drought resistant / sandy&rocky soil

tenacre(Z5 SW MI)August 5, 2014


Looking for some suggestions for drought-resistant perennials to plant in late August in Zone5 (SW MI) in sandy rocky soil with merciless full sun from sunrise to sunset.

Something I can stick in the ground and forget about.


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Campanula UK Z8

Well that would be nothing....apart from flora plasticus. Seriously, this is the worst time for putting anything in the ground......why not hang it out until the weather turns a bit more forgiving, then think about sedums, festucas, gauras, hypericums, dianthus, erodiums, various bulbs.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:13AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

NOTHING... can be planted.. in august.. in MI .. and forgotten about ... all will need water ... period ...

but by spring.... they ought to be settled in enough.. to achieve the drought resistance you wish ...

is this a cottage thing??? .... is that why you need to plant in the worst planting month of the year... and wont be around to water??? .. if so... plant in sept .. and hope for the best ...

ken in Adrian mi ...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 3:27PM
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OT but my weather for the whole summer thus far has been classic planting weather....lots of rain, with many days of unseasonably cooler temps. There are lots of time it has felt like AUTUMN!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 5:23PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

> rouge21 5 Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 17:23 wrote:

"OT but my weather for the whole summer thus far has been classic planting weather....lots of rain, with many days of unseasonably cooler temps. There are lots of time it has felt like AUTUMN!"

Ditto here.

It's August and I have an Autumn Blaze maple that is still putting out new growth like crazy.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:29PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you guys should know.. that the moment you make a presumption about mother nature.. continuing some given course.. she will mess with you no end ...

you go ahead.. and plant all you want in late august.. and watch her turn september into dantes 7th circle of hell ... lol ...

but OP didnt answer.. you understand.. that there is no drought tolerant 'transplant' .. correct ...

drought tolerance is all about once the plant is fully established ...


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 8:14AM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

@ken: I have $400 voucher that expires in September. Trying to figure what to spend it on.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:17AM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

Do penstemon do well in MI? They are among my favorite drought tolerant perennials. Also sedum, Russian sage, catmint, roses (really!), dianthus, some grasses, lavender... there are plenty of drought-tolerant plants, but as has been mentioned all need care to get established.

Enjoy your shopping spree!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:31AM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

This pic from a different angle and with different exposure shows the new growth a bit better

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 3:03PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Did you just hijack your own thread?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:14PM
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tenacre(Z5 SW MI)

> whaas 5a SE WI Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 22:14
> Did you just hijack your own thread?

I guess I'm too easily distracted :)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:45PM
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If you are planting in August you will probably have to water.

You could buy seeds or tulip bulbs for next year with the credit

Some plants that ike the beach or dessert *MIGHT* survive...Beach Plum, Beach Pea, cactus

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 2:35PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

OMG, whaas, that had me laughing out loud!!

Planting time aside, I've had great luck with a sedum groundcover in very poor, very shallow, very rocky, very dry soil in a very hot area (full blazing sun along the asphalt street). Because I need something low to keep the sightline coming out of my driveway clear, I haven't tried anything taller there, but I would assume other, taller sedums would work as well.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 5:05PM
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Nah, I disagree with most of the above. I do my fall planting in earnest in late August and with the unusually cool & rainy summer we've had this year, I've been transplanting and planting all summer and pretty much letting nature do the work of watering in this year, its a good year for planting.

Any kind of succulent or cactus can be planted and just walked away from, meaning totally ignored which is usually the best thing since most deaths come from too much molly-coddling and over watering. Treat them like forgotten children and they will reward you. So I totally disagree there's no plant that can be planted in August. I just moved a well established cactus here smack in the middle of the day in the hot sun and it won't mind a bit & I'm going to dig up some hesperaloe's tomorrow and move them once the roots callous.

Wow, you've just described a perfect spot for certain plants. First to come to mind is the one I just mentioned, hesperaloe or 'pink yucca', however, its not a yucca, its in the lily family. I looked it up, it will take zone 5 if dry. These look great in a grouping. Stick them in the ground and forget them, they will do fine. I've seen many plantings where they mix them with drifts of grasses and the texture is to die for. Its used along roads here due to its low maintenance, looks and low water needs. Looks stunning. True yucca is another easy plant but choose carefully, there are nice well behaved pretty ones and others that are bullies and become something you regret. Yucca rostrata s a good one if it will grow in zone 5 and your winter is on the dry side or the drainage is very good.

Little Bluestem grass. In a spot like that you should be able to grow the highly enviable stiff light blue vertical specimens because they love torture like that and they tend to flop in good soil with too much moisture or shade. Water in the plants for the first week, then they will do fine on their own. I've been moving them around all summer, I just finished planting some more and they are unflapped. Santa Rosa will be restocked coming up with all the really nice types when their fall sales begin. They are very popular so they ran out early this year of every type. Many other ornamental grasses would also work (but bluestem is so gorgeous I have to push it). Native grasses would do the best, imported ones such as the over used Miscanthus grasses are often water suckers that would need supplemental watering when dry in that kind of sun and there's all that horrible spring trimming of sharp leaves with those plus that dying in the center down the road when they must be dug up and divided which is not fun to do. Natives are much easier.

Russian Sage is a plant that would definitely do well there. Water it in when planting and keep it moist for a couple weeks and it should do fine for you with little or no follow up. Too much water makes them flop. Once September gets here, you should be fine.

Crepe Myrtle would be easy in the heat but it might not do zone 5, you could check, they will take the dry and heat with ease and bloom over a long period. Rose of Sharon is another workhorse that seems to take any amount of sun and drought and bloom without problems. Any native plant that is a sun lover in your area will also prove to be a good choice. You might want to google to see whats native in your parts, these plants will be OK on their own since they are adjusted to your conditions and soil type without human intervention.

Woops, I nearly forgot. Artemisia is a great choice for that kind of spot. They would do fine. I just planted three Prowis Castle to add to a silver garden I'm working on and they adjusted right in, no problem, no sulks. Valerie finnis is a great one. I just moved some to fill in a spot.

This post was edited by TexasRanger10 on Thu, Aug 7, 14 at 23:37

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:30PM
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