You have worked to get everything in place and your flowerbeds are looking fantastic. Then, here comes the glaring summer sun, draining your beautiful flowers of their food and water. The local meteorologist says there is no rain in sight; a drought is expected and water restrictions will soon be in place.
Prepare for a Summer Drought in the Garden
This common problem can be avoided by the addition of drought tolerant bedding specimens during your spring planting. Many drought tolerant plants may already be in your garden, if not, they can easily be added as bedding plants. It is not too late to add summer blooms in the garden now, but time will soon be up for planting.
Have a great looking garden come rain or shine. For, it seems, drought tolerant annuals (and some other xeric plants) perform well not only in drought conditions, but also during periods of normal rainfall.
Orange Cosmos can grow to a height of five to seven feet and is an excellent drought tolerant plant for the back of a bed or planted along a fence line. Hardy in zones 5-10, Orange Cosmos bloom throughout the summer and do well in full sun conditions. While this plant can withstand drought conditions, it reaches optimum growth during rainfall. Easy to grow, with appealing, cup-shaped blooms, Cosmos are a must have for the drought-tolerant garden.
Sow from seed after danger of frost is past. Cosmos sulphureus will re-seed if seeds reach bare soil. The variety “Bright Lights” offers flowers in colors ranging from yellows to dark orange. This prolific grower is native to Mexico.
Globe Amaranth, sometimes called Bachelor’s Button, is tolerant of drought conditions if settled in properly. Gomphrena actually does best in poor soil and is well tolerant of bright sun. This specimen benefits from “pinching back”, creating a bushier and more compact beauty for your beds.
The short stature can be lengthened by planting close together in flowerbeds. If starting from seed, soak them for two days prior to planting for a higher germination rate. Globe Amaranth is an excellent point of interest in a mass or border and does well as a dried flower in arrangements.The new cultivar Fireworks grabs attention in the flowerbed and in the vase. It is hardy in all US zones.
When preparing the planting bed, till down several inches and add amendments as needed for a loamy, well-draining soil. Water these plants well until established. Drought tolerant annuals and other xeric plants may be grouped together to maximize water savings.