“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” – Socrates.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall.
“Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have, it depends solely upon what you think.” – Dale Carnegie.
“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” – William Shakespeare.
April has passed so quickly as May awaits entry. We have enjoyed some awesome spring weather this season but summer will surely deliver its usual – heat, humidity and drought.
As you continue your landscaping efforts, make choices and decisions that further promote sustainability and environmental stewardship, as well as curb appeal. With sustainability comes drought tolerance. A plant is drought tolerant if it can survive a dry period of two to three months without supplemental irrigation.
Many of our native plants in regions experiencing such conditions are drought tolerant. To reduce the need for supplemental irrigation in your landscape, drought-tolerant plants should be used. If you want to minimize long-term watering, be sure to use native or sustainable plants. Develop your landscape with drought-tolerant plants.
Let’s take a look at the following drought-tolerant plants by common and botanical names that can prove very useful in your landscape planning process. The botanical name eliminates any confusion that might be created by variations in common names between geographic regions or zones.
Annual plants and flowers exhibiting drought tolerance include orange cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus), moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora), zinnia (Zinnia elegans) and Mexican zinnia (Zinnia haageana).
Perennial plants with drought tolerance include iron plant (Aspidistra elatior), Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), oxeye sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides), daffodils (Narcissus spp.), pink evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa), asparagus fern (Protosparagus densiflorus), Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana), common goldenrod (Solidago odora), mountain marigold (Tagetes lemmonii), and Adam’s needle yucca (Yucca filamentosa).
Grasses and grass-like plants offering drought tolerance include pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana), Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica), Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans) and sand cordgrass (Spartina bakeri).
Vines having drought tolerance include Mexican creeper (Antigonon leptopus), cross vine (Bignonia capreolata), violet trumpet vine (Clytostoma callistegioides), dodder (Cuscuta spp.), creeping fig (Ficus pumila), Carolina yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens), Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), blue passionflower (Passiflora caerulea), Confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) and muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia).
Shrubs which are drought tolerant include Japanese aucuba (Aucuba japonica), butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii), American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus), sasanqua camellia (Camellia sasanqua), Japanese quince (Chaenomeles speciosa), thorny elaeagnus (Elaeagnus pungens), blue huckleberry (Gavlussacia frondosa), confederate rose (Hibiscus mutabilis), Aaron’s beard (Hypericum calycinum), gallberry (Ilex glabra), Burford’s holly (Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii’), yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria), Nellie Stevens holly (Ilex x ‘Nellie R. Stevens’), shore juniper (Juniperus conferta), Parson’s juniper (Juniperus davurica ‘Parsonii’), creeping juniper (Juniperus horizontalis), lantana (Lantana spp.), golden vicary privet (Ligustrum x vicaryi), southern bayberry (Myrica cerifera), Oleander (Nerium oleander), Japanese mockorange (Pittosporum tobira), India hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica), veddo hawthorne (Rhaphiolepis umbellata), Knockout rose (Rosa x ‘Knockout’), Cherokee rose (Rosa laevigata), rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis), Reeves’ spirea (Spiraea cantoniensis), yellow elder (Tecoma stans), mayberry (Vaccinium elliottii), shiny blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinites), deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum), rusty black-haw (Viburnum rufidulum), Spanish bayonet (Yucca aloifolia), spineless yucca (Yucca elephantipes), and Spanish dagger (Yucca gloriosa).
Trees which are drought tolerant include red maple (Acer rubrum), silk tree (Albizia julibrissin), Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima), southern catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides), deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara), hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus), woody goldenrod (Chrysoma pauciflosculosa), camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), smoketree (Cotinus coggygria), Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis Leylandii), smooth cypress (Cupressus glabra), American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), gingko (Gingko biloba), honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos), Kentucky coffee tree (Gymnocladus dioicus), American holly (Ilex opaca), crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), Chinaberry (Melia azedarach), white mulberry (Morus alba), sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata), slash pine (Pinus elliottii), longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), black pine (Pinus thunberall), scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea), southern red oak (Quercus falcata), sand live oak (Quercusgeminata), Shumard oak (Quercus shumardii), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), African tuliptree (Spathodea campanulata), bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), and chastetree Vitex negundo).
As you research plants that get your attention, keep such factors as seasonal color, texture, size at maturity (height and width), speed of growth, exposure to sun or shade, potential pests problems, deciduous or evergreen, cultural practices and potential invasiveness in mind. Some of these plants may have invasive characteristics but were listed because they were found in the area. Continue to think in terms of native and sustainable plants in the landscape rather than those with invasive characteristics.
Keep your hanging baskets and potted plants refreshed with water and food. Remember to feed and water the songbirds and give your pets the care they need. Be on the lookout for children playing and bicyclists riding along the streets and roadways throughout our communities.
And remember to safely share the road with motorcycles. Drive alert and arrive alive. Don’t drive distracted or impaired, don’t text while driving and “click-it” or ticket. Let’s keep everyone safe while enjoying this spring season. Help the homeless every chance you get. And as you receive blessings, always pay them forward and share with others. Remember to pray for one another. God bless each of you and God bless the USA!!
“Then the end will come, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” – 1 Corinthians 15: 24-26.
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:57-58.
Dr. Eddie Seagle is a Sustainability Verifier, Golf Environment Organization (Scotland), Agronomist and Horticulturalist, CSI: Seagle (Consulting Services International) LLC, Professor Emeritus and Honorary Alumnus (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College), Distinguished Professor for Teaching and Learning (University System of Georgia) and Short Term Missionary (Heritage Church, Moultrie). Direct inquiries to csi_seagle @yahoo.com.