Find Drought Hardy Plants for Your Garden

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Anonymous, Lynn, Eng

When summer kicks off, don't lose hope, plant enthusiasts!

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There are a lot of un-thirsty plants that you can grow. Drought hardy plants are plants that grow in dry climates. They can withstand not being watered frequently and they thrive.

Here are five drought hardy plants that you can enjoy in your garden.

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Blanket Flowers

Blanket flowers are wonderfully cheerful, long-blooming daisy-like plants for hot, sunny and sizzling gardens. They attract nectar-seeking butterflies.

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    Scientific Name:
    Gaillardia. It is a genus of flowering plants in the sunflower family, Asteraceae, which is native to North and South America. It was named after an 18th-century French magistrate, M. Gaillard de Marentonneau, who was a patron of botany.
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    The Common Name:
    Blanket may refer to the resemblance of the inflorescence to the brightly patterned blankets made by Native Americans.
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    Type:
    Annual or perennial plant herbs or sub-shrubs, sometimes with rhizomes. Most are hardy in zones 3-9.
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    Species:
    There are about 15-28 known species
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    Description:
    The stem branches. The leaves are alternately arranged. Others have only basal leaves. They vary in shape, but glandular in some species.
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    Flower:
    They produce single or double daisy flowers through most of the summer and well into fall.
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    The light brick red ray flowers are tipped with yellow – the colors of Mexican blankets.
    They can have any shade of yellow, orange, purplish, brown, white or two-color combination.  
    1. The solitary flower head which can have 15 or more ray florets is called the inflorescence.
    2. Blanket flowers tolerate the light frost and are seldom eaten by the deer. Deadhead the flowers to keep them blooming consistently through the early summer and into early fall.
    3. There are species that cannot thrive especially if the soil is not well drained.
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    Height:
    The plant grows up to a maximum height of 1–3 feet tall or 80 centimetres.
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    Width:
    6 inches to 2 feet wide
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    Landscape Use:
    Containers, beds, borders and groundcover
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    Site Selection and Planting:
    Full sun and very well-drained soil. Prefer loose, sandy soil that is not too fertilized and with a pH that is almost neutral or slightly alkaline. Also easy to grow from seed which can be started indoors for 4-6 weeks.  
    1. Transplant to the garden when the weather has warmed.
    2. Dig about 12-15 inches deep.
    3. Mix with 2-4 inch layer of compost.
    4. Place plant in the hole.
    5. Gently firm the soil then water thoroughly.
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    Care of the plant:Easy to care plants.
    Deadhead regularly to encourage flowering. The plant is relatively short-lived.  
    1. Cut back clumps to 6 inches by late summer to increase the chance of surviving in winter. Watch for aphids and leafhoppers.
    2. They spread a virus-like disease called aster yellows.
    3. The use of the insecticidal soap, if required, can control insects.
    4. Destroy any plants that have stunted flowers that remain green, a manifestation of aster yellow.
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Sunset Strain

Sunset Strain. This bloomer, a perennial of the Pacific Northwest is an exotic, tender-looking plant extremely hardy, in fact, bone-hardy, long blooming and low maintenance.

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    Scientific name is Lewisia cotyledon.
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    Flowers:
    Low, fresh rosettes of tough deep evergreen leaves, with large star-shaped flowers in late spring and early summer. Clusters blooms are in sunset shades of creamy yellow, peach, salmon, soft tangerine and Apricot pink. Blooming time is late spring and early to mid summer (May to September). This is ideal for cutting flowers.
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    Site:
    Best in cool rock garden setting, with excellent drainage. On hot summer days with full sun exposure but these do best with partial shade.
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    Soil Type:
    Its normal to sandy with a soil pH of either neutral or alkaline or acid. Soil moisture can be average to dry.
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    Height:
    Grows up to 15-20 cm/8-12 inches. Growth rate is slow.
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    Zones 3-10
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    How to Plant.
    In a clay pot with some gravel added or stick in the cracks of a rock wall or in a well-drained rock garden. Give compost every year. Seeds can be sown too. Suitable for growing in containers.
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    Care:
    Water regularly. Need average water only, thus, do not overwater.
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    Growing in the regions of California; also in Oregon and Washington
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Verbena

It is an annual and perennial herbaceous or semi-woody flowering plant. Bloom from spring to fall.

