Tag Archive | summer

Plants that are true drought survivors

Since I was able to dump out all my discouragement about gardening in Central Texas in my last post, it’s time for a different perspective. While my garden doesn’t look good by any means, there are a few plants that didn’t seem terribly fazed by the heat and drought.

I would love it if each of you visiting here would post a comment about the plants in your garden that truly survived, or even thrived, in the Summer of 09 in Central Texas. This can be a gathering place for all of us gardeners to discover new plants that are hardy, and remember some tried and true ones that were planted by the zillions for a reason.

I’ll start with my list:

Bicolor Iris: I love this plant, and while it didn’t bloom as prolifically, the greenery continued without fail to give me nice structure

Bicolor Iris, one of my favorites

Bicolor Iris, one of my favorites

Crape Myrtle: As always, these consistent flowering trees seem to love the heat

Cast Iron Plants: though a bit sunburned on the edges, it seems they could care less if they get lots of water or no water

Japanese Yew: These tall shrubs in my yard are some that I take for granted, but I shouldn’t. This year in the drought they produced beautiful gray berries against the green foliage, and never seemed to drop a leaf.

Society Garlic: Never huge bloomers for me, but still light and bright when they did bloom, and offered a tiny bit of color in my brown and sort-of-green yard

Lambs’ ears: mine didn’t grow much, but they are so cute with the fuzzy leaves

Citrus Splash Rose: Surprisingly, this rose was hardy and bloomed throughout the summer, though the blooms were definitely sunburned

Citrus Splash rose acted like a Knockout Rose through the summer

Citrus Splash rose acted like a Knockout Rose through the summer

Bulbine: loves the sunny, dry no-man’s-land corner of the yard by the street. Flourished all summer! You can see it in the above photo of the Citrus Splash

Pitcher Sage: A new baby plant grew all summer and bloomed about 3 weeks ago with gorgeous cornflower blue flowers. Leggy, but the flower is worth it.

This picture doesn't do the plant justice. The blue color is almost neon.

This picture doesn't do the plant justice. The blue color is almost neon.

Asparagus fern: even without much extra water at all, this fern grew well

Sword fern: a surprising one for me, this sword fern planted in the shade is doing just fine.

Butterfly Bush (Clerodendron Ugandense): This new plant for me has bloomed off and on, and didn’t seem to care if it dried out.

Clerendon Ugadense had small blooms off and on; the foliage grew a lot.

Clerendon Ugadense had small blooms off and on; the foliage grew a lot.

Flowering Senna: Great greenery all season, and burst  into yellow blooms right on time in early September

Loropetalum: While it didn’t grow much bigger, these plants throughout my yard kept their shape and color without wilting

Bottlebrush tree: One of my favorites, this large shrub/small tree will bloom given just a bit of water. It takes a lot of abuse.

Ligustrum: this overused shrub is prolific in my older yard, and provides dependable evergreen structure as some of mine were formed into small trees as they grew years ago.

Liriope: this standby is hardy in any weather, it seems. I mow it, I move it, I abuse it, and it stays green and even flowers for me. I should feel guilty, but instead I’m beginning to appreciate it more and more.

Established Asian and Confederate Jasmine: another spot of evergreen that adds a lush feel year-round

Fatsia (Aralia): This one is iffy. Some of this very old plant looks fine, but it has many dead leaves on it. I do love it when it is healthy, though, and I believe it will bounce back. I’m removing this one from my list. Today I cleaned out part of that bed, and this 20+ year-old plant was in worse condition than I realize. One branch completely dead.

Beautyberry: While it isn’t yet covered in berries, this small shrub seems to have survived just fine in it’s shady spot.

Abutilon: My new transplants didn’t bloom all summer as others have, but they also didn’t seem to wilt and lose any leaves. I hope these continue to grow and get hardier, because they are one of my new favorites.

Pride of Barbados: I love this tropical plant, and it loves the heat. My newly planted 1 gallon plant grew a couple of feet and bloomed in the depths of drought and blazing temperatures.

Dwarf pomegranate: They didn’t grow, but they also didn’t die while living in another spot of my yard that gets little watering.

Salvias: while they did survive, salvias in my yard didn’t bloom while the air was so dry this summer. Now that the humidity is back, and a bit of rain, they are suddenly in bloom throughout the yard, in places where I even forgot I had planted them. I’ll probably plant more.

Shrimp plant: new transplants from last fall didn’t grow much, but burst into bloom in late August, despite rough conditions. I’m looking forward to larger versions of these plants next year.

Indigofera: Why did this plant do well? It is supposed to need extra water. This deciduous, creeping shrub bloomed off and on throughout the summer, I can’t explain it.

Variegated Ginger: the ones that didn’t get decent watering definitely got crispy, but just a little extra water occasionally made these tropicals grow and look decent

Silver ponyfoot: I’m really trying to get a patch of this started in several places as a ground cover. It’s a bit of a slow starter, but seems hardy

Artemesia: This is a great plant for filler and silver, lacy foliage that can stand up to abuse. I want more of this.

Yarrow: Though it looks soft and fern-like, the yarrow in my yard didn’t seem to care how bad the climate was.

Tell me about your garden, please?
What are you glad you had to give you some joy this summer? What would you avoid planting again?

We can all benefit from gathering our experiences here and sharing knowledge for future summers.