Thanks to Willoway Nurseries' Danny Gouge for sharing his expertise on drought tolerant plants.
Labels like this can be intimidating to new gardeners. What does this mean? This simply means that the plants are able to withstand longer periods of dryness without deterioration. When selecting and planting drought tolerant perennials, trees and shrubs, it is necessary to water frequently and deeply for one or two seasons. Once the plant has become established, it can thrive on less water than other plants.
When I am asked about drought tolerant plants, I first start out by suggesting they plan from the ground up. First make sure that you start out with a good foundation of soil and proper light conditions. You never would build a house on a poor foundation, right? Taking the time to prepare can make all the difference to the success of your design.
Next consider selecting the right plants for your conditions. There are so many plants on the market many are again intimidated and, in some cases, just give up. Take a deep breath and simply start with the Handpicked for You® selections. Handpicked for You® is a new certification program that awards its valued trustmark to top performing plants, so you can have the assurance of greater garden success! Selected varieties must undergo regional testing, followed by the all-important local testing before being certified as offering superior garden performance for your area. These plant trials are focused on evaluating and testing each plant's garden performance and reliability.
You can use the tools on the site handpickedplants.com. It is very easy to use and it will get you the right plants for the right conditions. The site will direct you to great plants that provide color and texture such as Ornamental Grasses, Leucanthemum x superbum 'Becky', Sedum SunSparkler® 'Dazzleberry’ and Yucca f. 'Color Guard' to name just a few for sunny locations. You can still have drought tolerant plants in the shade, and plants such as Hosta and Hakonechloa m. 'All Gold' will light up a shady are of the patio or garden.
Just remember to get off to a good start with proper soil and the right plant for the right light conditions and you are off to gardening success!