The people's voice of reason

Southern Gardening - Potpourri for August

Although the extreme heat has not been a factor this summer, the extreme humidity been a problem. Even early in the mornings, just working for 1/2 an hour sends one in the house dripping with perspiration. Remember if you are working out of doors for long periods of time, do drink plenty of water or Gatorade. One of the symptoms of getting overheated is feeling dizzy and no longer sweating. Also one can take a cool shower, and rest indoors.

I have noticed that since the lockdown, the big box stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot, which in the past have been a go-to place for annuals and some perennials, have not had the inventory nor the number of choices of flowers as in the past. Plus I have noted that the prices per plant has skyrocketed. So what to do? I have had much success in rooting plants such as: begonias, torenia, lantana, lamb's ears, geraniums. Perhaps next year we will have a better selections of plants.

Recently I was asked what are drought tolerate plants for our area. First of all the list I am giving you comes from personal experience.

1. Artemisia is a perennial herb that has lovely gray feathery leaves that loves the sun and very little water. Like I said, spending about $50.00 on a dozen plants and planting them in semi-shade under a sprinkler system netted me with dying mildewed plants within the year.

2. Lamb's Ears are another perennial gray-green plant that does well in shade, but cannot tolerate wet feet. If over watered, these plants just disappear with rotten leaves left on the ground.

3. Sago palms do well with little water, and tolerate shade.

4. Blue Salvia and other salvias are perennials and will die out with over watering.

5. Coreopsis, Baby's Breath, Butterfly Weed, lantana, Gaillardia to name a few more.


Cleome hasslerana, commonly known as the spider plant has been around the South for many years. It must be grown in a sunny area of the bed and can stand some drought conditions. Many people grow these in their butterfly and hummingbird gardens. They are native to South America and the West Indies but are grown all over the world. They are long bloomers and flowers can last through September. Also, the seed can be planted at any time after frost. So if these are not growing in your garden today, get some seed, and sow away for fall bloom.



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