Water is one of the most critical natural resources we have. But with weather changes, unpredictable dry conditions, and high energy prices looming over our heads, gardeners have to re-think the way we use water in the garden.
One of the simplest ways to conserve water, other than resigning ourselves to just have rock gardens, is to select drought-tolerant plants. These water thrifty greenery plants not only require little water but also add a certain charm to any landscape during a dry spell.
Today, we’ll be talking about drought-tolerant garden plants you can use to help conserve water during the hottest part of the year. You don’t have to wait until early fall or late winter to plant because you’re concerned about water. Check these out:
What are Drought-Tolerant Plants?
New plants you can use in drought conditions are native plants such as shrubs, trees, ground cover or ornamental grasses that have low water requirements. They have built-in features that help maximize water intake with good drainage while also minimizing water loss. Typically, they have structural adaptations such as deep roots that help them thrive in low water conditions such as:
- Thick, leathery, fleshy leaves with cuticles of a waxy coating, which perform dual functions of cutting down on water loss and reflecting heat away from the plant.
- Small, thin leaves, which effectively reduce the surface area from which water loss can occur.
- Sunken stomata pits, which trap moist air and reduce water loss rates.
- Hairy leaf surface which shade the stomata and reduce contact from hot air, protecting plants from extremes of light and temperature.
3 Reasons to Use Drought-Tolerant Plants in Your Garden
For the resource-conscious gardener, drought-tolerant plants are the perfect addition to their landscape. There are three main reasons why you should have this type of plants in your garden as well:
They Need Less Water
Drought-tolerant plants typically come from drier climates with minimal access to water sources. They have adapted to these environmental condition and so they naturally need less supplemental watering.
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They’re Low Maintenance
Most drought-tolerant plants require very little maintenance. Some can even survive in poor or sandy soil conditions since they have adapted in harsh environments. This means you can maintain a beautiful garden without spending so much time fertilizing, watering, and keeping pests away.
They Add Aesthetic Appeal to Any Garden
Most people think that drought-tolerant plants are limited to cacti and succulents but there’s more to them than meets the eye. You can have a wide range of colors in your garden with plants that thrive in low-water conditions. You just need to know which ones to plant in your garden.
Best Drought-Tolerant Plants That Will Help Conserve Water In Your Garden
There’s a wide range of drought-tolerant plants you can add to your garden. From trees and shrubs, to perennials and annuals, there are virtually endless varieties of plants you can choose from and they all will make an excellent choice. Here are some ideas:
- White Fir is a slow-growing and stately evergreen that features soft and bluish-green needles.
- Bur oak is a large, majestic tree that can grow in most tough places.
- Japanese Tree Lilac is one of the toughest lilacs around. It grows huge clusters of creamy white beautiful flowers in early summer.
Drought Tolerant Shrubs
- Bearberry is an evergreen groundcover that tolerates sandy, dry, gravely or acid soils as well as salt. It can grow in full sun or partial shade. It has glossy green leaves that turn bronze in the fall. It blooms white to pink flowers in the spring and bears small red fruits in late summer.
- Bottlebrush Buckeye is a deciduous shrub with a mounded, multi-stemmed habit. It blooms white flowers in the summer, it can tolerate sun or shade, and it is resistant to deer and rabbits.
- Bush Cinquefoil is a long-blooming shrub that tolerates drought, various dry soil types, and heat. It blooms orange, white, or yellow flowers from early summer through the frost.
- Yarrow is an easy-to-grow perennial with fern-like foliage. It has large flat showy blooms in the late spring and mid-summer in colors ranging from yellow, to pink, to red. Yarrow is a great cut flower plant, too.
- Stonecrop or sedum is a groundcover perennial featuring succulent foliage that can be variegated, bronze, reddish-purple, green or blue-gray.
- Barrenwort is a slow-growing groundcover plant that is deer and rabbit resistant. It blooms white, yellow, red, or purple flowers in the spring.
- Russian Sage has silver feathery leaves and can grow up to 4 feet. It is super easy to grow, just cut the stems back to about 6″ in early Spring and that’s it.
- Blanket Flower produces beautiful blooms with gorgeous long lasting colors. It also boasts a beautiful green foliage into early Fall. They are very cold hardy and can survive in zone 5 but have even made it through USDA Hardiness Zone 3
- Purple Coneflower produces beautiful purple and pink blooms throughout the summer and is very hardy to most weather conditions.
- Wax Begonia is a bushy plant with shiny, heart-shaped leaves ranging from green, to bronze-red, to mahogany.
- Nasturtium is a herbaceous flowering plant that thrives in infertile, dry clay soil. It can bloom yellow, orange, red, and mahogany flowers even in partial shade
- Verbena is an upright annual with mauve, purple, white, pink, apricot or red. It thrives in full sun.
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