|Drought Tolerant Plants for the Northeast|
In some cases landscape design calls for plantings which are more "drought tolerant". Plants defined as 'drought tolerant" require watering until established and then can survive on minimal water from natural rainwater and occasional irrigation in hotter climates. The goal is to create a space which is both aesthetically pleasing and low maintenance at the same time. In this article I am going to focus on "drought tolerant" selections that I have found to be most productive here on Long Island (Zone 7) and that are hardy in a range of zones from 3-9.
The first in a line of drought tolerant perennials is Coreopsis 'Zagreb'. This daisy-like flower grows on fine stalks and displays yellow blooms from June until late September. Coreopsis grows to approximately 15 inches in height and prefers a well-drained, slightly acidic soil and full sun.
|Sedum 'Aurea' and Daylily|
Next is Sedum 'Aurea'. Sedum is very drought tolerant and serves nicely in rock gardens as seen here. It is accompanied by Daylily 'Stella D' Oro', which is drought tolerant once established. Sedum 'Aurea' only grows to approximately 4 inches in height while 'Stella D Oro' grows to 12-18 inches in height. Both prefer a well-drained soil and full sun.
Perennial Geranium tolerates a variety of conditions (full sun to partial shade) and displays violet blue flowers from June until frost and grows to a height of approximately 15-18 inches. Once established it seems to thrive on neglect.
Rudbeckia is another drought tolerant perennial that seems to thrive on neglect. Plant it in an area where there is plenty of space. Rudbeckia is perfect for informal mass plantings such as along and woodland border and prefer full sun to partial shade and a well-drained slightly acidic soil. Rudbeckia will re-seed themselves and spread quickly. Bloom time is from late summer into fall.
Nepeta is available in a number of heights ranging from 18-36 inches and is very hardy to zones 3-8. It displays lavender-blue flowers from June to fall. For smaller spaces, 'Walkers Low' is a newer variety only growing 12-18 inches tall. Nepeta thrives in a range of conditions, prefers full sun to partial shade and is drought tolerant.
|Sedum 'Brilliant' (Pink)|
|Juniperus 'Blue Star'|
Juniperus 'Blue Star' is a beautiful blue-green evergreen that thrives in a slightly-acidic, well drained soil. Once established it requires little to no watering and it serves nicely in either a formal or informal garden. This small juniper grows to a mature height and width of 2-3 feet.
| Pinus 'Mugo' |
Mugo Pine is another evergreen that stays relatively compact (mature height and width of approximately 3 feet) and thrives in a slightly acidic, well drained, dry soil. It is drought tolerant once established and serves nicely in a rock garden planting.
Other "drought tolerant" plantings not mentioned above include Spirea 'Vanhoutte' (Bridal Wreath), Buddleia (Butterfly Bush),Vibernum 'Carlesii', Lilac, Lavender, Liatris, Stachys (Lamb's Ear), Yarrow, Salvia, and Russian Sage. With the movement towards sustainable landscaping these drought tolerant varieties are colorful and low maintenance additions to either the residential or commercial garden.
As Always...Happy Gardening!
Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2013. All rights reserved