How to choose drought tolerant plants

If you live in an area that doesn’t get much rain, you need to save water or you simply want a low-maintenance garden, then using drought tolerant plants is a great idea. Here’s a list of things to consider before you go out and buy them.

Choose your plants wisely

The drought tolerant plants you choose will depend on your local climate and soil type.

Knowing how hot (and cold) it gets around your garden can help you decide what plants are most likely to survive a drought.

The type of soil you have at home can also make a big difference. Some plants thrive in light, sandy soil that drains well but can’t hold water or nutrients. Others love heavy clay soil that holds water near the roots. There are some plants that can only cope in a perfect loamy soil that doesn’t drain too fast or too slow.

If you’re unsure of what type of soil you’ve got, dig up a sample and take it to your local Bunnings nursery.

Use native plants

Australian native plants are a great option for all different weather conditions.

The trick is to not only choose plants that are right for your climate and soil conditions, but that also fit in with your garden design.

To get a good balance, mix up small trees and screening shrubs, ornamentals and ground covers.

Feed and protect your plants

The best way to make sure you’ve got drought tolerant plants is to feed them regularly so that they are strong and healthy.

Organic fertilisers such as dynamic lifter and seaweed concentrate plus good old fashioned compost not only feed your plants but also help improve your soil’s structure and capacity to hold water.

You should also protect them with a generous layer of mulch. Using an organic mulch such as sugar cane and pea straw reduces evaporation from the soil and supresses the growth of weeds. As an added bonus, strong and healthy plants are also more resistant to disease and insect attack.

Find out how to take care of your garden in summer.

Start gardening today

Check out the full range of plants available at your local Bunnings.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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