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Five easy-care perennials that sip water

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Gardeners everywhere should be concerned with water usage, and at no time of year are those concerns more to the fore than they are in the summer. The good news is that many garden standards are quite drought-tolerant once established. (Remember that every plant needs regular watering until it gets acclimated to a new home.) Here are five that prove you need not sacrifice color or bloom to be water-wise.
  • five easy care perennials that sip water, flowers, gardening, perennials
Yarrow (Achillea species) loves lean soils and full sun, and blooms for most of the summer. Yellow is perhaps the most common color, but it also comes in varying shades of red, orange, pink and white. Hardy in zones 3 to 9.
  • five easy care perennials that sip water, flowers, gardening, perennials
Garden pinks (Dianthus species) range from low groundcovers to plants of two feet or more. Grass-like glaucous foliage sets off red, pink or white blooms. They bloom over a long season, including the middle of winter in the southern parts of their range. Hardy in zones 3-10.
  • five easy care perennials that sip water, flowers, gardening, perennials
Perennial geranium (Geranium sanguineum) should not be confused with the annual geranium (really a pelargonium) that is a staple of summer in much of the country. Perennial geranium is one of the longest-blooming perennials around, especially if it is cut back after the first wave of bloom. It is less drouth-tolerant in the southern parts of its range, where it appreciates some afternoon shade. Zones 4 to 8.
  • five easy care perennials that sip water, flowers, gardening, perennials
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia species) is a highly adaptable garden plant. The flowers are an important nectar source for butterflies, and birds love the seedheads. Blooms over a long season from summer through fall depending on the species. Zones 3 to 10.
  • five easy care perennials that sip water, flowers, gardening, perennials
Salvia (Salvia species) exists in annual, biennial and perennial forms, in sizes from diminutive to towering. Most are excellent for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. Zones 4 to 11 depending on species.

Got a question about this project?

  • Carol
    Carol Longview, TX

    Love your photos. I have all but the Perennial geranium and will definitely look into it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL

      @Carol It may be too hot for perennial geranium in Texas (not sure what zone you're in), but if your local nurseries carry it, it would be a great addition to your garden. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Steph Mike

    Thanks Douglas. :) it hit me this morning that succulents make a good option, too. I don't know why I didn't think of it before. Your knowledge is so helpful.thanks for always sharing with us. :)

    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL

      @Steph Mike You are right, succulents are definitely a good option.

  • Lynn5280
    Lynn5280 Bushnell, FL

    Thanks Doug I will look into the geranium WAS 99 ON MY GLASS ENCLOSED PORCH YESTERDAY WE NEED RAIN OVER HERE!!

    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL

      @Lynn5280 We need it in New Smyrna, too. I've never seen the geranium offered around me. I think it is too hot here.

  • Charlotte Kent
    Charlotte Kent Tremont, MS

    Would these need to be put out in the spring to survive that first summer?

    • Douglas Hunt
      Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL

      @Charlotte Kent Not at all, as long as you are vigilant about keeping them well-watered until they get established.

  • Charlotte Kent
    Charlotte Kent Tremont, MS

    Thank you for the answer. I now have a week off work. If I can find locally any of these, I can get them in the ground..already have Salvia. Now that is my kind of plant. If these others are that self sufficient, whoopee!

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