All about xeriscaping and 7 drought-tolerant plants

  • By Myra
  • 13 April 2021
Agapanthus Fireworks.jpg

For centuries, people have been planting to match their climate. But with climates changing, the need for landscaping techniques such as xeriscaping continues to rise. As countries all over the world are facing periods of drought, the demand for drought-tolerant plants has never been higher.

The benefits of xeriscaping

Gardens that are less dependent on irrigation (and maintenance for that matter) but continue to keep their aesthetic appeal: for many, it is the best of both worlds, brought into one design. It might be one of the most popular gardening trends for both for private projects and urban landscape designs. Using xeriscaping as the basis of a garden design can be seen as logical: it reduces water bills, requires less maintenance and helps offset the effects of frequent drought.

But xeriscaping isn’t just about conserving water – it’s about finding smart ways to use it. By adding a rain garden where excess water can be accumulated and absorbed, for example. Even though xeriscaping is typically used for landscape designs in arid areas, it is also a popular technique to establish a low-maintenance landscape design: perfectly suited for the laid-back gardener.

Best drought-tolerant plants to use for xeriscaping

Xeriscaping doesn’t mean using rocks, gravel and cacti. There are many other ways to adapt to the changing climate or save on water bills.

1.    Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Standing Ovation’

One of the cons of xeriscaping is that it doesn’t always support native ecosystems: whilst it is so important also to plant native flora to support an ecosystem’s native diversity, insects and animals. The Little Bluestem is common to many ecosystems – and the ‘Standing Ovation’ will do any xeriscaping design justice. It’s sturdy, upright habit keeps it steady and prevents it from falling over, and it absolutely thrives in full sun!

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2.    Delosperma Wheels of Wonder®

As sustainable as xeriscaping is, the Delosperma is perfectly suited within this sustainable environment. A perfect, low-maintenance ground cover with warm, energizing and exciting colours that will make for the perfect focal point. If you don’t have too cold a winter and hot, humid summers, these perennials will look great – even during a drought! The Wheels of Wonder® come in many varieties, and its large, beautiful flowers are an absolute magnet for bees and butterflies.

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3.    Lavendula Phenomenal

Even though most drought-tolerant plants grow slower, the Lavendula Phenomenal will impress you with its uniform growth and flowering. Speaking of attractive native plants! Often associated with the famous purple fields of Provence, but as suitable to breathe some life into a xeriscaping project!

Lavandula-Phenomenal_Garden.jpeg 1.64 MB

4.    Agapanthus Fireworks

Even though xeriscaping is often used in arid climates, a xeriscaped garden may still contain trees, shrubs or wonderful evergreens to provide year-round colour. Not only are these drought-tolerant plants perfectly suited for xeriscaping projects: they’re also highly resistant to pets and disease. Take the Agapanthus Fireworks, for example; the first reblooming, evergreen, bicoloured Agapanthus in the world – and resistant to crown rot. With an extended flowering season of at least 3 months, who would still plant cacti in a xeriscape garden?

Agapanthus Fireworks.jpg 2.11 MB

5.    Sempervivum ChickCharms®

The initial investment for a xeriscape project doesn’t have to be high. Once established, a low-maintenance garden can save a substation amount of money – and time. And in all fairness: these ChickCharms® won’t cost you an arm and a leg. These Sempervivums are hardy to -25 °C, love full sun and are available in a variety of colours.

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6.    Mangave Mad about Mangave®

The ease of care might be one of the biggest benefits of a xeriscape garden design: and the Mad about Mangave® would be the first to come in mind when uttering the words ‘low-maintenance’. The many varieties of this hybrid creation actually seem to thrive on some neglect. And the fact that they’re suited for both outdoor and indoor use only makes them more attractive.

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7.    Aloe L. Safari Sunrise

That one small corner of a garden where no plants will thrive due to the massive amount of sunlight – that’s the perfect spot for the aloe. Aloes are lovely, but the graceful and colourfully blooming Aloe Safari Sunrise makes this xeriscaped landscape a wonder to behold.

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