10 Drought Resistant Plants That Are Great At Surviving Dry Summers

on 24th August 2017

Thanks to climate change long hot summers are becoming more prevalent. They bring with them a dusty drought conditions that can turn the most colourful garden into a dry brown husk. As climate change seems set to continue, gardeners in Britain will need to think about how they mitigate against the effects of drought.

One of the best ways to ensure your garden doesn’t succumb to the heat is to include flowers, climbers, shrubs and trees that are genetically superior at resisting periods of drought.  Whilst there are hundreds of different plants to choose from, we’ve picked ten of our favourites that are best at surviving drought conditions.

Lavender ‘Ballerina’

ballerina lavender

Full Name – Lavandula Ballerina
Foliage – Evergreen
Sunlight – Full sun
Soil – Sand, chalk, or loam
Plant Colour – Pink and purple

This evergreen shrub is a French hybrid lavender from New Zealand. The flowers follow the same colour scheme as your standard lavender sit above a silver-green foliage. The ‘Ballerina’ grows best in full sun with sharply drained soil, and should be pruned from early to mid-spring.

Trumpet Vine

trumpet vine

Full Name – Campsis Radicans
Foliage – Deciduous
Sunlight – Full sun
Soil – Sand, clay, chalk, and loam
Plant Colour – Red

This climbing, flowering plant can grow to ten metres tall, and has a fantastically long flowering period through Summer and Autumn. A hardy climber, it grows best against a warm and sunny wall, where it’s exotic bell-shaped flowers in hues of orange and red will create a stunning display.

Wisley Vanilla

wisley vanillaFull Name – Nemesia ‘Wisley Vanilla’
Foliage – Deciduous
Sunlight – Full sun
Soil – Loam or sand
Plant Colour – White

Often regarded as a bedding plant this beautiful bushy perennial has soft, pale flowers with a lovely yellow eye, which offer a great contrast to their strong green stalks. A real favourite for planting in well drained pots and placing strategically around the garden so you can enjoy the warm vanilla fragrance this flower emits on balmy summer evenings.

Judas Tree

judas tree

Full Name – Cercis Siliquastrum
Foliage – Deciduous
Sunlight – Full sun or partial shade
Soil – Chalk, clay, sand, or loam
Plant Colour – Purple, yellow, brown, pink, and green

Hailing from the Mediterranean, the Judas tree is well equipped to deal with UK heat waves. Also known as the love tree for its heart shapes leaves and bright pink flowers in Spring, the Judas tree sprouts purple fruit pods in Autumn that reach about 5 inches long. Preferring a well-drained soil, this deciduous tree will grow up to 12 metres in height in around 20 years.

Chinese Windmill Palm

Full Name – Trachycarpas Fortunei
Foliage – Evergreen
Sunlight – Full sun or partial shade
Soil – Loam, chalk, or sand
Plant Colour – Black, blue, green, and yellow

The Chinese windmill is a stout, solitary palm tree that produces lovely small flowers and round fruits. This wonderful little palm will last for up to 50 years under the right conditions, and prefers a well-drained and fertile soil with full sun or partial shade. Growing up to to 12 metres high, this specimen is best suited to a garden with sufficient space for it.

California Poppy

california poppy

Full Name – Eschscholzia Californica
Foliage – Deciduous
Sunlight – Full sun
Soil – Loam or sand
Plant Colour – Blue, green, orange, red, and yellow

The California Poppy is a self-seeding annual that will be a welcome arrival each year.  Fast-growing and available in a variety of colours this poppy adds colour and interest to beds and border. The blue/green leaves support a cacophony of coloured blooms in red, yellow, orange or white that flower all the way through summer so long as you remember to keep dead heading them. California Poppies thrive in well-drained soil and are fantastic for coastal areas, but need full sun to allow flowers to bloom.

Glossy Abelia

glossy abeliaFull Name – Abelia Rupestis
Foliage – Semi-evergreen
Sunlight – Full sun
Soil – Sand, chalk, and loam
Plant Colour – Green and pink

This medium sized semi-evergreen shrub makes a stunning summer showcase with delicate arching branches, attractive glossy, deep green leaves and masses of small, fragrant clusters of pink oval flowers from June. It is very easy to grow in almost all conditions but prefers a sheltered yet sunny position. The flowers last well through the summer and autumn, and the foliage will last all year given the right conditions. It is slightly tender so is best suited to a courtyard garden or grown against a wall where it will receive lots of sun but protection from strong winds and cold frosts.

Stonecrop ‘Herbstfruede’

stonecrop herbstfruede6Full Name – Hylotelephium Spectabile
Foliage – Deciduous
Sunlight – Full sun
Soil – Sand, loam, and chalk
Plant Colour – Green and pink

The Herbstfreude is a hardy perennial with succulent leaves and flower heads which change from pale pink buds in early summer, to a deep pink, before finishing in a dark reddy brown in Autumn.  Much loved by bees and butterflies during the Summer and Autumn, this sedum continues to provide interest in the border over Winter with its attractive dried flowerheads. This plant prefers well drained, neutral soil and grows best exposed to full sun.

Lawson Cypress

lawson cypress

Full Name – Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana
Foliage – Evergreen
Sunlight – Full sun
Soil – Chalk, clay, sand, and loam
Plant Colour – Green

The Minima Glauca is an evergreen dwarf conifer with a dense green foliage of scale like leaves. This conifer is slow growing, and prefers moist but well drained soil for the best results. This plant enjoys full sun, but grows equally well in a sheltered position. Whilst there is no need to prune this plant, it’s recommended that you give it a trim once or twice a year to keep it looking tidy and in shape.

False Indigo

false indigo

Full Name – Baptisia Australis
Foliage – Deciduous
Sunlight – Full sun
Soil – Loam or sand
Plant Colour – Grey, green, and blue

The false indigo is a perennial composed of three parted leaves with dark indigo-blue pea flowers which can have flecks of white or cream. The flowers bloom in late Spring providing a vibrant display of deep blue all throughout the summer, followed by attractive seed pods. It is best grown in open, sandy soil whilst fully exposed to sun. Avoid disturbing this plant until the roots have penetrated and vigorous clumps can be seen.

Adding just a few of these drought resistant plants can provide you with a worry-free summer garden that provides fantastic displays during the warmest months.  For more information about drought resistant plants, and how to best incorporate them in your garden, we are here to help. You can contact our expert team here Thames Valley Landscapes by calling us on 01628 629720 or send us an enquiry.

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