Landscaping Myth: Drought-Resistant Plants Don’t Need to be Watered

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    Kansas has a mild climate, with four distinct seasons. That said, we see some extremes throughout these seasons, including the occasional summer drought. One way home gardeners and landscapers counteract the dry conditions of drought is by incorporating drought-resistant plants to a garden.

    At High Prairie Outdoors, we deal with plants of all origin and species. One of the questions we frequently receive is regarding the watering of drought-resistant plants. It seems there is a myth that these plants don’t need to be watered. While it requires less water than your average flower or shrub, they still require water to thrive.

    Here, we will delve into more detail regarding this myth and how to help your drought-resistant.

    What is a Drought Resistant Plant?

    As the name suggests, a drought-resistant plant is a plant that can withstand dry conditions. For some Kansas dwellers this might seem like the perfect greenery to plant and forget. However, this is simply untrue.

    The correct term for a drought-resistant plant is a Xerophyte. This is a plant that has adapted over the years to live with less water during conditions more arid and dry. Many of the drought-resistant plants in Kansas are native plants, which means the plants originated here and thus have the ability to flourish in Kansas climates and soil conditions. Not all native plants are drought resistant though, so it is important to work with your landscaper to find the best plants for dry gardening seasons.

    Helping Your Drought Resistant Plants Flourish in Kansas City

    Drought-resistant plants do need water to survive, they simply require less of it. However, as you begin planting, you will find that these species require more water as they stabilize in your garden and develop deep roots to survive the impending dry spells.

    • Keep them well watered for the first few weeks of the season.
    • Be sure to transfer from pot to soil as soon as possible.
    • Do not overwater once the plant is firmly rooted.
    • Slowly ease back on the amount of water plants receive.

    Great for saving water, especially when a drought calls for implemented city restrictions on water waste. You may find that most plants of this nature only require truly deep watering once every couple of weeks. This is dependent upon your soil, whether you use fertilizer or mulch, how often you weed, and other factors.

    My Drought Resistant Plant is Dying, Help!

    If you find that your drought-resistant plants aren’t developing well with minimal water, it could be that they didn’t receive enough water in the initial stages of growth. As we mentioned above, these plants need to develop long roots to source water where other flora and fauna may not.

    Another issue that could be causing your plant to die is that you have been overwatering it too long, and now the plant has developed short roots as it never needed to extend them in a search for naturally sourced water. Drought-resistant plants which are overwatered will live like non-drought-resistant plants. This means when a drought hits, if they have become dependent on regular watering, they may dry out like other flowers in the garden.

    Best Drought Resistant Plants for Kansas City

    If you are considering drought resistant plants for your garden, High Prairie Outdoors can help you find the best species in the area. Here are some of our top suggestions for local drought-resistant breeds to try at home.

    • Bluestar
    • Russian Sage
    • Wormwood
    • Sumac
    • Hickory
    • Goldenrod
    • Chives
    • Lavender
    • Plume
    • Dropseed

    These are only some of the trees and plants you can find in Kansas City which stand up to times of drought and heat. It is best to source them early, to ensure they are planted in time to take root before soil dryness ensues.

    Contact High Prairie Outdoors

    High Prairie Outdoors is a leader in Kansas City landscaping projects. We work with homeowners and businesses across the city to create beautiful and engaging outdoor spaces. Whether you are trying to build curb appeal for an upcoming sale, or you simply want a garden you can share with friends and family, we can help.

    If you are interested in learning more about Kansas City drought-resistant plants, and which plants are best suited to your land, we invite you to contact us. Call 1-816-398-2901 today.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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