Water-friendly Spring Flowers to Plant Now
Keep spring costs low by planting flowers that need less water.
This spring is expected to be hotter and dryer than normal according to long-term weather forecasts. Thanks to the lingering El Nino effect and a persistent area of high pressure over western Canada, we can expect dry spring conditions. Those of you who are eager to get your spring gardens flowering may want to consider plants that need less water to keep your spring gardening costs low.
Echinacea are drought-resistant and long-flowering perennials which make them the perfect addition to a low-maintenance garden. Native to the eastern United States, Echinacea is used to create the herbal remedy that prevents colds and flu. Echinacea loves full sun and well-drained soil. It doesn’t require much water or fertilizer. Split clumps in early spring and dead-head the spent flowers. You can grow these easily from seed.
Also known as the Cushion Spurge, this jolly little plant grows in balls 30 – 45 cm wide. They flower in the spring around the same time as your spring bulbs for a beautiful show. Their yellow flowers contrast nicely with the bright green foliage which turns red in the fall. Cushion Spurge is very drought-resistant and enjoys well-drained soil and full sun.
If there was one plant that thrived on neglect, it would be the Daylily. It’s drought-resistant, hardy and profuse. It multiplies easily so you can spread it out over large areas for a low-maintenance show of beautiful flowers from May to late August. While orange is the most common colour, you can also get Daylilies in rust, apricot, peach and yellow.
Blue Catmint was voted Perennial plant of the year in 2007. Perfect for garden bed edges, this drought-tolerant plant loves full sun. It doesn’t require fertilizing and has a long flowering season which stretches from April to October. It produces abundant lavender-blue flowers which should be deadheaded after the first flush to encourage blooming all through the summer.
Commonly known as Thread-leaf Tickseed, this hardy perennial is one of the first to bloom in June and flowers all the way to the first frost. It is also remarkably hardy and can handle dry conditions. It prefers well-drained soil and is partial to sun or semi-shade. The ‘Moonbeam’ variety won Perennial of the year in 1992.
Also known as Pearly Everlasting, this plucky perennial is resistant to drought and fares best in full sun. This beautiful flowering shrub is native to Canada and grows up to a metre high and is equally wide. Its gorgeous clusters of white flowers bloom from midsummer all the way to early fall. The flowers attract butterflies and can be used in dried arrangements.
Adding organic compost to your garden will bolster its water-retention capacity 10-fold. This will help to improve yields and you will save money on artificial fertilizers for a healthier, organic garden. A thin layer of mulch also helps to retain water, but turn it over from time to time with a rake so it doesn’t form a crust that keeps water out. Water early in the morning or late in the day to reduce the amount of evaporation.
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