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10 Drought-Tolerant Shrubs

If these tough beauties thrived in the driest Alabama summer in 100 years, think how well they’ll do for you

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  1. user-7007141 08/13/2014

    i am hoping that a flowering quince would do well in the columbia basin area of oregon.......we can have a week of 100+ & also days of - 5.....would this work & where can they be purchased?....linda

  2. marthaollis 08/25/2014

    Biltmore's beautiful roses like very thing else at Biltmore is amazing. what a platform for encouraging organic gardening methods they could have. Please start mentioning when your gardeners are trying to use organic methods. I love your magazine! Love your posts as well!

    1. debbiensync 08/17/2015

      That is a great idea, Ms. Martha! I am/have been using only organic types available of everything,some locally; include organic soil, which one can then mix in several things together including composted mushrooms and horse/cow manure for extra fertilizing boost. Please, do not use INSECTICIDES! I have seen so many butterflies this summer at our farm; sadly nationally/globally we have killed 90% of the Monarch Butterfly. Buy spreading Milkweed, the only plant on which they will grow from a chrysalis into a caterpillar then a butterfly.
      More flowers/shrubs that last through both drought, and winters' temperatures below 20 degrees F winters: gardenias, tall holly trees that are evergreen/berries; and their "cousins", 5-6' shrubs as well; try planting beautiful varieties of grasses as well; evergreen/flowering Magnolia, and returning garden flowering plants for butterflies and bees include the orange Butterfly plant, and Butterfly Bushes; "Veronica, First Love", attracts many butterflies and insects, and is only non-hardy in zones 1-2; Shasta Daisies, Calla Lilies, Roses, Japanese Fern and Autumn Ferns, Dutch Iris, Rhododendron catawbiense, Sedum, Hibiscus (on the lower areas of the US coast), lilacs,Lantana,rosemary & other herbs.
      It is doubtful we can get our government to return to toxic-free environments for bees to keep up as pollinators, with large farms' effective production level, so it is up to us, the home gardeners and small farm-owners to help save our bees as well;use NO PESTICIDES.
      Every grasshopper or Praying Mantis, has a positive purpose-some eats aphids that attack your flowers. The balance that comes eventually to your yard and garden without chemicals is amazing. Now we are using the same style of gardening at our coastal home. Sadly people do not realize Mosquito Squads , and other companies, kill EVERY insect, including butterflies and bees that are our friends with pollination. Mosquitoes can easily be kept at bay by burning non-toxic candles and incense(I swear by the incense), growing your own citranilla plants. Also try using body-sprays with naturally-created protection, containing safe for human oils.
      Find the National Wildlife Federation to look up the information about the fore-mentioned chemicals including Seven dust, one of several proven killers of all insects. They also have a lot of information for gardeners who want to have year-round, safe, and attractive returning plantings!(photo I took of a shrub-sized hibiscus on my beach patio where I have successfully grown other plants in containers,for butterfly/bee/hummingbirds! Since I use containers, this one must be kept in a greenhouse for the coldest months!).

  3. annashun1 09/09/2015

    A warning on the Chaste Tree: It does perform like a dream in drought and desertlike conditions, but those flowers create thousands of hard seedpods and it also spreads like wildfire. The smallest sprout reveals a very deep root that is difficult to remove. Just a heads up!

    1. User avater
      meander1 (Michaele ) 02/01/2016

      That sounds like very imp. information to know. Thanks for taking the time to give that heads up!

  4. joshua_browning 10/07/2016

    This is an excellent guide. It is helping me narrow down what drought tolerant shrubs to choose going forward.

  5. peacewon 11/15/2016

    I have a flower bed that is about 3- 3.5 feet wide one side of the door, and on the other side it is only 1.5 - 2 foot wide. On one side has older shrubs that have outgrown their space ( probably over 25 years old) and on the other side some one planted two hanging rose bushes but did not take into account there is not and never will be a trellis for them so they are basically prickly high maint. eyesores. I am looking for a drought tolerant replacement. It seems I may end up with miniature nandina. unless some one knows of a 2-3 foot shrub that requires pretty low maint and no extra watering at all.

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