There is a wonderful range of plants available that are drought hardy and require little care once established. All you have to do is give them the right growing conditions and they will reward you with a stunning display, year after year. Here are our top five picks.
Westringia Aussie Box
1. This native gem, with its tight dense habit, makes an ideal hedging plant – it’s a great alternative to box hedges, which can be quite thirsty and demand attention. It grows 75-90cm tall and wide, and can be trimmed to shape or left to grow into its natural compact ball shape. Plant in full sun and water well until established.
2. Looking handsome all year, liriope forms compact clumps of strappy green foliage that grow in most soils with minimal watering. Look for Pink Pearl, which grows 25cm tall and wide, and has elegant green and cream variegated foliage and stunning pink flowers. Plant in full sun to full shade and water well until established.
3. Absolutely stunning when in bloom, evergreen when not, the popular native kangaroo paw is an ideal low-maintenance but high-impact plant. You can find them in single, bi-coloured and even tri-coloured forms, in red, yellow, green, orange, pink and near-white. Plant en masse in full sun for a stunning display.
4. A widely grown landscaping plant, it’s the ultimate low- maintenance choice. Lomandra’s strappy foliage looks fresh all year and is perfect for planting along borders or mass planting in beds. Try Tanika, which grows 50-60cm high and wide, and has finer leaves than the original lomandra. Plant in full sun to moderate shade.
Dianella Little Jess
5. Very popular in landscaping due to its good looks and hardy nature, Little Jess is very low maintenance, requiring trimming about every eight years. It only grows 40cm high and wide, and produces masses of purple flowers from spring. Very drought tolerant once established.
Handy tips: Before planting up garden beds, it’s best to improve the soil. If it’s poor or you have little to work with, buy bags from a nursery and add to beds, then spread over well-composted organic matter or cow manure and fork in well. Mulch around plants and beds after planting. Using organic mulch, like bark fines, will conserve soil moisture, prevent weeds and improve soil structure as it breaks down.