Monday, July 25, 2016

Drought Tolerant Plants for the Garden - A Resource Guide

Rocket larkspur (Consolida ajacis) is one of several
drought tolerant perennials for the landscape.
Selection and Use of Stress-Tolerant Bedding Plants for the Landscape
Douglas Bailey, Extension Horticulture Specialist
NCSU Horticultural Science, Published Aug. 31, 1999

What Is Stress?

Each of us are subjected to stresses and pressures every day in our home, work, and living environment; plants are no different. Unfortunately, there is no "stressless" environment, and there is no totally stress-resistant bedding plant. Each site has its stress level and each plant has its tolerance level. There are steps that can be taken to reduce or avoid stress in the landscape. However, no program can prevent all problems, and the key to successful landscape color using bedding plants is to match the particular site with specific plant species. But before you can select plants to use, the site should be accurately analyzed and characterized, and preparations should be made to minimize stress conditions that may occur.

Characterization of the Landscape Site

A site analysis for bedding plants should include
1. temperature averages for the color season,
2. amount of sunlight received daily,
3. rainfall averages and average intervals between rains, and,
4. soil characteristics such as drainage and moisture retention.

Each of these components should be further defined prior to plant selection.

See a full listing of recommended plants for each of the four conditions in the NC Cooperative Extension publication:

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