With climate changes due to global warming, our weather patterns have changes. Once the spring showers stop, we now have summers with high temperatures and little rain.
When plants are faced with dry conditions, they release a hormone that causes a chain reaction and ultimately closes the plant’s pores, stopping the loss of moisture. Some plants are better at this than others. Scientists are attempting to create a commercially-viable synthetic version of this hormone, but until they do, we will have to either provide artificial sources of water or rely on plants that are naturally drought-resistant.
Another option is bio-engineered plants. There are plants being developed by cross-pollinating popular plants with versions that are more drought-resistant.
There are a few ways that plants deal with dry conditions. Knowing which conditions exist in your area will make it easier to select plants that will survive and even thrive.
Some perennials evade periods of drought by halting all growth during times of drought. Some species have deep roots along with the ability to maintain growth, even in times of drought. And some plants have the ability to store water in their leaves and stems such as cacti and succulents.
Some general hints to help your plants make the most of their situation are:
Keep plants closer together. This reduces bare ground around the roots and allows the plants to shade each other. The close plantings will hold in more moisture.
Use mulch. This absorbs any morning dew and reduces evaporation of ground moisture.
Shade your plants. Place your plants in an area shaded during the hottest parts of the day or put up a structure that reduces or reflects sunlight, but does not hold heat.
Protect your plants from the wind. A steady breeze will evaporate a lot of moisture from the plants and the ground.
Whatever your situation, we will be able to help you select plants that will thrive in your environment.