Top tips for drought resistant planting

The long hot spell in 2022 was a difficult time for many gardens, placing enormous strain on some of our favourite plants. And, with scientists predicting that UK temperatures are set to rise year on year, adapting our gardening practices and the plants we choose will be vital.

In February the National Garden Scheme hosted an online talk in which Lucy Redman of Beth Chatto Plants and Gardens spoke about drought resistant planting. You can find the talk here.

As you prepare for 2024 here are some plants recommended by Lucy Redman that you might want to consider for your garden.

For free draining soil:

1) Ballota pseudodictamnus – False dittany

2) Euphorbia myrsinites – Broad-leaved glaucous spurge

3) Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

4) Hylotelephium matrona  – Sedum

5) Stipa ichu (an attractive ornamental grass)

6) Eremurus ‘Cleopatra’ – Foxtail lily

7) Galactites tomentosa ‘Alba’ – white milk thistle

8) Eryngium x zabelii ‘Big Blue’– Sea holly

9) Stipa tenuissima – Mexican feather grass

10) Bergenia ‘Irish Crimson’ – Elephant’s ear


Tap rooted plants for slightly heavier soil:

1)   Amsonia ‘Ernst Pagels’

2)  Thermopsis lupinoides – Golden candles

3)  Baptisia australis – blue wild indigo or blue false indigo


Dry Shade

1) Pachysandra terminalis ‘Variegata’ – Carpet box or Japanese spurge

2) Helleborus foetidus – Stinking hellebore, dungwort, setterwort and bear’s foot

3) Lunaria rediviva – Perennial Honesty

4) Dryopteris filix-mas – Male Fern

Images from the online talk: Water Security and Drought Resistant Planting – you can find it here.

The Beth Chatto’s Plants and Garden opens for the National Garden Scheme on Wednesday 4th October 2023 – CLICK HERE for details.



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