Drought has become synonymous with gardening in the past several years. It seems like regardless of where you live, you will experience some sort of dry conditions in summer. This has led many of us to reevaluate our plant choices. Perennials we once relied on to fill our beds and borders may flag in July and August—or shrivel up and die altogether. In anticipation of drier conditions in the future, we’re talking in this episode about plants that thrive in drought. These selections have built-in traits that allow them to sail through long periods of no rain and/or soils that have little to no moisture-retentive properties. And we’re not just talking about succulents and cacti here! Listen now to learn about an array of lush, floriferous perennials that thrive in desert-like environments.
Expert guest: Ed Lyon is director of the Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa.
‘Drops of Jupiter’ oregano (Origanum ‘Drops of Jupiter’, Zone 4–9)
Sandpaper bush (Mortonia scabrella, Zones 8b–11)
‘Pink Champagne’ epimedium (Epimedium ‘Pink Champagne’, Zones 5–8)
‘Blue Paradise’ little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Blue Paradise’, Zones 3–9)
‘Caradonna’ meadow sage (Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, Zones 4–8)
Bearded iris (Iris germanica cvs., Zones 3–9)
Undaunted® ruby muhly grass (Muhlenbergia reverchonii ‘PUND01S’, Zones 5–9)
Epimedium (Epimedium spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9)
Baptisia (Baptisia spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9)
‘Blackhawks’ big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii ‘Blackhawks’, Zones 3–9)
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa and cvs., Zones 3–9)
Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea, Zones 3–8)