Drought Tolerant Groundcovers

| February/March 2010

  • Wooly yarrow does best in full sun.
    Photo by Jerry Pavia
  • Lamb's ear is excellent for crowding out weeds.
    Photo by Jerry Pavia

Note: While a plant may be labeled as "drought-tolerant," this always describes the plant after it's been established. New plantings require regular watering for a couple of months.

Sunny areas require extra ground coverage to keep moisture in the soil. These nine herbal groundcovers will thrive in hot areas while keeping moisture close to plant roots.

Wooly yarrow (Achillea tomentosa). 10 inches tall and wide; Zones 3-8; pull your shoes off and let your feet enjoy. Yarrow does best in full sun.

Persian catmint (Nepeta racemosa). 6 to 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide; Zones 4-8; gray-green leaves. Grows best in full sun.

Creeping golden marjoram (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’). 6 inches tall; Zones 4-9; golden, bright foliage; white with pink bracts flowers in spring. Likes sun; leaves  will burn if the sun is too intense.

Platinum sage (Salvia daghestanica). 8 to 10 inches tall; Zones 5-10; silvery leaves with blue flowers in spring. This is a lovely and unusual herb. Platinum sage is at its best in areas that receive half sun and half shade.

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