Drought Tolerant Shrubs
Drought Tolerant Shrubs Are Not Hard To Find
If you live in an arid region, or if water for the garden is rationed, drought tolerant shrubs are abundantly available, and can make attractive additions to any yard. Drought tolerant shrubs cannot of course live without water, but do not require consistently moist soil as is the case with many plants and shrubs, and can go for periods without watering much longer than is the case with most other plants.
Not Super Plant But Still Tough - Drought tolerant shrubs may not be at their best during extended dry periods. They will suffer if water is scarce, but usually hold up better than most plants until water becomes abundant again. Most people may be unaware of it, but the common lilac is a drought tolerant shrub. In extremely arid conditions or if neglected and not watered somewhat regularly, the lilac may become a bit spindly, and the blossoms may become few and far between, but the plant will more often than not survive, and perk up once water becomes more available. There are quite a few very attractive shrubs one can plant if the water supply is a problem. In fact, one can become a hero of sorts by sticking with drought tolerant shrubs in neighborhoods or localities where water may be rationed at times. No need to sneak out at 3 AM to water these plants on the sly
Even drought tolerant shrubs need a fair share of water when they are first planted, and require regular watering for the first year or two until they become established. Then you can very often let them fend for themselves.
Junipers - Junipers are among the best drought tolerant shrubs one can have in one's yard. While some varieties, such as the Rocky Mountain Juniper, Juniperus scopulorum, can grow fairly tall, their growth is usually quite slow, and they can be trimmed back while still growing to shrubs sizes. Other varieties of Juniper are true shrubs, some standing no more than a foot or two high, and growing outward instead of upward. There are well over a dozed varieties of Juniper suited for a yard or garden, from the Common Juniper, Juniperous communis, to several dwarf cultivars such as Blue Creeper, Skyrocket, and Blue Elf, to Juniperous procumbens, the Japanese garden juniper. Under really dry conditions, a juniper's needles may become somewhat brown, but they are still alive, and will return to their natural color, which may be anything from green to blue to silver, once the plant begins to receive water again.
Holly is another plant which is quite drought tolerant. here again, some varieties of holly are better classified as trees, but shrub-like varieties are to be found in the marketplace as well. The holly's rather deep root system accounts for its ability to make it through most dry spells without a problem.
The Spirea - Like the lilac, we don't think of the spirea as a drought tolerant bush, as it is usually planted in the garden along with plants which receive a regular watering. At least some cultivars of spirea, including the very popular Spirea vanhouttei and Spirea japonica shrubs, are considered to be drought tolerant shrubs. Like the lilac, they may not blossom profusely in extremely dry conditions, but will manage to hang in there until conditions improve.
Boxwood And Cotoneaster - There are many more drought loving shrubs deserving of mention, such as the ever popular boxwood shrubs of which several varieties are almost always available. The cotoneaster also is a good choice and also is available in several varieties. Whether you are trying to conserve water or just getting tired of standing for long periods of time with hose in hand, planting a few drought tolerant shrubs in your garden may be worth considering.