In California, drought conditions will play a role in how you design your landscaped areas and the plants you use to complete them. You can find plants that use very little water, as well as some that like hot, dry temperatures. You can choose tall spiky plants for the background, or you can choose low lying plants that make ideal ground covers.
Creeping phlox is a drought resistant form of ground cover that can be used in place of natural grass in small areas. Small lawns or areas where it is difficult to grow a naturally thriving lawn will sustain hardy phlox varieties creating a lush carpeting of thick green foliage, with small, fragrant flowers.
Tall Bearded Iris
Tall bearded irises can grow up to 36 inches tall making them an ideal backdrop for other shorter plants and shrubs. They are brightly colored and will continue to grow throughout the year. The flowers are ideal for bouquets and floral centerpieces.
Sage thrives in full sun and can grow upwards of three feet tall. The shrub has wooly, green leaves that are somewhat fragrant. Sage is extremely hardy and can withstand extreme weather conditions. Certain varieties of sage can be dried and used in the kitchen.
Silver artemisias, also known as Silver King, can grow from two to four feet tall. It's grayish-silvery leaves give off a pleasant aroma. The plant thrives in soil that drains easily and will remain green and vibrant throughout the year.
Yarrow is a tall, spiky plant growing up to three feet tall and producing an abundance of yellowish-gold blooms. The green leaves have a silver tint that makes them look slippery and somewhat shiny. For as beautiful as yarrow can be, it may cause allergies. Make sure you are not allergic before choosing to plant it next to your home.
Lavender is an extremely fragrant plant that produces long purple blooms on tall thin stalks. Lavender can grow from two to three feet tall and is extremely hardy in certain weather conditions. Much like the bearded iris, lavender flowers can be used for centerpieces or floral bouquets. Once brought inside, they will easily release their fragrance.
The purple coneflower plant produces blooms that look similar to a daisy but are purple with a large brown center. The plants grow up to four feet tall and prefer dry soil and direct sunlight. The plant is known for its healing properties. Purple coneflower is also known as echinacea.
Sedum has very fleshy leaves, almost like a succulent. The leaves stay green throughout the year. The plant remains close to the ground sometimes only reaching as high as four inches. Sedum will grow quickly if allowed to spread unhindered. It makes an excellent ground cover for small areas.
Hens and Chicks
Hens and chicks spread quickly along the ground or can be contained in small barrels or boxes that allow them to grow in several directions. The flowers are shaped like small rosettes and their leaves are fleshy and succulent in nature.
Snow-n-Summer is a beautiful low-lying plant, growing no taller than six inches. The leaves are evergreen and provide a thick ground cover. The plant produces an abundance of blooms ranging in color from pink to purple to white. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
Each of these plants offers some type of benefit other than just being drought resistant. Use them to your advantage and beautify your landscaping with a purpose. Hardy plants that thrive in dry conditions can serve many purposes. Choose for color, fragrance, style and, decoration. Choose plants because they are easy to care for and are easy on the environment. Allow your garden or landscaped areas to stand out among others in the neighborhood.