Saturday, June 30, 2012

Heat, Drought, No Problem!

From Kiefer Landscape and Nursery

Wow!  Did you see that last water bill?  Summer irrigating can run up quite a tab for those folks living where a municipality supplies the water.  This is the time of year I begin to think about having to drag a hose around my yard after working all day and quickly talk myself out of it!
No worries!  Here in zone 7, we have numerous plants that thrive despite our hot, humid, often dry summers.   These plants are tried and true and have been grown by many generations of southern gardeners.  Below is a list of some of the top performers that are workhorses through the summer heat.  I did not include those plants that will likely survive a drought but will become unattractive either because of excessive leaf drop (like River Birches) or daily wilting (like Oakleaf and Smooth Hydrangeas).  As an added bonus for many of us that have to contend with deer browsing, many of the structural qualities that make a plant tolerant of dry conditions, such as hairy, waxy, or narrow leaves, also make the plant unpalatable to deer.

Crepe Myrtles
American Elm
Nellie Stevens Holly
Southern Magnolias
Arizona Cypress
Deodar Cedar

Evergreen Shrubs:
Abelia (semi-evergreen)
Caroliana Cherry Laurel, Prunus caroliniana
False Hollies, Osmanthus
Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina
Japanese Plum Yews, Cephalotaxus
Sweet Box, Sarcocca
Wax Myrtles, Myrica

Deciduous Shrubs:
Deutzia gracilis
Lady Banks Rose
Ninebark, Physocarpus
Quince, Chaenomoles
St. John’s Wort, Hypericum

Bush Clover, Lespedeza
Butterfly Weed, Asclepias
Downy Coreopsis, C. pubescens ‘Sunshine Superman’
False Lupine, Baptisia
Lenten Rose, Hellebore
Most Ornamental Grasses especially Switchgrasses and Lovegrasses
Sage, Salvia
Threadleaf Coreopsis, C. verticillata ‘Moonbeam’

Don’t put up those gardening gloves yet!  Come to Kiefer and let us help you select drought tolerant plants for your garden.

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