Drought-Resistant Plants

by April Reinhardt
(last updated March 4, 2015)

1

At any given time, your area may experience short or extended periods of drought and local city councils could impose watering restrictions. Watering restrictions always ban the use of hand-held hose watering and drip irrigation devices for private lawns and gardens, which can spell disaster for landscapers and gardeners.

How can you maintain plants during periods of drought? You could add mulch and organic compost to your soil to help retain soil moisture. You could also conserve water by collecting rainwater in rain barrels and recycle your dishwashing and clothes-washing water for use on your plants. However, another alternative is to plant drought-resistant plants.

Usually when people think of drought-resistant plants, cacti immediately come to mind. While cacti are very low maintenance plants—hardy in extreme sunlight and very little water—your garden can include foliage plants resistant to drought. Some of the attributes to look for in drought-resistant plants include:

  • Narrow leaves, as in ornamental grasses
  • Hairy dense leaves, as in lamb's ears
  • Waxy coated leaves, as in rosemary
  • Thick fleshy succulent stems and leaves, such as cacti
  • Prickly stems and leaves, such as thistle

Take a look around your habitat and look for native plants. Plants that are native to your area are accustomed to your climate, adapt well to changes, and have less need for attention and water. Group similar plants together when planting. Plants requiring little or no water should be planted together, while plants require similar amounts of water should be planted with each other.

Extensive turf grass requires a great deal of water. During times of drought, consider replacing part of your lawn with a landscaped rock garden to include drought-resistant plants such as Yucca and ornamental grasses. You could also replace portions of lawn with drought-resistant shrubs and vines. Some better-known varieties include Hydrangea, Juniper, Trumpetvine, and Honeysuckle.

Rather than bemoaning the loss of lawn space, think of the present predicament as an opportunity to experiment. In addition to extended patio areas, walkways, and other hardscape elements, a myriad of interesting low-water ideas could actually improve the looks of your lawn. Check with your neighborhood nursery for some ideas in this area.

Despite imposed water restrictions or drought conditions, you can still maintain lovely plants. Conserve household water and reuse it to water your plants. Collect rainwater in rain barrels for watering needs. Replace high maintenance plants with drought-resistance plants. And instead of lamenting the loss of lawn space, view the drought or water restrictions as an opportunity to experiment with walkways, special patios, and other hardscape components, combined with drought-resistant plants.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Using a Garden Wagon or Wheelbarrow

Whether you purchase a metal, wood, or plastic wheelbarrow or garden wagon, you'll find it an invaluable gardening tool. ...

Discover More

Fixing Squeaky Doors

A squeaky door results from a squeaky hinge. Lubricate all parts of your door hinge and then reinstall the door. Chances are ...

Discover More

Building Gingerbread Houses

If time is limited, and if you're on a budget, consider making your gingerbread house using graham crackers. Use a can of ...

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

Gardening on a Slope

One of the most important factors to know when gardening on a slope is that of temperatures. Temperatures can differ greatly ...

Discover More

Improving Your Garden Soil

Knowing how to improve your garden soil can go a long way in helping you to have a successful garden. There are a few methods ...

Discover More

Creating a Patio Garden

Do you love to garden, but don't have a lot of space to work with? Well then you may want to consider a patio garden. These ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three more than 8?

2017-05-31 14:01:51

Tim

One other hot weather, drought resistant plant tip is to plant any sensitive plants where they get afternoon sun. A plant can often take full sun for a few hours, but will burn if exposed for the entire day.

Also use some sort of top dressing around your plants. Here in the SW we use gravel, but bark/mulch can be used in more temperate climates.

Don't forget that cactus are drought-resistant also. There are species that grow in nearly all climate zones.


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)