In order to beat the heat of summer and have a colorful yard or patio all season long, you’ll need to have plants that are tolerant of the high temperatures of summer as well as being somewhat drought tolerant.
The following is a partial list of plants having drought tolerant potential, but you must still remember that all plants will need at least 2 weeks of regular/frequent watering after being planted to become well established in their environment. NO plants will do well with one watering at planting and then being left on their own.
Sedum is well known for its resistance to drought, and once a good root system has been established it is sufficient to only need water once a week throughout the spring and summer. This plant grows well in all soil types and prefers plenty of light and sunshine, though it will also do well in part shade.
Lavender This must grow flowering herb is a beautiful perennial and every garden should have at least one. It is easy to grow and is tolerant of heat and drought while offering the perfect combination of color and aroma. You can also plant lavender in a pot, but be sure there is good drainage as the plant cannot tolerate an excess of water. Enjoy its fragrant blooms from June well into September.
Blanket flower (Gaillardia) The blanket flower has no special needs. Even those without a practiced green thumb can make it bloom. All it really needs and wants is a sunny spot and occasional watering. It blooms all summer long and also into the fall.
Daisy – likes lots of sun and can give you beautiful cut flowers as well as attracting butterflies!
Salvia – you can enjoy these flowers again and again throughout the summer as they will continually rebloom!
Portulaca – can thrive in dry soil due to its thick succulent leaves – it can survive for a long period of time without water. It comes in a variety of colors and requires a warm environment to thrive.
Geranium – Most varieties are tolerant of heat and drought and once they are established can go for periods without regular watering.
Angelonia (Angel Face) are heat tolerant, low water use and tough plants that are well suited to most gardens. In addition to being great thrillers they are wonderful in landscapes.
Euphorbia (Diamond Frost) Heat- and drought-tolerant plants that are low maintenance. It might look delicate but nothing could be further from the truth. Diamond Frost is actually pretty tough! No dead heading required!
Verbena is an excellent ground cover that spreads rapidly and thrives in high heat and a little water. It comes in many colors and blooms in clusters from spring to fall. It needs full sun and well-drained soil.
Scaevola – will flower all season. Is an excellent heat and drought tolerant plant with low maintenance.
ESTABLISHING DROUGHT TOLERANT PERENNIAL PLANTS
To lessen the frequency of watering you will need to:
- Use organic matter like peat moss, manure, and compost in the soil. This will create a more fertile soil, and will hold onto the moisture making it available to plants for a longer period after rain or watering.
- Water in the morning before the day gets hot, or in the evening when it cools down. This will prevent the water from evaporating during the hottest hours of the day.
- Try to keep the leaves of your plants dry when you water them – water the plant at soil level – this will help keep mildew away from the leaves.
- For perennials you will still need to do regular watering during extreme dry periods during the first year to keep the plant alive.