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Helpful and Easy Gardening tips for drought climates.

Updated on July 27, 2013

Full- sun flowers with good color and easy care

This is full sun so I planted moss roses and garzanias.
This is full sun so I planted moss roses and garzanias. | Source
This is also full sun. From back to front : Crepe Myrtle, Roses, Various bushes, Wandering Jew, Hens and Chicks, and Moss Roses.
This is also full sun. From back to front : Crepe Myrtle, Roses, Various bushes, Wandering Jew, Hens and Chicks, and Moss Roses. | Source
Cannas come in red or green leaf as shown. They have yellow, orange, or red flowers. They come in different heights also. The red leaf are regular cannas while the ones on the right are dwarf.
Cannas come in red or green leaf as shown. They have yellow, orange, or red flowers. They come in different heights also. The red leaf are regular cannas while the ones on the right are dwarf. | Source
The wisteria climbs high on the gazebo. I added another rose bush and  hibiscus. On the far right I planted calla lilies and surrounded them with moss roses for different heights from both angles of the yard.
The wisteria climbs high on the gazebo. I added another rose bush and hibiscus. On the far right I planted calla lilies and surrounded them with moss roses for different heights from both angles of the yard. | Source

Tips for easy care gardening and drought tolerant plants

My father always had a garden when I was growing up. He grew things well but sometimes he would tell me that you just can't grow certain things in certain climates. He was right. When we moved to Oklahoma, I found this to be true. I learned what a drought was. I learned what water rationing meant. It has taken me 12 years but I believe I have finally found plants that do well with high heat, full sun, and little water. These are some tips that I have learned over the years.

1.Know your climate. Experiment with plants in your area. My area ,as stated above, is prone to droughts. Crepe myrtles, roses, moss roses, monkey grass, marigolds, calla lilies, cannas, and garzania plants all do well in full sun with very little water. Crepe Myrtles will bloom twice a year. The moss roses, marigolds, and garzania will bloom everyday. The calla lilies and monkey grass bloom once a year. The cannas bloom continuously all summer. Roses need extra work so I don't recommend them for the first-time gardener. If properly maintained they bloom continuously all summer long.

2. Find things that come back every year for less maintanance. This took me awhile to figure out but I discovered that the moss roses (portulaca) , the wandering jew, and even the gerber daisy will come back every year. After the frost, leave the dead plant until spring. When spring arrives,cut just the top part off and save the root. Even though, they are annuals, mine return year after year.The gerber daisy is more of a shade plant. If you have a shade spot in your yard it will do well. It likes the heat just not the sun.It comes in many colors and is one of my favorites. It also needs to be watered every day.

3. Water in the morning. It is always better to water in the morning. Watering at night sometimes causes disease in plants. If at all possible, get up before the heat of the day and water your plants.This is also easier on you as the tempurature is cooler in the early morning. I am usually out watering by 7:00 a.m. Also , if you have roses, water only the base. Water on the leaves promotes black spot. .

4. Be creative. Plant taller plants in the back and smaller plants in the front. It doesn't have to be perfect or in super straight order. I like the more controlled randomness. It looks more natural, as if the plants are supposed to be there. If you don't like something where it is or if it is not doing well, transplant it and try again.

5. Fertilize. I highly recommend Miracle-Gro. It comes in all forms. It comes in Shake-N-feed granules and in the traditional powder. The shake granules are more expensive but last longer.They last a couple months. They are shaken at the base of a plant and worked into the dirt. Always water immediately after placing in the soil. I usually use the powder because it is cheaper. I do this once every 2 weeks. It comes with a scoop that you mix with one gallon of water. It comes in different forms. I prefer the one for beautiful blooms. It also comes with a hose attatchment that mixes it as you water. There is also a liquid form that can be put in a hose attatchment. These different forms can be found at any Walmart. I prefer to wait for rain in the forecast. I feed my plants right before and allow the rain to work it in. After all, rain is the best thing for your plants.

