Got a dry soil that is more dust or sand than a growing medium? Dry soils can be a challenge to many plants, but these native plants will thrive just as well in dry soil as in a moist soil. These five plant profiles give you choices on plants that will all do better in a dry landscape.
Common Name: Fringed Bluestar, Blue Funnel Lily, Texas Bluestar, Bluestar
Lifespan: Long-lived Perennial
Description: Light green leaves and star-like clustered flowers are on this 1 to 3 foot high plant. Blue flowers bloom from March to June with soft smooth leaves running up the stem to the flower. Flowers are tubular with thin seedpods. Green foliage turns gold in the fall season.
Planting Guide: Amsonia ciliata prefers partial shade and a dry well-drained soil. In rich soils it may become aggressive. After flowering, cut the plant back to keep it growing erect and straight.
Propagation: Fringed bluestar is propagated by root division and seed. Seed should be sown right after collecting or, if stored first, soak in water 2 to 3 days after slicing the tip of the seed off first. Flowers will come the second growing season after germination.
History: Makes for a great addition in any native garden or low-maintenance garden.
Distribution: Amsonia ciliata is found in AL, AR, FL, GA, MO, NC, OK, SC and TX.
Common Name: Fairy-lantern, White Fairy Lantern
Description: Growing 8 to 30 inches tall, fairy-lantern has grass-like leaves and nodding white flowers. Flowers may be greenish or pinkish, depending on location. Blooms are egg-like and clustered, with a bloom season of April through June. Seeds are in pods that are broad and flat.
Planting Guide: Calochortus albus should be in partial shade and dry rocky well-drained soils.
Propagation: Fairy-lantern is propagated by seed with no stratification or scarification needed.
History: Fairy-lantern bulbs were once food ate by indigenous peoples. Today, the species is a well browsed food source for wildlife.
Warnings: May need protection from wildlife that it attracts to stay nice looking in garden plots.
Distribution: Calochortus albus is found in CA.
Common Name: Bluebell Bellflower, Harebell, Bluebell-of-Scotland
Description: Bell-like flowers and round basal leaves are part of this weak stemmed plant. It may need staking to prevent it from bowing over. It grows 4 to 15 inches tall with blue-violet blooms singular or in clusters. Bloom season is from June through September. Stems are unbranched and thread-like.
Planting Guide: Campanula rotundifolia prefers a dry sandy well-drained soil and any type of lighting.
Propagation: Bluebell bellflower is propagated by seed, root cuttings or stem cuttings. Seeds do not need treating before sowing, with best results coming from bottom watering and sowing indoors first. Cuttings should be set in damp sand first.
History: This flower brings hummingbirds into the landscape.
This plant is known as witch’s thimble in Scotland and its common name of harebell is derived from this witch association. The Campanula genus name comes from Latin’s “campana” which means little bell.
Warnings: Characteristics of bluebell bellflower can be very different depending on location and habitat.
Distribution: Campanula rotundifolia is found in AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, ID, IL, IA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OR, OH, PA, SD, TX, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI and WY.
Common Name: Hairy Clematis, Vase Flower, Leather Flower, Sugarbowls
Synonym: Coriflora hirsutissima
Description: Growing up to 2 feet tall with nodding bell-like flowers and deep dissected leaves, this clematis is not a vine like most in the species. The bloom has a wooly appearance and is on the end of a stalk. Bloom season is between April and June. After blooming, there is a seed pod that looks like a feather and is nearly as attractive as the bloom itself.
Planting Guide: Clematis hirsutissima should be planted in partial shade and dry well-drained soil.
Propagation: Hairy clematis is propagated by seed and layering. If layering, do so in late summer. Seed should be sown fresh in the fall or, if seed is stored, have been through cold-moist stratification for 60 to 180 days before planting.
History: This species was named in 1814 as Clematis hirsutissima by Frederick Pursh and then became the genus Coriflora in 1996 by William Weber.
Warnings: There are no known warnings or disease with this plant.
Distribution: Clematis hirsutissima is found in AZ, CO, ID, MT, NE, NM, OK, OR, SD, UT, WA and WY.
Common Name: Purple Mountain Saxifrage
Description: This perennial grows up to 2 inches tall with mat-like appearance. Leaves are green and opposite while the stems are densely packed. Foliage is hairy. Flowers are red-lavender in color and crimped. Bloom season is between June and August.
Planting Guide: Saxifraga oppositifolia should be planted in partial shade and dry rocky soils.
Propagation: Purple mountain saxifrage is propagated by seed.
Distribution: Saxifraga oppositifolia is found in AK, ID, MT, NY, OR, VT, WA and WY.
No matter what your preference is on the type of plants you prefer, one of these five choices should give you something new to place in the landscape. For the spot of yard or garden plot that never seems to get moist, these plants could really spruce it up.