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Drought tolerant plants

colaj 1It’s important for you to know that all plants require water, light, and nutrients to grow. There are however some plants that need little water or can survive long periods of time, once they are established, without watering .

These are “drought tolerant” plants. They reduce the demand for potable water in landscapes, require less maintenance, bring ecological diversity and seasonal interest to the landscape.

Here in Niagara we have become aware of the dangerously low water levels of our surrounding lakes and rivers. We must all try conserving water. A few simple practices can help the home gardener maintain a beautiful garden while saving precious water, time and effort.

  • → First, install a rain barrel, it is a good way to save rain water to use for your gardening needs.
  • → Second, apply mulch in your flower beds, it preserves the moisture and keeps the weeds away. Some examples are shredded bark, wood chips, cocoa beans, cut grass or even  ground covers such as vinca, perennial geraniums, ajuga, thyme or sweet woodruff can act as living mulches in the garden.
  • → Third, plant suitable plants for your site. Choose drought-tolerant plants whenever possible, particularly if watering will be difficult.colaj 4

Characteristics of Drought Tolerant Plants

Unique leaf structure:

  • Fine lacy foliage – reduced leaf surface means less water loss
  • Thick, succulent, waxy leaves – thick leaves store more moisture
  • Hairy, fuzzy leaves – fine hairs keep moisture at the leaf surface

Where To Plant Drought Tolerant Plants

They perform best in hot, dry climates in full sun and well-drained soil.

Once planted, they require deep and thorough watering on a consistent basis to establish the plant’s root system. Drought tolerant and native plants can only be  drought tolerant after the plant’s root systems have established.

Fertilize drought tolerant plants if they begin to show signs of decline or discoloration.

Most drought tolerant perennials will perform exceptionally for years without being divided. Exceptions include the most vigorous or prolific perennials such as daylilies, hostas and tall bearded irises.colaj 3

Landscape Opportunities For Drought Tolerant Plants

Rock Garden Landscape – rock gardens thrive in both sunny and shady locations. They are inspired by the collection of plants from alpine mountain regions.

Drought tolerant rock garden species include: Creeping Juniper, Potentilla fruticosa, Cotoneaster, Spirea varieties, Creeping Thyme, Perennial Alyssum, Ground Phlox, Sedum varieties, Sempervivum.

Butterfly Landscape – these landscapes are low maintenance, colorful, scented and ecologically friendly.

For more info about butterfly gardens click here

Commonly Planted Drought Tolerant  Species Drought Tolerant plantsDownload Pdf 

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