Care for drought loving plants


Drought tolerant plants are easy to care for in summer but how do they survive UK winters?

Remember that hotter, longer summers and wetter shorter winters that are associated with climate change can be accompanied by very cold snaps – just like the UK experienced in the recent winters of 2009 and 2010.

The tolerance of drought loving plants to colder winter temperatures is affected by many factors
such as wet cold, dry cold, sudden cold or sustained chill along with the aspect of your garden. Here are some things to consider:
* Think seriously about what plants you choose if you have a north facing garden. This will get less
light and sun during the winter which means this can become a cold spot within the garden and
hardiness can be very unpredictable
Consider the following when purchasing any Mediterranean or Tropical plants:
*The age and size of the plant – smaller, less established plants may not cope with severe
conditions,but older more established plants although may make a faster impact, can take longer
to settle when planted and can be harder to look after during this period as they can be more
*It may be better to choose  plants which are, say 2-3 years old (as a guide) which will
give you some instant impact and allow you to see your garden to grow and establish.
* Ask the nursery what are the recommended lowest temperatures that the plant you are thinking of purchasing can withstand. It may survive over winter if you plant it in a sheltered spot or if you
cover it in a fleece or surround it with a sturdy but very fine netting to form a wind break.
*Plants that cannot withstand our lower winter temperatures must be brought into a conservatory or greenhouse from October to May.Remember to think about the fact you will have to lift and move containerised plants.Think aboutweight and space available for over-wintering.
*It is also a good idea to visit any open local gardens to see what is growing and ask the staff if they have had any problems with certain plants.
* Ensure that there is good drainage over winter – planting in pots is always a good idea for hotter
summer temperatures but remember containers will need watering more often. Plants which may
survive happily in the ground may be more tender when in a container as the soil in a container
can freeze solid during prolonged frosty periods. You need to have a good layer of drainage
material in the bottom of containers and a water retentive compost mixture, to avoid the need to
water too often. Often it is prolonged wet and cold conditions that induce rotting to tropical and
exotic plants.
*Some tropical plants  need to be in pots such as agave and bananas so that they can be
brought into a frost free environment or be wrapped in fleece for protection
For further advice  visit this excellent nursery

This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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