How drougt tolerant are your drougt resistant plants?

Tiger15September 1, 2002

I started a bed of cone flowers and black eye susan two seasons ago, along with several Miscanthus and Fountain grasses. This summer, they experineced one of the most severe drought in decade. The ornamental grasses are virtually unaffected, stay green and have just begun flowering. The Black Eye Susan and Cone flowers are doing poorly. Many have turned brown with a few green leaves, and flowering have diminished in size and quantity. I know they will recover next year but now they just look like dead weed. How are your drought tolerant plants doing?

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I have purple coneflowers in 3 areas, 2 got watered via soaker hose 2 or 3 times, during July/Aug. The third area received no water because it's in front of a room about to be renovated, and with conserving water, figured don't waste it here. They actually stood up to the drought quite well. All three areas are now dead stalks and seed heads, which the yellow chickodees are enjoying. Everything was forced to bloom 2 weeks early or more this year because of the heat wave in April. I also have black eye susan in 2 areas, 1 with water, 1 without. They are surviving in the unwatered area, but look pretty bad. The grasses did ok without my watering. I'm going to put in more of them, plus other drought tolerant shrubs. No more rhododendren planting!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2002 at 9:05PM
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yucca, cactus, mesquite and palo verde are fine in tx. mike

    Bookmark   September 1, 2002 at 11:10PM
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My yard is dead right now (middle of a landscaping project), but my lemon tree, avocado, and a
grapevine, have all gone without water since April (it only rains from November to April here) and we only got 6" of rain this past winter. Peruvian pepper tree, most native plants along with your usual garden herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage), bird of paradise, gazania, agapanthus and bermuda (goes dormant, but no amount of drought will kill it) can all tolerate these conditions here (some of these won't tolerate total drought in the hot inland areas). Also, what is drought tolerant in one area may not be in another (Azaleas and Rhododendrons are very drought tolerant in Seattle) so answers to your question will vary a good bit.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2002 at 2:13AM
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Coneflowers (aside from the "Mexican Hat" type) are not exactly drought tolerant. I never had much luck with them in my low/no water areas. Globe mallow has done well this year (no water aside from rain) and the desert 4 O'clock has done well too. The Bearded Iris have survived, but did not bloom.

Fairest of the months! Ripe summer's queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear. -Â Â R. Combe Miller

    Bookmark   September 3, 2002 at 6:42PM
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My butterfly bushes have done extremely well. The ornamental grasses, lantana, black-eyed susans, and carefree rose bushes have done well also.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2002 at 12:23PM
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Dswan(z6 UT)

Mirabilis multiflora, penstemon palmeri, penstemon pseudospectabilis, penstemon secundiflorus and agastache rupestris have done well this year despite the drought.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2002 at 11:02PM
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In my garden these plants were unaffected by the drought: shasta daisy "Becky", coreopsis "Moonbeam", artemisia "Powis Castle", Gaura "Siskiyou pink", Russian sage, lavender, caryopteris, Sedum "Autumn Joy", catmint, baby's breath, Solomon's seal (planted in shade in lots of compost), azaleas, Miscanthus,

    Bookmark   September 5, 2002 at 8:58PM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

The following have not so much as wilted during the hottest, driest weather: Buddleia, Caryopteris, Nepeta, Hibiscus 'Lord Baltimore' (!), Lantana 'Miss Huff', Ricinus, Verbena bonariensis, Asclepias curassavica, Asclepias tuberosa. Oh, and herbs rosemary, thyme, and sage.

The following might wilt a bit in the mid-day sun, but revive quickly and without any damage: Cleome, Ceratotheca, Datura, Celosia 'Purple Flamingo' (great foliage plant!).

Daylilies and bearded irises are extremely drought-tolerant, but the foliage looks pretty crummy all summer.

Cannas have been surprisingly drought-tolerant.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2002 at 1:02PM
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mdryja(z7b WA)

Our lavendar may see 1/2 inch of water between 6/15 and 8/30, if it's lucky. It's gone from maybe a foot in diameter to over three feet!

I have also some tall, small green leafy with tops ending in small yellow or white flower, plants, which I can't figure what they are (builder put them in). They are "protected" by the roof from rain, etc., during the winter rainy months in Seattle, and during the summer drough months, I don't water them. And they stay green all the time.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2002 at 12:07AM
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MelissaCO(5 CO)

Some great ones are sedums, cactuses, lamb's ear, blanket flower, May Night salvia, coreopsis. I have all of these and they virtually need no extra water than teh little I give them through a drip system which is a lot more efficient than overhead sprayers. they don't get much from the drip system either.

