Water-wise Gardening

Water-wise Gardening

There are several strategies to help maintain success in the garden even during periods of drought or extreme heat in our gardening zone. Blue Grass recommends the following steps to achieve garden sustainability when things start to heat up. Also consider planting some of the plants in the attached list in some of the hot spots of your garden; remember that even plants that are drought tolerant need a little TLC to get established the first year or two.

  1. Amend soil with organic matter to improve water holding capacity.
  2. Consider grouping plants according to their need for water and sun.
  3. Deep plants watering encourages deeper root growth.
  4. Avoid plants watering mid-afternoon in the heat of day to prevent evaporation.
  5. Water with drip irrigation or soaker hose; pick up a watering bag for newly planted trees.
  6. Pay attention to weather, cool wet weather generally requires little or no additional watering.
  7. Avoid wasting water during periods of drought by avoiding water run-off and watering the pavement.
  8. Add water catchment options, ie. Rain barrels, ponds, rain gardens.
  9. Weed out undesirables that are competing for moisture.
  10. Mulch, mulch, mulch! Mulch helps conserve moisture and keep soil temperatures more even.


Drought Tolerant Plants

Plants that can take the heat!


  • calendula
  • calibrachoa
  • canna lily
  • cleome
  • cosmos
  • dahlia
  • dianthus
  • geranium
  • lantana
  • marigolds
  • pentas
  • petunia
  • portulaca
  • salvia
  • snapdragons
  • sunflowers
  • sweet potato vine
  • verbena
  • vinca
  • zinnia


  • bee balm (Monarda)
  • blanket flower (Gaillardia)
  • blue fescue (Festuca)
  • catmint (Nepeta)
  • coneflower (Echinacea)
  • fleece flower (Persicaria)
  • gas plant (Dictamnus)
  • globe thistle (Echinops)
  • hens n chicks (Echeveria)
  • pinks (Dianthus)
  • silver sage (Artemisia)
  • snow in summer (Cerastium)
  • perennial sage (Salvia)
  • prickly pear cactus (Opuntia)
  • rudbeckia
  • Russian sage (Perovskia)
  • soapwort (Saponaria)
  • stonecrop (Sedum)
  • yarrow (Achillea)
  • yucca (Yucca glauca)

Trees & Shrubs

  • barberry (Berberis)
  • burning bush (euonymus)
  • cotoneaster
  • juniper (Juniperus)
  • lilac (Syringa)
  • potentilla
  • rose (Rosa)
  • silver buffalo berry
  • apple (Malus)
  • ash (Fraxinus)
  • bur oak (Quercus)
  • hawthorn (Crataegus)
  • Japanese tree lilac
  • linden (Tilia)
  • mayday (Prunus)
  • mountain ash (Sorbus)
  • pine (Pinus)
  • Russian olive (Elaegnus)
  • Schubert chokecherry
  • spruce (Picea)

See also Drought Tolerant Trees