Drought Resistant Ground cover

Drought Resistant Ground cover

drought resistant ground coverDrought resistant ground cover derives its ability to withstand little to no water during the hot summer heat through specific botanical functions and characteristics. Photosynthesis is the process plants use to make food, namely, carbohydrates. The plant combines sunlight with water and carbon dioxide. During the process, small pores on the leaves, called stoma, release oxygen and water into the air. Water loss through leaves is called transpiration. Narrow and small leaves have less surface area, so they release less water. Though there are large leaves with good water retaining capabilities, other factors contribute to the leaves’ transpiration rate. Indentions in the leaves help retention. Heavily waxed leaves slow down evaporation, holding more water in the leaves. These leaves often have a whitish-blue color. Trichomes, leaves with tiny hair-like growth, also reduce water loss. Find appropriate ground cover by choosing plants with these leaf characteristics.


Plants, native to dry areas, may not necessarily be considered for drought resistant ground cover. Some grow around streams and shallow underground water. Soil texture may differ, and microclimates exist with differing temperatures and wind factor. Many drought resistant ground covers exist for the various growing conditions in all zone regions.


Popular Flowering Drought Resistant Ground cover

Ice Plant

drought resistant ground cover 2A versatile and well-known drought resistant ground cover is Ice Plant. These succulent perennials need well-draining soil and do not tolerate foot traffic. They grow easily along the California coastline. Hardy in zones 5 through 9, their blossoms include colors of yellow, pink, white, blue, and magenta. Some varieties of Ice Plant may need fertilizing in the fall and after blooming but need little to no maintenance.



Red Creeping Thyme

drought resistant ground cover 3Red Creeping Thyme is a heat and drought tolerant perennial favorite. Low growing, one to three inches tall and spreading out 12 to 18 inches, it is a moderate growing ground cover. This plant’s attractive deep green foliage and red summer flowers form a dense mat, perfect for ground cover, around brick and stone walkways, and along borders and draping over retaining walls. Able to withstand moderate traffic, stepping on the plant releases its pleasant aroma. This beautiful plant is deer resistant, and its flowers attract butterflies, bees, and birds. Red Creeping Thyme grows best in light, well-drained soil and full sun in zones 3 through 9.




drought resistant ground cover 4Another drought resistant ground cover, Alyssum, has beautiful blue-grey leaves and yellow flowers. Flowers bloom from April through May on stalks and grow well in zones 3 through 7. A favorite species, Aurinia saxatilis, grows to 12 inches high and spreads about 18 inches. It creates a dense mat and thrives in a well-drained poor soil. It self-seeds, filling in gaps in the ground cover. Deadhead to encourage blooming by cutting back one-third of the plant. Pruning back the plant promotes denser growth if the plant becomes too lengthy. Alyssum is deer resistant.


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