Fountain Grass

The Truth Behind Dry-Loving Plants

When seeing the words ‘drought tolerant’ next to plants individuals immediately resort to: ‘Oh! No watering is needed, perfect!’

However, that’s not the case and we’re here to set the record, myth and assumption straight for all you gardeners out there. 

 

  • Drought tolerant isn’t a synonym for NO watering

 

In fact, plants who prefer dry climates actually need a year or two of growing seasons that are proper. Yes, this does include establishing an effective, regular watering schedule! 

It also means that the root establishment should be pristine before weaning them off of regular irrigation. Dry plants love to sink their roots down low, so that when the upper levels of soil go dry, they still have the water below. 

This will only set them up to be truly low watering tolerant for those future dry periods!

Plant tip: If those hot, dry periods prolong, then it is always a good idea to give water to your plants just in case. 

But, being drought tolerant merely means that the plant has a special ability to conserve the water supplied to them or reach out to find their own water source. 

They truly are viewed as the super heroes among plants and we can see why!

Once a few drought tolerant plants are added to a landscape here and there, you have found yourself in a world of what is called ‘xeriscaping.’ 

Fancy term if you ask us, which only makes us want to be a part of it so much more! What is xeriscaping you may ask? You may be partaking in it currently without even knowing!

The process of designing landscapes, yards, gardens to reduce or even fully eliminate the amount of water needed is what it takes to be in xeriscaping. Beyond what the natural world supplies them, these landscapes need little to almost no water!

If you ask the dry Western states, they have the process down to an exact science. You could almost call them ‘pro-xeriscapers.’ But we definitely made that word up!

Each year, you’ll be surprised with the time and money saved stemming from the lesser amount of watering due to the new and improved style of gardening adopted. 

But, the true beauty lies within a well-designed, beautiful drought tolerant garden!

 

Selecting, Planting, & Caring For Plants That Prefer Dry Conditions

The best time to plant your new dry-loving natural specimens is in the spring and fall of each year. In fact, you’ll absolutely want to avoid the summer! 

Cooler months allow for the root system to establish itself before the summer heat dries out the top tiers of the soil. And as mentioned before, it’s essential to let the roots dig deep in the early growing years. 

But who says the fun of planning a drought tolerant garden can’t start now? Picking out your favorites is the best part and Nature Hills has just what you are looking for. 

This even provides the time to prep the landscape before fall planting comes around, so that the new plants love their new and improved home!

A Russian Sage would look dashing placed in the sunny patch of a front yard landscape where those walking by can admire its beauty. Its lavender color never goes unnoticed! 

Not to mention, it can tough out heat, droughts, pests, anything and everything while still gracing our eyes with a glorious purple bloom. Be on the lookout for new blossoms year after year. 

Or if you are a lover of pollinators, order a Miss Ruby Butterfly Bush or two to lock in the ends of a garden bed full of colors. The sweet fragrance is sure to attract beautiful butterflies as well as a few neighbors stopping by! 

Before planting your heat tolerant specimens, soak their roots into a bucket of water until they are wet through. This way they can adjust to their new home in an easy way while not dying out too quickly. 

They also appreciate mulch or organic matter spread upon their bases to trap in moisture and prevent over evaporation. Hey, this is just another excuse to decorate using various shades and forms of mulch!

To pair up with shrubs that enjoy the heat, grasses are an ideal candidate for providing an extra forte to a yard. Place Dwarf Fountain Grass or The Blues Little Bluestem Grass for year round interest as a perennial border!

These two accented show stoppers will even kindly control erosion and stay in graceful shape while staying easy to maintain too. 

Now that we have our background set up for the perfect drought tolerant garden, it’s time to add in the stars of the show! 

A Stella de Oro Daylily or a Firewitch Dianthus are stunning, fragrant, vibrant, and most importantly - hardy and heat tolerant when established. 

You’ll want to plant multiple of these in the front to show them off, but no need to worry about how easily accessible they are. Periodic dry spells don’t rain on their parade (nor anyone else’s parade for that matter.) 

However, when establishing these perennials during their first year of growth, it’s essential to provide them with regular watering as they adapt to new soil. 

A secret from gardener to gardener, they enjoy water in the mornings so that it can be used to fight off the heat throughout the day! After the year is up, occasional light watering will do just the trick. 

Before you know it, November will be here and the ideal planting season for heat loving plants will be upon us. Don’t hesitate to start planning and ordering landscape favorites! 

Planting drought tolerant plants is the new gardening craze, so let’s embrace the less watering work needed. 

Happy planting!