I love the blanket flower, It is really hardy.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2002 at 12:23PM
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chrmann(z7 AL)

My cannas, hummingbird vine, hardy hibiscus, datura, shasta daisies, kiss me and I'll tell, morningglories, and sedums have done exceptionally well with no added watering. They have had less than an inch of water all summer.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2002 at 1:16PM
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My blue salvia (Victoria) has never looked better, and the sweet alyssum also doesn't seem to care the ground is cracking everything else is just hanging on. Am on a well so don't water.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2002 at 3:04PM
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the carefree roses are surprising for the heavy bloomers they are,sedum,grasses,moonbeam all look great,my newly planted peegee hydrangea as well as others i have seen are great

    Bookmark   September 11, 2002 at 6:51PM
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I tore up my bluegrass in May and planted drought-tolerant types....I am most amazed by my iceplants. Very little water, and they continue to grow and bloom.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2002 at 7:25PM
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woodyswife(z5 OH)

I'll let you know next spring--after the worst drought I can remember in my lifetime we'll see what comes back again. I hope and pray that we have a snowy winter even though that can make driving tough. This is so sad seeing all the areas in such need of rain. The farmers in our area and many miles around are taking a hit also, as only about 25% of the corn crop planted will reap a harvest.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2002 at 9:13PM
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It is so dry here in SW Virginia that I am really getting worried about this fall's "fire season". We live not very far from Jefferson and Washington National Forests, and everything out there is dry as a bone!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2002 at 3:54PM
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One of the best things I had going here this summer is a new bed of hosta(the cheapy ones from Walmart) impatients and an elephant ear. Everything in it did wonderful, and the surprising thing is its under the shade of my BIGGG magnolia. Only thing I can figure is all the mulch i used helped it.
Other than that most everything looks pretty ratty, and I lost a bunch of periennals. My hibiscus did well, so did holly hocks, daylilies, and big sedums. My ice plants would be doing great if I could keep my feet off it.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2002 at 11:03PM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

Nobody has mentioned crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia) yet. I have one on a bone-dry hillside and not only has it shown no sign of drought stress, it has been blooming sporadically since its initial glorious burst of bloom in mid-summer.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2002 at 1:38PM
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Well this is amazing: the spaghetti squash I planted is looking good and producing fruit! I thought that it'd be the first to go. My 3yo fig tree is looking good, and spitting out a fine crop of figs.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2002 at 11:38AM
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possum888(nsw Aust)

Crepe mrytle Have been doing brilliantly here in Sydney, Australia through our drought. Oleanders are also looking pretty good. The agapanthus were as neautiful as ever for Christmas but maybe didn't last as long.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2003 at 2:46AM
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monkeytail123(z9 CA)

Several people mentioned about carefree roses. Can you recommand a few names. I would like to give it a try.

Also, what is your experience about canna lily been drourght resistant?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2003 at 12:14AM
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Lizzym(z6 ID)

Our coneflower are in poor shape but have rudbeckia maxima doing well for the first time in 3 years in spite of low watering schedule. Our heat zone here is high, and I suspect that's why the coneflower caves when coupled with low water. Our daylilies are blooming like crazy but foliage is scruffy and burned. Rosa glauca, buddleia, all sedums, parrotia tree, hornbeams, pines, helianthemum, all penstemon, grapes, junipers (duh), crabapples, lavender, santolina, ornamental warm season grasses,even some viburnum with a bit of late afternoon protection, all doing extremely well. Where I'm not having success is under silver maple trees. Have replanted that twice now.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2003 at 2:55PM
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leesgarden(z5 CO)

My roses do very well in this heat with barely any water, although they don't produce very many blooms. My crepe myrtle does well, but same thing. Here in San Bernardino, we are having the worst drought we have ever had. Last year, it didn't get very much water, and in the beginning of summer dropped all its leaves. We started soaking it once a week, and now we have beautiful blooms.

My salvias do great also, but they do get droopy when they need water.

My top drought plants are artemesia, regal geraniums, gerbera daisies, irises, daylilies, valerian, guara, evening primrose, mimosa and olive trees (I don't ever water the olives). They can go a week in temps over 100 without being watered and look great!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2003 at 11:49AM
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KarB(Pacific NW (8))

This was a brutal year. Planted some new things in May-June and most have sucumbed. I have been trying to add only drought resistent plants; some do well, others are not as great as expected.

The plant that did the best was Delosperma ("iceplant") by far. I love this plant, cute evergreen leaves and wonderful bright flowers. I think I could have a garden bed with just this plant. I have a fuschia one, a yellow one and an orange flowered one so far but I am on the lookout for more. A somewhat similar plant, Mesembryanthemum did poorly but maybe because it was newly planted.

Others that did reasonably well are: artemesia, lavender, coreopsis, blanket flower, yarrow, dianthus, lewsisia, asiatic lillies, lemon balm (melissa), rudbeckia (but 1st year was tough) and Centaurea.

I was suprised that salal, asters and echinacea did not do well at all.

Thank goodness the rain and cool weather has arrived!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2003 at 3:08PM
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diggy800(9 AZ)

I've got a creosote bush in my front yard, apparently they can survive 3 years without any precipitation. It loves the 10-12 inches of rain we get every year here and looks all green, fat and happy. I also have a saguaro and a few barrel cacti that thrive on that amount of rain. As for non-natives, rosemary and bouganvillea require water maybe once or twice a summer. Thats not bad considering the 105 degree days with 10% humidity

    Bookmark   April 20, 2004 at 1:03PM
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At my drought resistant plants are a 10 on a 1-10 scale. The Bermuda only rates a 5 when the temps. are around 104°.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 1:02PM
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