Dry Weather & Drought Resistant Gardening Ideas


No matter where you are in New Zealand, having a solid stockpile of drought resistant gardening ideas up your sleeve is one of the main keys of a successful garden. Summer weather is unpredictable, though low rainfall is common in many areas. To combat this, we’ve put together a list of ideas and tips on drought resistant gardening for you.

Characteristics of a Drought Resistant Garden 

 All plants need varying levels of water, which is fine when it rains, your water tank is full or there are no water restrictions. Luckily some clever planning and a bit of work from the get-go will help you achieve a drought resistant garden. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Use a mulch – a mulch does more than keep weeds at bay. It is also great at improving water retention in your soil. Compost, bark, pea straw and gravel are good options, and remember to apply it before the warmer weather arrives.

  • Add a wetting agent – when you plant new shrubs or trees, add a wetting agent inside the hole you have dug.

  • Careful plant selection – you may love a certain flower or tree, but will it love a limited water supply. Make sure you do your research and check that it can cope with dry weather.

  • Observation and knowledge of past gardening experiences – it’s time to draw upon your observations from gardens gone by on which plants love dry feet and which don’t! Use this knowledge in combination with careful plant selection to make sustainable decisions.

  • Identifying and improving soil condition – the structure of your soil will determine how much water it can contain. A clay soil is very water heavy, while a sandy soil results in water easily flowing away. Adding sand to a clay soil improves drainage, while a sandy soil will benefit from the addition of organic matter to help it retain more water.

  • Water collection – start collecting your wastewater from the washing or your shower and use that for your garden. Or collect the rainwater during the year in a tank and then use that to water over the dry months.

When it comes to plant ideas for your drought tolerant garden, you could choose from:

  • Flax
  • Pohutukawa
  • Cabbage trees
  • Kowhai
  • Rosemary
  • Succulents
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Air plants

If you know a friend with the tendency to have a dry garden, or you have one yourself, why not choose one of our trees and a little something special on the side.

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