TOP DROUGHT TOLERANT PLANTS
If after the last few weeks, your garden looks anything like ours you are probably thinking long and hard about changing up your planting and introducing more drought tolerant plants.
With rising temperatures predicted to be the new normal and the increasing need to garden more sustainably particularly with regards to water usage, we believe drought tolerant plants are the way forward.
To help you chose the best drought tolerant plants, we’ve asked our Shop and Nursery Team to share the plants that have thrived in the August heat in their own gardens.
Sue – Nursery Manager
“The star in my garden has been the Sedums.”
Sedum (Hylotelephium) are succulent plants with fleshy leaves that act as water storage vessels. Their capability to store water means they can survive for long periods without rain making them excellent plants for a drought tolerant garden.
They are herbaceous so die down in winter but grow again in Spring, returning as a bigger clump year on year.
They have wide heads of small star shaped flowers in summer through to autumn that are adored by pollinators and butterflies, hence one of it’s common names, butterfly stonecrop.
In addition to lovely flowers their leaves and stems come in a multitude of colour ranging from green right through to deep burgundy.
Rachel – Shop Manager
“Best plant in my extremely drought hit garden right now is Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican fleabane)”
Gorgeous mat forming plants with daisy flowers that love to grow in well drained soil. They look great in gravel gardens and pots and self-seed prolifically.
They flower almost constantly from mid spring right through to autumn and in a mild winter can be in flower all year round. The flowers start off white and fade to a beautiful pink over time.
To keep them looking good shear them back in spring.
Peter - Nursery Team
“Roses can be surprisingly drought resistant”
An established rose that has had time to get it’s roots well down into the soil is surprisingly tolerant of drought conditions. You can help them through the summer heat by applying a thick layer of mulch around the base of the plant in spring. To be most useful do this just after a period of rainfall. The mulch acts as a barrier trapping the moisture around the rose roots and preventing it evaporating in the heat.
If you are considering a rose do some research into those that grow well in poor soil and tolerate drought. You will need to keep it well watered for at least a year until it is firmly established.
Jenny - Shop Team
“Echinaceas are still looking great in my garden”
Easy to grow, bold and tough these perennial plants look great in borders and pots and look particularly good matched with grasses (also drought tolerant.)
With flowers that look like large daisies in pinks, whites, oranges and reds they add vibrant pops of colour to planting schemes.
Echinacea’s like growing in full sun and dislike being moved, so take time to decide on the most suitable spot for them in your garden. With the right conditions they will come back in ever growing clumps year after year.
If biodiversity is top of your plant 'must have' list then echinaceas fit the bill as they are loved by pollinators of all types.
Karen -Shop Team
“You can’t beat lavenders”
With their slender silver leaves and masses of flowers in summer lavenders are stalwarts of the drought tolerant garden. They like to grow in poor, loose, easily drained soil, so, if your soil is heavy dig in some gravel to create the conditions for it to thrive.
Lavenders are highly aromatic, and their flowers are loved by humans and pollinators alike. If you like to grow plants for more than just flowers lavenders can be used in drinks, cakes, perfumes and when dried turned into fragrant lavender bags for your draws.
Plant in full sun and avoid moist soils.
To keep them looking good and to avoid them turning woody, prune immediately after flowering in late summer, cutting back to 1 or 2 buds above this year’s new growth.
Janet - Nursery Team
“My hibiscus is still looking fantastic”
Hibiscus are a range of shrubs that grow well in neutral, well drained soil in full sun that have great drought resistance. Some hibiscus are evergreen (keep their leaves all year) so in a small garden they can provide interest and value all year long.
Their flowers are open and therefore attract a range of pollinators.
If you like low maintenance gardening, then hibiscus will suit you as they need little to no pruning. Just give them a mulch in late autumn to protect the roots from winter cold.
Nicola - Shop Team
“Hands down the best in my garden through the drought has been Verbena bonariensis”
Verbena are perennial (grow every year) plants that thrive in well drained soil, they look particularly good in gravel gardens. Native to South America they are well used to baking sun and have adapted to thrive in drought.
They are tall plants growing up to 2,5 meters, however their narrow stems and small leaves mean they have a light, airy feel that adds impact and interest to a border.
Their small purple, fragrant flowers sit at the top of long stems waving about on the breeze attracting pollinators to your garden. They are so important for pollinators they are names on the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Plants for Pollinators List’
We hope you've enjoyed sharing the knowledge and experience of our expert team.
You might also find our blog on TOP TIPS FOR SUMMER WATERING useful. Click the image below to read.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.