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Dealing With Drought

In an average year our lower elevations are considered semi-arid, receiving a scant 10-14” of precipitation per annum. Fortunately there’s a growing trend towards using drought tolerant plants in the landscape in order to conserve water, and in doing so a beautiful landscape style has emerged that looks and feels appropriate for Montana and Wyoming in particular.

To be sure, drought tolerant does not mean drab and boring. Take a look at our extensive list below for drought tolerant shade trees, flowering shrubs and striking perennials. For sheer beauty it’s hard to beat a graceful Honeylocust or Viburnum, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to form and function wrapped up into a drought tolerant package. For those interested in a more natural landscape, drought tolerant native plants, including many grasses, not only save water, their colors and textures blend aesthetically into the landscape.

One of the keys to having a successful drought tolerant landscape is designing with watering zones, where plants are grouped by water needs and thereby eliminate waste. When using drought tolerant plants don’t forget that, like all plants, until established they need care. Most important, keep them evenly moist, while avoiding over-watering.

DROUGHT TOLERANT PLANTS
TREESSHRUBSPERENNIALS
Amur Maple Amur Maple (Compact) Agastache Pearly Everlasting
Bur Oak Barberry Artemisia Penstemon
Canada Red Cherry Caragana Baptisia Purple Prairie Clover
Green Ash Caryopteris Bitterroot Prairie Coneflower
Honey Locust Contoneaster Blue Flax Prairie Smoke Geum
Japanese Tree Lilac Harrison's Yellow Rose Butterfly Weed Pussytoes
Linden Honeysuckle Catmint Rudbeckia
Tatarian Maple Lilac Coneflower Russian Sage
EVERGREENS Potentilla Evening Primrose Salvia
Juniper Rabbitbrush Gaillardia Sedum
Limber Pine Redleaf Rose Gayfeather Sulphur Buckwheat
Ponderosa Pine Sagebrush Gumbo Lily Valerian
Scotch Pine Sandcherry Hen & Chicks Yarrow
Mugo Pine Serviceberry Horehound GRASSES
  Sumac Lamb's Ear Many Varieties
  Viburnum Lavender  
  Yucca Pasque Flower  

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