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Water-Wise Plants

Choose these resilient workhorses for the driest spots in your garden

Fine Gardening – Issue 170

Droughts and water shortages have grabbed headlines in recent years, reminding gardeners everywhere that we need to find ways to make our landscapes less dependent on supplemental water. Even in regions where drought is infrequent, environmental factors like topography, soil type, mature trees, building locations, and prevailing winds can create dry microclimates. These are the spots where water-wise plants can make a world of difference.

As you search for less thirsty alternatives for your landscape, make sure that your choices are well adapted to your site’s soil type, soil pH, and climate. The plants you choose may be native to this continent or adapted old-world species from other regions of the globe. But don’t buy into the common misconception that all native plants are water-wise. For a low-water garden, seek out plants that grow in arid environments, whether their home range is in North America or in Europe, Asia, Africa,…

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