Water Wise Gardens with the Use of Drought Tolerant Perennials

Common Garden Mistakes

Most gardeners make the common mistake of counting on summer as drought season. This is not the only reason to consider drought tolerant perennials.

The earth's natural resources are fast diminishing with the damage done to the ozone layer. A lot of countries are already experiencing drought conditions with major water rationing in place.

Even if people do not reside in a drought-stricken area, it is a good idea to start looking up plants that can adapt to dry areas. Sooner or later, every garden will experience a dry season. Early planning will keep your garden looking plush all year round in the driest of seasons.

Water may be crucial to growing healthy plants but many perennial plants can withstand dry spells after they have set down roots and become established before they are subjected to drought. This is the basis behind a concept called xeriscaping or water-wise gardening.

Planning a Garden with Drought Tolerant Perennials

Gardeners are encouraged to choose plants and group them based on their water requirements. Knowing what plants will thrive in dry areas will save you and your garden much grief when the rains refuse to come down.

Plants such as cactus, agave, aloe, and yucca are plants that come to mind when gardeners think of drought tolerant plants.

Flowering perennials such as thistles like Echinops (Globe Thistle) and Eryngium (Sea Holly), and Mediterranean plants, such as Lavender and Perovskia (Russian Sage) also make great gardening options for dry gardens.

4 Perennials That May Surprise You with Their Drought Tolerant Constitutions

1. Agapanthus

Agapanthus, the African Lily, is thought of as a moist-soil plant, but once established, they are tough enough to withstand dry spells without stressing. They are round clusters of trumpet-shaped blossoms in white, purple or blue, that can last for up to 8 weeks, in ideal conditions.

2. Gaillardia

Gaillardia is a flashy daisy and another one of the wonderful drought tolerant perennials you can plant in your garden. And they love well-drained soil, so drought means little to them. Keep them in full sun, or they become floppy from being top heavy.

The traditional Gaillardia is rust colored, rimmed with yellow. New varieties are being bred in as an assortment of yellows, rusts,¬†and reds. Gaillardia ‘Burgundy' will even appeal to gardeners who don't allow yellow or orange into their flower beds. Butterflies love it too.

3. Lamium

Many gardeners are stumped trying to figure out what will grow in the dry shade under a tree. How about Lamium?

It makes a pretty little groundcover. The silvery white streak down the center of its leaves brings some light to the shade. Just be sure to plant it where you won't mind it spreading out because spread it will.

4. Heliopsis

Heliopsis is one of those flowers that is so self-sufficient, it gets no respect. Even the common name, False Sunflower, implies it is a poor relative of a more prized plant.

But this native of the dry prairie holds its golden flowers on stiff stems that can climb 3 – 6 feet. There are single types that look rather like yellow daisies and fluffy doubles. Heliopsis is often confused with its helio sterile cousin, Helianthus, but Heliopsis is quite fertile and will happily spread.

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