With rain scarce and water bills rising, it’s time to look for ways to have a lush, flower-filled garden that saves valuable water, time and money.
Choose drought-tolerant plants that literally “shine” under arid conditions. Some have small leaves with gray or silver foliage to reflect the sun’s rays. Others have fat leaves, stems or roots that hold water like a sponge.
Drought-tolerant plants take hot, dry weather in stride. Once established, they need only occasional watering. With flowers and foliage as beautiful as their thirstier cousins, drought-tolerant plants deserve a place in your garden.
Choose and Plant Drought-Tolerant Plants:
- Look for plants that are either native or acclimated to your region. A plant’s label should indicate how drought tolerant it is. A Garden Center associate can help you choose the plants that are best for your garden.
- Reliable flowering perennials include blanketflower, yarrow, columbine, salvia, penstemon and hyssop. Ornamental grasses, bunny ears, hedgehog cactus and yucca provide texture and mass. Annuals that keep blooming through the heat include California poppy, verbena, calendula, larkspur and bachelor’s button.
- Plant according to the directions on the plant’s label.
- Water well.
- Top with mulch to hold moisture in the soil. Do not mulch up to the stems, it can cause plants to rot.
- Even drought-tolerant plants need to be watered for a few weeks after planting as their roots become established. Drooping stems, puckered or wrinkly leaves and dry, brown edges of flowers or leaves are indications that a plant needs water.
Many of these plants will attract butterflies and hummingbirds.