The list of flowers that will withstand the heat of summer and not break the bank with water bills gives you a good choice of color, shape, and form. One caveat: You save water after plants are established. To get them growing, be sure to keep them watered their first year. They should be able to fend for themselves their second year, once their roots are developed.
Here are just a few readily available water-saver plants:
Perennials for sun:
Prairie Sunflower (Helianthus maximilianii)
Mexican Petunia (Ruellia brittoniana)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba)
Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina)
Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia uvaria)
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Perennials for shade:
Lenten Rose, Hellebore (Helleborus) hybrids
Ferns (Various native ferns)
Lantana camara hybrids
Vinca, Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)
Cockscomb (Celosia cristata)
Moss Rose (Portulaca hybrids)
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
Yellow Cosmos (Cosmos sulfureus)
Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)
Salvia (Salvia farinaceae hybrids)
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
Summer annuals planted for color are often water hogs. One way to grow your old favorites is to group all of the water lovers together. Then just that section can be hand watered or irrigated. These annual bedding plants take a good deal of irrigation:
Fan Flower (Scaevola)
African Daisies (Osteospermums)
Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana)
These perennials don’t like to get thirsty. Group them together to cut down on irrigation:
Jupiters Beard (Centranthus roseus)
Native plants often will settle in and colonize an otherwise inhospitable area. They should be native to your region and soil type for the best drought tolerance. To learn more about native plants find your Native Plant Society and check their Web site for recommendations for your area.
Written by Joan Maloof,
Photographs by Robert Llewellyn
Trees don't have two eyes like we do, yet they can see. They know how much light is hitting their leaves, and they know the quality of that light, too. They know if it's summer or winter by the length of the day, and they know if it's noon or afternoon by the wavelength of the light.
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