Friday, June 18, 2021

Six Water-wise Ground Cover Plants For Utah Gardens and Parking Strips - Drought-tolerant and Heat-tolerant!

 Water-wise ground covers are excellent plants for areas where low-growing plants are needed. They  provide flowers and foliage and they protect the soil.  The parking strip (the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the curb) is often the first area of lawn to be removed when gardeners are seeking to reduce the thirsty turf grass.   A great way to replace the turf grass is to plant drought-tolerant ground covers.  

 * The following list includes plants that all have the same water needs once established.  

 * They will all require watering every day for a week after you plant them, and water every several days for 2 or 3 weeks after that.  After they are growing and thriving, they will only need water every 7 or 10 days from mid-June through August.  No water needed in spring or fall.

* These plants will spread but they are not aggressive.  They are easy to pull up and remove from areas where they have gotten carried away with themselves.

 * These plants are perennials and will come back every spring.

 * These plants provide food for bees and butterflies!

 * These plants will do best with overhead sprinklers;  drip system emitters make it difficult for the plants to spread as the water only drips in one place.

 * These plants will need to be spaced apart when planted - 2 or 3 feet.

 * These plants will appreciate some nice mulch like bark chips or soil pep.

The list:

Hardy Ice Plant

Creeping Phlox



Creeping Thyme


Hardy Ice Plant - Delosperma cooperi or Delosperma nubigenum.  There are several varieties with flowers ranging in color from pale lavender to hot orange.  They are succulent plants with summer flowers.

Delosperma cooperi

Delosperma nubigenum

Hardy Ice Plant - waterwise ground cover

Creeping Phlox - Available in several colors, this has a great show of flowers in the spring.  Green foliage for the rest of the summer.

Creeping Phlox is a great water-wise ground cover!

Zauschneria latifolia - Hummingbird Trumpet - This wonderful plant attracts hummingbirds all summer!  

Zauschneria latifolia - drought and heat tolerant perennial

Plumbago - Ceratostigma plumbaginoides - gorgeous blue flowers in late summer and fall

Plumbago - waterwise ground cover , blooms in the fall

Plumbago, blue flowers, up close

Creeping Thyme - Thymus - there are many varieties of creeping thyme.  They are almost flat, they bloom in early to mid summer and the bees love them!  Great for hot sunny places.
Creeping Thyme - water-wise ground cover

Snow-In-Summer - Cerastium tomentosa - The grey foliage is covered with snow-white flowers in early June.  Snip off the spent flowers when they are finished and enjoy the foliage for the rest of the season.
Snow in Summer, water-wise in Utah, heat tolerant ground cover

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