Drought Tolerance: Perky Plants all Summer Long

Summer is here and we all know what that means in Georgia: soaring temperatures and little rain. These conditions can be hard on plants, but there are some that thrive in it. Here are a few suggestions for beautiful drought tolerant plants to brighten up your yard during the hot summer months.

Keep in mind that drought tolerant does not mean these plants can survive without water! They don’t need much, but they still need moisture; horticulturist Regina Lewis recommends adding soil moist granules to your soil to retain moisture without having to water as often. Your goal should be choosing plants with low water needs that do not need constant maintenance.

Succulents come in many colorful varieties

Succulents come in many colorful varieties

Annuals

Succulents – Succulents store water in their stems and leaves and thus thrive in hot and dry conditions. There are many varieties to choose from in all different colors and interesting leaf shapes.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) – These beautiful flowers do best when planted in full sun and dry soil. The daisy-like flowers begin blooming in mid-summer and last until early fall.

Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena) – This purple plant does not need much attention, yet blooms all summer long. Its unusual globular blooms also attract butterflies, making this a winner with gardeners.

Perennials

False Indigo (Baptisia) – This plant is very drought tolerant once established and grows into a lovely shrub. Baptisia gets its name because the flowers were used to make a cheap version of the indigo dye prized by the Europeans in past centuries.

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) – As long as these lovely flowers are planted in partial shade, they do not require extensive watering to maintain their blooms. The yellow flowers are great for attracting both bees and butterflies.

Ice plant

Ice plant

Ice Plant – This hardy succulent thrives in dry soil and produces pretty blooms throughout the summer and fall. It acquired its name because of how the leaves and flowers shimmer in the sun as though covered with ice.

Shrubs

Flirt Nandina – This plant is known for its multicolored foliage, which goes from pale green to red as it ages. Once established, Nandina needs very little water.

Beautyberry (Callicarpa) – Producing clusters of vibrant purple berries in the fall, this plant is quick-growing and can survive short periods of drought without being affected.

Trees

Texas Redbud – The Texan variety of the familiar Redbud tree is smaller and more drought tolerant than the eastern varieties.

The gorgeous red fruit contrasts nicely with the green foliage

The gorgeous red fruit contrasts nicely with the green foliage

Pomegranate Tree – This fruit bearing tree is somewhat exotic, hailing from the Middle East, and is used to enduring hot, dry summers. An added bonus, the fruit, which is in season from late fall to early winter, tastes delicious!

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