Archive for the 'Drought Tolerant Plants' Category

Acacia pulchella (Western Prickly Moses)

A variable shrub, spreading, can be dwarfed or up tp 1.5m tall by 1-2 wide. Pulchella means beautiful, and to prolong its life, prune after flowering. In fact I have discovered that wattles can be pruned quite successfully and in some cases quite severely. This Acacia flowers in July until November.

It needs well drained light to heavy soil, dappled shade to full sun. Even though it is prickly, it can be used quite successfully to control human foot traffic, and animal access. This is another which can be propagated by seed or cuttings. Watch for new growth following pruning for cutting material. This Acacia is drought hardy and lime tolerant.

See here for growing from seed, and here for growing from cuttings.

Acacia lasiocarpa

Acacia lasiocarpa is a Western Australian species which was regarded as Acacia pulchella.

This is a variable shrub .5-2m x 1-3m, dense to open, or spreading. Some varieties have small spines. It has yellow globular flower heads at the ends of the branches. It grows in reasonably well drained light to heavy soil, in dappled shade or full sun. It is drought hardy and lime tolerant and is ornamental. This plant can be propagated by seed or from cuttings.

See here for information on taking cuttings.

See here for growing wattles from seed.

Acacia iteaphylla (Flinders Range Wattle)

Acacia iteaphylla (Flinders Range Wattle)

Acacia iteaphylla (Flinders Range Wattle)

Acacia iteaphylla is also called the Gawler Range Wattle, or the Port Lincoln Wattle, indicating how wide spread in the wild these are.

This is one of my favourite wattles. I’ve had a hedge of them for over 20 years, and here they are the first to flower, beginning in Autumn. I noticed another hedge of them in the town in good bloom. This uaually means that there hasn’t been much rain here because the blooms spoil in the rain.

Well grown plants reach 3-5m tall by 3-6m wide. They have pale yellow sprays of flowers and can be pruned. It is very adaptable and is drought resistant and lime tolerant. Some forms have pretty new growth, and can be pendulous or upright in growth habit. Use as an ornamental or low windbreak as well as a hedge.

Drought Tolerant Australian Native Plants For Alkaline Soil

Alkaline soils can be difficult to manage. Most gardening programmes emphasise the use of lime forgetting that many places beyond the east coast of Australia have alkaline soils. This is particularly so in South Australia.

A hint that I was given was to plant in raised beds. As little as 10cm above the surrounding soil will reduce the alkalinity effect. This of course also provides better drainage in heavier soils.

Moderately lime tolerant plants

Prostrate to 1m tall

Acacia lasiocarpa

Acacia pulchella

Acacia rhetinocarpa

Anigozanthos flavidus

Anigozanthos humilis

Baeckia crassifolia

Billardiera heterophylla (also a climber)

Billardiera  cymosa (also a climber)

Billardiera versicolor (also a climber)

Boronia caerolescens

Bossiae cinerea

Senna odorata

Chorizema cordatum

Correa decumbens

Correa ‘mannii’

Correa ‘Dusky Bells’

Correa reflexa prostrate forms

Dampiera rosmarinifolia

Dianella laevis

Dianella tasmannica

Dianella revoluta

Dodonaea microzyga

Eremaea violacea

Eremophila densifolia

Eremophila glabra prostrate forms

Eremophila ‘Kalbarri Carpet’

Eremophila metallica

Eremophila veneta

Eremophila weldii

Planting To Enhance Drought Tolerance

A new book was launched today at the South Australian, Australian Plants Society Autumn Plant Sale. This book is a tool, rather than a list of plants. It provides a process whereby the gardener can establish whether a plant could be grown in their garden given the natural rainfall, soil pH, soil structure and whether any modifications could be made to the growing conditions.

In the words of the author

‘Realistically it provides a simple method of matching plants to your conditions mimicking the intuition good gardeners develop over many years and recognizes a site’s limitations.  Modifications are discussed to extend the range of suitable plants.  It is not limited to native plants nor to Australia.  It benchmarks each garden’s attributes so the process works anywhere in any climate!’

This tool would work well with the lists of plants that have been published, so that the best choices can be made and if that plant must be one of them, it provides ideas for modifying the conditions so that there is a good chance of success. See details for purchasing here.