by Courtney DeKalb-Myers, OSU Extension Horticulture Educator
August is here. July came with the sun and Norman hasn’t seen a decent rain since. The water bill is creeping upward and dragging the hose around to water does not sound fun. The gardens are about as worn out as the gardeners. One way to avoid this situation is to use drought tolerant plants within the landscape. Drought tolerant plants are more adapted to these water-stressed conditions and will thrive through the heat of the summer. Consider using some of these plants to make this time of year less stressful.
Stonecrop blooms with clusters of pink flowers in the fall. It has succulent like foliage and prefers a full sun location. Consider the popular cultivar 'Autumn Joy'.
The best drought tolerant fern, Japanese painted fern adds a beautiful silver foliage to the gardens. It is low to the ground and makes a great border in shade gardens.
Sometimes referred to as whirling butterfly, guara has a dance-in-the-wind appearance. Flowers come in pink or white and a bronze foliage variety is available.
A classic in any prairie bed, coneflowers are highly adapted to drought conditions. More cultivars are available on the market, including different colors and dwarf varieties.
Autumn sage is a bright pink perennial that will bloom all summer long. It is medium sized with and upright form. The reddish pink, tubular shaped flowers are a great attractant for pollinators.
Russian sage has grey-green foliage with wispy purple flowers. It performs best in full sun. It can grow quite tall and may be useful as a backdrop in the garden.
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