6. Weed regularly. Weeding can be a pain but if you pick just a section of the yard and do that one day and then do another section another day it, doesn't become quite so overwhelming. I also recommend placing mulch or stone (I do both for variety) around your plants. I recommend planting all of your plants and then placing mulch or stone around them when you are done. I also recommend low, ground cover plants. This also cuts down on weeds. Your local Lowe's, Home Depot , or Walmart can offer a wide variety of different mulches or stones.

7.Trim. Deadhead your roses and other plants with scissors if you can. This will promote more growth. The cool thing about moss roses is they do this on their own. So if you don't like a lot of work stick to these types of flowers. Also, keep crepe myrtles and bushes trimmed for a cleaner look to your flowerbed. This also makes it easier to get into your beds to weed.

8. Ask questions. If you have a neighbor with beautiful flowers, ask them for recommendations for plants. Most people I have met with nice yards and gardens want to talk about them and will help you if you just ask.

9. Place large rocks or stepping stones in your flower beds. I like to place large rocks in my flower beds. I use them as stepping stones on rainy days. They are also very attractive. My husband found most of my rocks, so they cost me nothing. Stepping stones are more expensive but will allow for the same freedom in your beds.

10. Try not to spray certain pesticides. Check your labels. If your pesticide kills bees, your flowers will not do as well. Bees are good for pollination. Ladybugs, spiders, and praying mantis are good for keeping down unwanted insects. Your blooms will look better and your plants will be healthier if you can try to keep the good insects in your yard. I use pesticides in the dirt only for grubs and other insects that eat the roots.

These are my ten tips for healthy plants in a drought climate. These tips will help you have a beautiful backyard with easy care.

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    • Laura Schneider profile image

      Laura Schneider 3 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

      Excellent article! Voted up, awesome, and shared!

      I live in Minnesota (that is, MinneSOtahh) and we get drought conditions with high heat certain times of the year, too. I'm a terrible gardener, and after reading your article I think I know why now! :-) Thanks for the tips! I'd never even heard of some of these plants, but I'm a HUGE fan of moss roses--attractive and low-maintenance and self-seeding. I've got pots of them up on my deck that are just gorgeous and zero maintenance on my part (though I need to be better about fertilizing everything!!).

      Prairie grasses, with their deep roots, are something I was expecting you to mention: are those good, too? Any particular varieties you'd recommend to a brown-thumb, lazy gardener like me? Also, what about hostas for shady-but-hot areas? (Are there hostas for bright sun, too?) And, what about irises (I adore irises!)--do they do well in heat and/or sun?

      I can't wait to check the local nursery for some of the plants you mentioned that I've never heard of! Maybe there's hope for my spring gardens (which came with the house I bought) without resorting to buying artificial plants. LOL

      Thanks for writing this awesome hub! Great pictures, too--you should make them full-width so we can see all the details and learn even more. Beautiful backyard you have--paradise! (I live in a townhouse, so my "backyard" is about 400 sq. feet under my deck.) I used to have a huge house and backyard, though, before the economy got me.

      I'm off to see what else you've written about--perhaps answering all of my impertinent questions already in other articles!

      Cheers!

    • joycampbell profile image
      Author

      Joy Campbell 3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Hey, Thanks for the cool comment. I honestly don't know that much about prairie grasses. My father has pampas grass around one of his ponds and it is huge. It is beautiful this time of year. I have monkey grass which does extremely well out here but I don't know if that is a prairie grass. I have hostas in the front of my house. That area is mostly shady. They do great until it hits mid-90's and then the burn a little on the edges. I have irises in the back in one small area. They do just fine. My father has two big beds of irises and they do well also. Mine and his get mostly sun and just a little shade. They come in so many colors now. I can see why you like them. I am a big fan of the calla lilies. I also took a leap and grew some elephant ears this year. They are lots of fun. I like bulbs because they multiply on there own and are pretty low maintanance. Thank you for the compliment on my backyard. We don't get to go a lot of places with the four little ones so I hope they have nice memories of spending time in our backyard.

      I honestly didn't know Minn. was prone to drought. I guess you learn something new everyday. Good luck with your garden. Don't go artificial, ha,ha

      Thanks

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