Are Your Plants Drinking Too Much Water?

June 11th, 2018

Living in this climate has its perks: northern Coloradans will tell you that we love dry heat and our Rocky Mountains. However, we often find ourselves in droughts and doing our best to conserve water. Your landscape shouldn’t have to suffer though, so here are a few ideas to preserve water and find some plants that can handle this heat on a minimal water supply.

  • Collect Water: This can be done in several ways. Some people harvest rainwater with rain barrels or cisterns. You can also place a large saucer underneath your potted plants. This will protect the surface the plant is sitting on as well as save extra water for your plant to absorb later.
  • Slow Evaporation: Especially in our hot climate, water seems to evaporate so quickly! Slow down evaporation by adding mulch around all your plants, both potted and planted. About two or three inches of mulch will help retain soil moisture and can also reduce weeds in your garden.
  • Water at the Right Time, the Right Way: Learn to identify when your soil is too dry and needs to be watered. If it’s still damp about a spade deep, it’s fine! Only water when the soil is dry, and then avoid midday and times when the sun is very hot. It will evaporate quicker during these times. Using a hose, watering can, or drip system is the best way to target specific areas with watering.  
  • Reuse Water: Catch your old water from your everyday chores and reuse it in your garden. Water used while washing your car, boiling your pasta, or waiting for your shower to get hot can all be used a second time in the garden. Consider installing a gray water system to divert the water that goes down the drain when you do laundry or take a bath.
  • Top Low-Water Perennials: You can of course save water by growing plants that don’t need a lot of water to begin with. Plant Select has promoted many low-water perennials for our climate.
  • Top Low-Water Annuals: If you’re just looking for an annual to look pretty on your porch for the summer, try a Portulaca, Petunia, Sunflower, or Zinnia. When in doubt, look for plants native to the area. They’ve had generations of learning to grow in this climate!

If you have any questions about these plants or want to see what they look like, stop by Fossil Creek Nursery, located at 7029 S College Ave, Fort Collins, CO and we can help you choose the perfect plant to add to your landscape that won’t suck up all the water!