, or you can use a water hose.
Other than that, doing regular lawn and garden maintenance will ensure that your drought-tolerant plants thrive. This involves controlling weeds, pruning and keeping pests at bay.
Popular Drought-Resistant Plants
You’ll notice that a lot of drought-tolerant foliage has gray-green or silver leaves, which reflect sunlight. Some are also covered in fine hairs, which retain moisture around plant tissues. These properties allow drought-resistant plants to flourish in less than favorable soil and weather conditions. Take a look at the following list of drought-tolerant plants that add color and texture to gardens:
• Agastache – Growing 3 to 5 feet high, the flowering spikes of this plant create a sea of white or purple.
• Artemisia – Valued for its slender silver leaves, this reliable plant features low mounds or arching stems that grow 1 to 5 feet wide and high.
• California Poppy – These golden yellow flowers are great for gardens with poor soil. They don’t mind it a bit and grow best in full sun.
• Catmint – You can put this aromatic, flowering plant in containers, rock gardens or around the borders of your lawn. Attractive to bees and butterflies, it grows 1 to 3 feet wide and high and blooms purple from early summer to early autumn.
• Coneflower – Similar in appearance to a yellow sunflower, this plant can survive in nearly any type of soil. It’s also a self-sowing flower, which means that its seeds spread to give you more flowers in the next season.
• Lantana – With clusters of blooms in yellow, orange and red, this plant grows 3 to 6 feet wide and high. You can plant it in a container or straight into the ground.
• Lavender – This fragrant, purple plant grows in mounds that are perfect for bordering your lawn.
• Licorice Plant – The silver, fuzzy foliage of this vine plant grows through surrounding plants. Spreading 6 feet wide, it needs partial to full sun.
• Portulaca – Growing in clusters, this plant blooms in a rainbow of color and thrives in sunny areas where other flowers wither.
• Salvia – This vibrantly colored flower grows in arching stems that reach 8 to 30 inches high and blooms from summer to fall.
• Veronica – Reaching 1 to 2 feet high, this plant blooms in blue, pink, purple and white.
• Yarrow – Blooming clusters in the spring, this plant is a candidate for any spot in your garden.
Many more plants are prime options for dry gardens. You can check out your local plant nursery or a home and garden retailer for even more drought-resistant plants.
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