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With ever-warmer and drier summers, many of our clients request drought-tolerant planting plans. Saving water is a win-win, helping conserve natural resources and lower water bills. A typical drought-tolerant planting plan may include a mixture of Pacific Northwest natives along with Mediterranean plants which thrive in our similar summer climate. Desert plants may play a starring role too, provided that they are cold-hardy for our winters. However, an important fact to note, and one which many misunderstand, is that drought-tolerant plants still need supplemental water during dry months. This is especially true during the first year after plants are installed, as they acclimate to their new environments and work on establishing robust root systems.

Some of our favorite drought-tolerant plants include:

  • Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree)
  • Lagerstroemia indica (Crape Myrtle)
  • Arctosaphylos (Manzanita)
  • Ceanothus (California Wild Lilac)
  • Cistus (Rockrose)
  • Lavandula (Lavender)
  • Mahonia (Oregon Grape Family)
  • Nandina domestica (Heavenly Bamboo)
  • Salvia (Sage)
  • Symphoricarpos (Snowberry)
  • Thymus (Thyme)
  • Achillea (Yarrow)
  • Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile)
  • Agastache
  • Coreopsis
  • Euphorbia
  • Gaura lindheimeri
  • Penstemon
  • Phormium
  • Sedum
  • Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ (Elijah Blue Fescue)
  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (Karl Foerster Reed Grass)
  • Pennisetum ‘Hamelin’ (Hamelin Dwarf Fountain Grass)

After the second year in the ground, these plants may continue to need supplemental water during dry spells and strings of hot days. A great way to ensure your plants thrive while also giving yourself a break from the chore of watering is with a drip irrigation system. These water-efficient systems deliver slow drips of water directly to plant roots, meaning water is not lost to evaporation or run-off. The amount of water delivered to each plant is customized, so thirstier plants get a bigger helping of H2O. An added bonus is that if we install your plants and you have an automatic irrigation system, we’ll warranty your new plants for two years.

We’d be happy to create a drought-tolerant planting plan for you, get your plants of choice into the ground, install a drip irrigation system, or all of the above. Let us know how we can help!