Water Wise Plants

Many of our Southern ornamental plants have an inherent tolerance to dry weather and can survive long periods of limited rainfall. Keep in mind that many plants that are very drought-tolerant don’t like our sticky, compacted clay. Artemesia and Lavender are examples of plants that can literally drown in winter. Always plant them in well-amended soil. It will drain in winter but also allows plants to grow a deeper root system that makes them even more drought-tolerant in the summer.

Below is a listing of ornamental plants known as "Water Wise Plants". All the plants listed here grow well in our north Georgia climate and are excellent choices. No list can ever be complete. If you have tried a plant not listed here that grows well in north Georgia and found it to be very drought-tolerant, send us an email to let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

Annuals
The plants with an asterik * after their name are some of our personal favorites but they all are easy to grow and low maintenance. The three things to remember about growing healthy annuals are good soil, proper sun exposure, and the right amount of fertilizer.

Angelonia * - resembles a snap dragon flower
Black-eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia) * - Beautiful and reseeds
Cleome (Spider Flower)
Cosmos
Dusty Miller
Euphorbia, “Diamond Frost” ***- One of the best- Beautiful!
Geranium
Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth)
Lantana *- Lots of new colors and growth habits available
Marigolds
Morning Glory Vine
Pansy
Pentas
Peppers, ornamental *- beautiful colorful peppers, loves it dry
Portulaca *- The drier the soil, the more beautiful the plant
Purslane (Moss Rose)
Purple Fountain Grass *- Versatile, looks great with anything
Salvia (annual splendens species)
Sunflower *- comes in many beautiful colors
Sweet Potato Vine*- new varieties are more compact
Verbena *- Many colors, very tough and loved by butterflies
Viola *- Winter annual, blooms even in the worst weather
Vinca (Periwinkle)
Wax Begonia (shade tolerant also)
Zinnia, Profusion *- Dwarf variety, butterfly magnet

Perennials
Plants with an asterik* after their name are some of our personal favorites, but they’re all good. Because perennials live for years, it’s important to amend soil well with compost, aged manure, or bagged soil amendments. Doing so will make them even more able to withstand our hot, dry summers. If you carve a small hole in compacted clay, your plants will remind you how unhappy they are every time you look at them.

Agapanthus *- Balls of true blue flowers with strappy leaves
Artemesia *- Hates wet feet, silver foliage adds unique color
Aster *- Blooms in fall, plant these instead of mums!
Autumn Fern*- evergreen for partial to full shade
Baptisia
Back Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
Candytuft
Catmint *- Tough, beautiful lavender-blue flowers all season
Coneflower (Echinacea) *- Carefree, beautiful flowers
Coreopsis
Daylily
Dianthus
Gaura (Wand Flower) *- exuberant, spiky blooms all summer
Hosta- Needs shade but will thrive amongst thirsty tree roots
Lavender *- Beautiful, never needs watering, smells heavenly
Penstemon hybrids- * Not well known, evergreen with spiky blooms
Rosemary
Saint John’s-wort
Salvia (Sage)*- Many versatile types, carefree and easy to grow
Sedum *- From groundcovers to flowering varieties; needs no water
Shasta Daisy
Verbena, Brazilian *- Upright, 3 ft tall species with abundant purple blooms
Yarrow

Groundcovers

Ajuga
Creeping Raspberry
Ice Plant (Delosperma)
Liriope
Mondo Grass
Sedum, creeping varieties
Verbena, Homestead Purple


Shrubs, Flowering, and Evergreen

Always remember that even though a shrub (or tree) may be very drought-tolerant, it will need water and care until it becomes established. Don’t assume you can drop it in the ground and forget about it just because it’s so tough. It takes a few months (at least) for the roots to begin to expand enough to find water and until then, it’s just like it’s still in the pot!

Abelia grandiflora
Althea (Rose of Sharon)
Arborvitae
Aucuba
Barberry
Beautyberry- native
Butterfly Bush
Chaste tree (Vitex)
Cryptomeria, dwarf varieties
Elaeagnus
Flowering Quince
Forsythia
Holly (Ilex cornuta- Chinese species; Ilex crenata- Japanese species)
Indian Hawthorn
Juniper, all species
Kerria
Knockout Rose
Ligustrum
Lorapetalum
Nandina
Ornamental Grasses, all types
Spirea
Sweet Shrub- native
Wax Myrtle- native

Trees

Water well until established. The amount of water needed depends on the time of year, type of tree (evergreen or deciduous) and soil type. The trees listed here are extremely drought-tolerant and able to withstand long periods of no rain once established. There are trees not listed here that have some degree of drought-tolerance but we chose to only list the ones that we feel are the best and least likely to show signs of drought stress.

Bald Cypress- native
Cherry Laurel- native
Crape Myrtle
Cryptomeria
Dawn Redwood
Deodar Cedar
Eastern Redbud- native
Fringe Tree or Grancy Graybeard- native
Ginko
Smoketree
Southern Magnolia- native
Hall County Agribusiness of the year 2007
Garden Care
by the Season
Hall County Agribusiness of the Year 2007
- Full Bloom Nursery-
Hwy 283, Clermont, Georgia

) Phone: 770.842.2345

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Photo: from left: Billy Skaggs
(Hall County
Extension Director)
Kellie and Tim Bowen
(Owners of Full Bloom Nursery)


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