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Drought Tolerant Plants
Drought tolerant plants are easy on the budget and grow well in our area during droughts. They are able to survive even if there are water restrictions or they are planted in an area that has no access to water. Drought-tolerant plants need to be watered when planted. If you have an area where there is no easy access to water, planting in early spring or fall when rains are likely is best. All plants will be more drought tolerant if watered deeply and infrequently to encourage their roots to grow down in search of water. Mulching about 3 to 4 inches deep also helps plants retain moisture and help your plants adapt to our climate.
We do have some drought tolerant turfgrass options in our area. We recommend buffalo grass and bermudagrass. Buffalo grass is native to Kansas prairies and is very low maintenance once it is established, needing only one fertilization a year. It does spread by runners. Bermuda can be a very dense, high-quality turf but it does spread aggressively. It also needs to be watered the first year and will be thinner if not watered regularly. It will survive drought.
Some drought tolerant annual flowers include lantana and vinca. There are lots of perennial options: coneflowers, catmint, iris, and peonies are just a small selection. Drought tolerant shrubs include junipers, most grasses, and sumac such as the Tiger Eye. Trees include Bur Oaks, Shumard Oaks, Lacebark Elms, Caddo Maples, London Planetrees, Bald cypress. For evergreen trees, Junipers are very drought tolerant. All of these plants will do better watered the first two years deeply and infrequently.
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