Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tough Stuff in the Garden -- drought-tolerant plants blooming in the summer heat

We've reached the dog days of summer in Central Texas. But then again, the dog days of summer have arrived around most of the country with this unusual and unbearable heat wave causing record temperatures everywhere you look. Some of my trusted summer bloomers are taking a little break -- ready for some pruning to bring on more flowers. But there are drought-tolerant xeric plants in my garden that are taking it all in stride.

This desert rose is just starting to thrive as the heat here mimics desert-like conditions. Needless to say, I don't really water this one.
This butterfly bush is happily putting on purple plumes with only once-a-week watering because of our restrictions.
Many summer annuals are thriving, too.  Zinnias scattered throughout my beds are undaunted by the heat.  These pink cut and come again zinnias and the narrow-leaf zinnias below are both blooming away.

Well-adapted crape myrtle trees are also in full bloom.  This burgundy dwarf variety in the background makes a nice contrast to the ruby crystals grass blooming in front of it.  The ruby crystals are a pass-along from Lancashire Rose of Rock Rose.
These lemons are happily growing into hardy fruit -- they are in a pot so the get a drink and a little shower burst from me almost every day like they would down in South Florida.
While some of my other salvias are done blooming for a bit, this pitcher sage is just getting started.

Drought-tolerant native and adapted plants are being put to the test with these dry 100+ degree days, most are surviving and some are even thriving.  They are always our best bet here in Central Texas.

 Which tough plants are powering on in your garden in this heat?


Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Love the Desert Rose, have one and love the swollen stems....looks like a plant from either Dr. Seuss or from the book 'Little Prince'.

Anonymous said...

Boy that Desert Rose is lovely! My turk's cap, barbados cherry, and boneset all seem to hang in there will little or no water.

Was wondering if you could give me info on the Austin garden blogger meet ups.--I saw your article in the newspaper. Are they open to just anyone?


Desert Dweller said...

Some great oldie-goodies you have for summer. Desert Rose...looks like a great potted plant to accent a few places for my climate, to take inside during winter. Nice!

Laura said...

I love the desert rose. Where did you get it?

Do you think I could get a cutting off that burgundy crape myrtle. They are supposed to be easy to propagate and that color is my favorite :)

Ruth said...

That desert rose is beautiful.

Diana said...

Janet - Ha - I never thought of that, but it is quite Dr. Seuss-ish! And yet beautiful.

Anonymous - if you're in Austin and you have a garden blog, you can be part of the bloggers' group. If you'll comment back with your blog link I'll send you more info. I'm about to post about my Pam's pink Turks cap today.

Desert Dweller - My desert rose is in a pot and goes into the greenhouse in the winter. I almost killed it last winter because I frequently water in there with the hose and mist everything, but didn't do a good job of avoiding it - it was very unhappy with too much water.

Laura -- The desert rose is from the exotic plant people that are at the Zilker garden fest every year. I usually buy something unusual from them each time!

Ruth -- Thanks! It's nice to know I have a plant that LOVES the drought, instead of just tolerating it.

Jayne said...

The desert rose is glorious! Such a beautiful color. My crepe myrtles are blooming too -- love the color of yours - I'm going to have to look for one like that. It would look nice in the front border.

Anonymous said...

That was very interesting.

Rebecca and Tucker said...

I have officially added the desert rose to my "plants I want list".

LindaCTG said...

Beautiful dog days at your house--and every day is a "dog day," of course! That burgundy crape is a doll. And is that lemon the one that caused the freeze concern a few years ago? If so, wow, it rallied!