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Like a lot of people, I'm losing some plants this summer. You may know that here
in Maumelle, we're restricted to once-a-week watering. Even sneaking around my back
yard with my hose isn't doing the job! You mentioned in your column today that hydrangeas
are not drought-tolerant. I have one that's in a bad spot that I think I'll just take
out after this year, so I know what you're talking about. My question is this: Would
it be possible for you to print a list of plants that are drought-tolerant in an upcoming
column? I've threatened to tear everything out and plant cacti next year or maybe
just rosemary and Black-eyed Susans, since that's all that's doing well in my garden
As mentioned above with the crape myrtles, even they are struggling with the heat!
Also, when planting even the most drought tolerant plants, the first growing season,
they will need water. I can’t imagine what my landscape would look like with once
a week watering—the soil is so incredibly rocky, and I am on a slope, so I feel for
you with water restrictions. Deep, excellent soil encourages deep roots, which makes
it easier to water less often. Some drought tolerant shrubs for sun include: abelia,
althea (rose of Sharon), forsythia, spirea, buddleia (butterfly bush), barberry, junipers,
beautyberry, nandina and ninebark. For shade, acuba, cleyera, and even camellias once
they are well established. Perennials include rosemary, thyme, lamb’s ear, butterfly
weed (milkweed), yarrow, gaura, rudbeckia (black eyed Susan), purple coneflower, liatris,
sedum and penstemon. Annuals include lantana, periwinkle, cleome (spider flower),
cockscomb, cosmos and portulaca. There are also a good number of succulents—plants
with thick fleshy leaves that are available from nurseries.
Could you tell me the real name of the flower that is called cocks comb. I know this
is an old flower but I would like to have some seed to get it started. Is it annual?
My mother used to grow them but I don't remember a lot about it other than how pretty
Cockscomb is a common name for the annual Celosia cristata. They come in several
different flower forms—the combs (which you are referring to) , plumes and spikes.
Flower color ranges from red, pink, yellow, orange and white, some having colorful
foliage as well. Size of mature plants also runs the gamut from 4-6 inches to 4-6
feet. They make a tough, drought tolerant annual which freely reseeds itself, so they
often come back annually with very little work. They make a great cut flower and are
often seen in bouquets at farmers markets all summer long. They are easily grown from
seed or plants and thrive all summer long provided they get plenty of sunlight.
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