Is the heat already becoming quite intense in your part of the country? Are water restrictions putting a strain on landscapes in your area? When it comes to keeping landscapes looking their best under these conditions, choosing the right plants makes all the difference. With heat and drought tolerant plants, you can still create landscapes that are beautiful and easy to care for, while also reducing water needs. If you do your research you’ll find there are many varieties of plants that offer different degrees of drought tolerance that can brighten up low-maintenance landscapes.
In areas of the country that are intensely hot but still high in humidity, Texas Sage is an excellent choice. This Texas native shrub bursts into bloom either right before or after a rain or in periods of humid weather. Often, Texas sage varieties grow very large and demand a large area to spread. ‘Green Cloud’ is a compact variety that grows to just eight-feet tall and wide, making it a great screen to hide an unsightly fence, as a focal point in a smaller landscape, or even a small privacy hedge. As soon as moisture is in the air, this fast growing shrub will bloom with an abundance of magenta flowers.
Looking for a versatile shrub that’s also tolerant of very hot temperatures? Dwarf yaupon holly, Ilex vomitoria ‘Nana’, is an excellent shrub that is best used as a foundation or edging plant in a variety of landscapes. Their foliage is dense, with new growth emerging a bright green color in spring and maturing to a darker green. As a bonus, stunning red berries appear once the fall blooms have finished, bringing birds to the winter garden. Due to its versatility and smaller size, ‘Nana’ makes a great companion plant or backdrop to other perennials that thrive in the heat such as Daylilies, Salvia greggii, Sage ‘Hotlips’, Rockrose, Mexican Petunia and others. Plants can be used as a low growing foundation hedge, borders and even topiaries.
Finding plant varieties that won’t wilt in the heat or minimal waterings can be a challenge, but with the right planning landscapes can look fresh through the heat of summer.