Hot hot hot! Summer temperatures are here. Many areas across the nation are experiencing temperatures around 100 degrees, along with prolonged dry periods. This is great for days by the pool or out on the lake, but what about your garden?
It is often easy to assume that the conditions in arid climates are too tough for plants to survive in. However, there are multiple varieties of drought tolerant plants big and small that will thrive in the heat, even with little to no water. These plants will turn your dry landscape into a relaxing oasis.
The Top Drought Tolerant Plants
Crape Myrtle trees are the summer flowering trees that light up the south with bloom colors that vary in white, red, pink and even purple hues. Their flowers don’t show up until about mid June when the summer really starts to set in and they last for months. Then some crape varities like the Muskogee crape provide even more color when their foliage turns bright shades of orange, red and yellow during the fall.
With their high drought tolerance and heat resistant levels they can be planted and forgotten. Many crapes, some growing 10 to 25 feet tall, and some only growing to about 3 feet tall in shrub form don’t require supplemental watering during the summer, except for times of prolonged drought.
Their soil should be dry to the touch about two inches below the surface before they receive more water.
Sedum Tiles consist of a variety of different sedums, or fleshy water filled plants that are woven together with all natural, organic coconut fibers. They can be cut and shaped to fit any surface, and will even hang on the wall. The sedums will grow taller, and naturally spread over time. They are impossible to kill and can be stepped on and used as a living doormat.
If you pick out individual sedums they will grow much larger in size. Larger sedums are often used in pots and terrariums.
Sedum tiles are worry free plants because they can survive the cold temperatures up north in zone 3. They’re cold hardy to -40 degrees. They will also thrive in the heat down in growing zone 9. Never worry about droughts with Sedum Tiles because they store their own water in their leaves, and use it when they need a drink. They’re the little plants that take care of themselves.
Windmill Palms bring a lush, tropical look to any landscape with their long fan like fronds that stick out like fingers. Every time the wind blows the canopy elegantly sways back and forth, like large hands greeting you and inviting you to step into paradise.
They also have brown, textured trunks that add interest to the landscape. It has the appearance of aged wood, and provides the perfect backdrop for other plants to pop against.
Even though Windmill Palms are famous for being cold hardy up to growing zone six, they are also extremely popular for their low maintenance qualities. They’re heat resistant and will thrive in growing zone 11, in some of the most hot and dry areas of the country.
Phenomenal Lavender bushes only grow to about three feet tall, so they will never outgrow an area with limited space. Even though their size is little, their personality is big.
By blooming for months every summer Phenomenal Lavender illuminates the landscape with tons of purple flowers. The flowers have a sweet fragrance that fills the summer air. It often attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, which are a delight to watch.
It’s always great to have this lavender variety on hand because it naturally keeps mosquitoes away. In the summer during barbecues or family reunions your guests won’t have to use harmful chemical sprays.
Best of all, Phenomenal Lavender is incredibly low maintenance. It’s the hands-free flowering shrub with a high level of drought tolerance and heat resistance, so it will continue to bloom and thrive during the hottest heat waves of the year.
Eucalyptus Trees are evergreens with a wonderful sweet mint and earthy scent. Placing a few leaves or pieces of bark around your home will naturally freshen up the room with a nice aroma. Plus Eucalyptus leaves keep fleas and ticks away, so place a few leaves around the pet bed and on the windowsills to keep pests away.
The light green circular leaves and attractive white peeling bark on Eucalyptus trees make them an interesting tree to watch all year as they fill the landscape with bursts of unique color. With their fast growth rate of up to six feet per year your tree will look bigger every time you look at it.
Since Eucalyptus trees originally come from dry, desert areas they can handle the heat and droughts even in the warmest parts of our country. Don’t worry about giving your tree supplemental water; rainfall should be enough for Eucalyptus trees.
The Gingko Tree provides months of colors with their unique, heart shaped green leaves that turn a vibrant shade of golden yellow in the fall. They glow in the landscape while other plants are entering dormancy.
Worried about a smell? Don’t be. We only carry male Gingko varieties that don’t fruit so they don’t produce the same smell that female Gingko trees have.
These trees can be grown anywhere. They’re cold hardy up to growing zone 3 and will survive harsh, snowy winters. They are also smog tolerant, making them perfect for urban areas. Most importantly, they are drought tolerant and heat resistant, so not even the blazing sun or scorching heat will stop Gingko Trees from thriving.
Chinese Pistache trees should not be overlooked, because they add beauty and functionality to the landscape. They have thick, green canopies that create shaded areas beneath them that are perfect for hanging out under during hot days.
In the fall their green leaves turn multiple shades of red, orange and yellow for a vibrant fall foliage display. By growing to about 25 to 35 feet tall they’ll be noticed all over the neighborhood and recognized as the most beautiful tree.
The Chinese Pistache tree is tough and low maintenance. They will tolerate urban smog and pollution, and will adapt to a variety of poor soils that are sandy or heavy in clay. Landscapers flock to Chinese Pistache trees because they’re one of the most heat resistant fall foliage trees available, with a high level of drought tolerance. It’s an ornamental tree that is impossible to kill.
Stay Cool In the Garden
When we get hot and thirsty, so do our plants, but that doesn’t mean that you have to take a break from gardening and improving your landscape during the summer. There is a large variety of heat resistant and drought tolerant trees that will laugh at the heat while providing beauty all summer long.