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    Flowers:
    Colors vary from mauve to purple, white to pink and apricot or red.
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    Site:
    Very popular in hanging basket or in window boxes. Also looks good in rock gardens or as an edging. Plant in the sunniest, best drained part of your garden. About 8-10 hours sun exposure is needed.
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    Height:
    Plants grow in clumps that reach a height of 610 inches.
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    How to plant:
    Easy to grow from seeds, but takes a month to germinate. Don't give up.  
    1. Start the seeds indoors in late winter or early spring in individual pots, 2 seeds in a pot, and cover with potting soil.
    2. When 3 to 4 leaves come out, clip out the weakest plant from each pot.
    3. Harden your plants by bringing them outdoors for a few hours daily until the time they are ready for transplant in the flowerbeds.
    4. Not in soggy soil. Space plants 10-12 inches apart.
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    Care:
    The plants are relatively carefree. The main cause of problem is over-pampering, overfeeding and overwatering.
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    Deadheading or picking off the faded blooms.
    Verbena quits blooming if you don't deadhead. Clip off the top ¼ of the stems holding the faded flowers. If you neglect cutting, the plant re-bloom in 15-20 days.
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    Fertilizing:
    This is easy because it is only done once a year, in spring time, when the plants are about 4 inches tall. Until they are established and growing, a complete fertilizer can be applied.
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    Watering:
    A newly planted verbena needs daily watering until they are well established. Afterwards, water them only when dry.
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    Potential Problem:
    The plant needs 8-10 hours direct sunlight everyday and soil that is well-drained. If they get too moist and not enough sun, they become susceptible to powdery mildew and other diseases. Spider mites and thrips may infest if plants are not healthy.
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Gladiolus

Gladiolus, the botanical name itself, is a perennial plant favored for its beautiful and showy flowers.

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    Flowers:
    Grow on tall spikes, with variety of colors in red, pink, orange, yellow, white, and multicolour.
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    Site:
    Cutting gardens or in the back along the border because they are tall.
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    Height:
    Grow between 2-6 feet in height.
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    How to Plant:
    Plant in the spring when danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed.  
    1. Loosen soil in garden about 12-15 inches deep.
    2. Mix in a 2-4 inch layer of compost.
    3. Put bulbs 4-8 inches deep with the pointed end facing up with a spacing of 3-6 inches apart.
    4. Water thoroughly after covering with soil. Gladioli like well-drained, light soil and full sun.
    5. It takes 90 days from planting to root, grow, bloom and store enough energy for the next season.
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    Care:
    Put 2-4 inches of mulch around the soil to keep it moist and prevent growth of weeds.  
    1. If there is no rain during the week, water your plants.
    2. When all the flowers on a stalk are gone, cut off the stalk but leave the plant intact, for the corms to mature and rejuvenate until the next season.
    3. If you live in zones 7 or 8, cover it with a layer of hay or straw to protect from winter.
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    Harvest/Storage:
     
    1. Dig up the entire plant, holding the top to pull it out of the soil.
    2. Avoid injuring or bruising while digging. Cut stalk 1 inch above the corm.
    3. Allow corms to dry in the sun for a day or 2. Sift extra soil.
    4. Place corms in wooden flats or trays.
    5. Cure in an airy and warm location.
    6. Clean with fungicide bulb dust) to prevent disease.
    7. Place dust and bulbs in a paper sack and shake.
    8. Store the large, new corms in paper boxes, open paper bags.
    9. Store in basement at 3-4 degrees F at low humidity.
    10. Replant the corms again in the spring for another year of beautiful blooms.
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    Problem:
    Pests or diseases grow like gladiolus corm rot, gray mold, viruses, aster yellow, spider mites, thrips and aphids.
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Mrs. Robb's Bonnet

Mrs. Robb's bonnet is the preferred common name but more known as Euphorbia.

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    Plant Type:
    can be annual, perennial, shrub or succulent, with milky sap
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    Flowers and Foliage:
    Small flowers held within cupped, often colourful brackets. Green and yellow in spring and summer. All throughout the seasons, the leaves maintain its dark green color.
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    Size:Ultimate height is 0.1 to 0.5 meters.
    Ultimate spread is 1 to 1.5 meters. Will take two to five years to attain ultimate height.
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    Location:
    City or Courtyard Gardens, coastal, cottage or informal garden, flower borders or beds, ground cover or low maintenance. Direction is facing east, west or south. Can be exposed or sheltered from sun.
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    Cultivation:
    An easy to grow plant that can cope with most conditions even in dry shade. Spreads by rhizones.
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    Soil:
    Use chalk, loam or sand. Moist but well—drained or well-drained, acid, alkaline or neutral pH.
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    Toxicity:
    All parts are highly toxic by ingestion. Be careful of sap. It may irritate your skin and eyes.
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Tips, Tricks and Warnings

  • Plant any silver leaved, less hardy, sun lovers in April. They can establish their roots well before winter comes.
  • Try planting small plant specimens only so that they get used gradually to their growing environment as they grow.
  • Add organic matter to the soil before planting to help improve both water availability and drainage. But do not add fertilizer, as this can encourage too much lush growth which may flop in summer.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Categories : Gardening

Recent edits by: Lynn, Anonymous, Nerissa Avisado

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