With climate change becoming more of a focus and the likelihood of more extreme weather in the future, it makes sense to grow plants and incorporate ideas into our gardens that can cope with heatwaves and droughts. Here we look at drought proof planting and heatwave hints.

Drought proof planting ideas for your garden

Sea Hollies

These beautiful silvery blue plants will create interest and texture in your garden, especially if you plant them amongst other flowers such as roses. These long lasting plants have tough leaves that won’t suffer in a drought. They like free draining soil and will thrive in dry and sunny conditions. Avoid overly rich soil. You can cut dry these flowers for use in winter flower arrangements.

Sedum Matrona

All Sedums are drought resistant plants. The Matrona produces flowers of pink, red or white with purple leaves from early summer through to winter, making it a good choice for summer planting. It is hardy, looks good and copes well in droughts with the foliage turning a glorious purple when water is scarce.

Star Jasmine

This climbing plant with glossy leaves and beautiful white flowers bloom between March and September. The flowers give off a wonderful strong scent which make it an ideal choice for summer planting. It needs a sheltered spot and will cope well in droughts although it does need enough water initially to get going.

Bearded Iris

These dramatic looking plants will make a striking addition to any border and flower between May and June. They like well-drained soil in full sun. They will need to be split every three to four years so they don’t bulk up. 

Drought proof garden ideas

Cultivate the soil deeply

Try to dig large quantities of organic matter such as compost and well-rotted farmyard manure deep into the soil to improve the structure and water retention for plants.

Avoid using fertiliser

Adding fertiliser can encourage too much lush growth, which causes plants to flop in the height of summer and will mean they need extra watering.

Plant when young

Drought proof planting can be encouraged by growing plants from a young age. Flowers and shrubs will develop more resilience as they adapt to their surroundings if you plant them when young. It’s a good idea to plant in early autumn so that they can get used to a range of weather conditions before summer arrives.

Water well initially

Make sure all new plants are well-watered in, and throughout their first season as they become established. This will help them to become more drought-tolerant.

Plant according to soil type

Where possible, try to plant according to the type of soil as this will help with drought proof planting, making your plants more tolerant to climate as well as to pest and disease issues.

Use mulch

After planting, use a layer of compost or straw covered with gravel to help retain the moisture whilst plants become established.

Weed regularly

Get rid of weeds as often as you can, as these will deprive your plants of water and other nutrients.

Gravel garden

A gravel garden lends itself to a Mediterranean style outdoor space that works well in sunny conditions and is good for drought proof planting.

Artificial grass

A real lawn needs a lot of watering in the summer to keep it looking green and stop it becoming dried out. An artificial lawn doesn’t need any watering and will still look good in a heat wave and throughout droughts.

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Try drought proof planting in your garden and enjoy different blooms and plants that will cope well with minimal water and fuss and still look good during the hottest days.

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