Waterwise flowers for spring
Water saving is top of mind as the weather warms up, but that doesn’t mean we have to skimp on colour in the garden! Here are some great drought-tolerant flowering plants to get your water-wise garden started in spring.
Commonly known as Lily of the Nile, these flowering plants can be found in most gardens and parks in South Africa. They’re herbaceous perennials that bloom in summer and range from dwarf cultivars (20cm) to the tall (2m), globular-headed ones. These water-wise flowers come in different colours and have a low potential for causing allergies. Here are our top care tips:
- Agapanthus prefer full sun, but some cultivars flower in semi-shade.
- A deep drenching once or twice a week is best.
- Plant agapanthus in rich, well-drained, composted soil.
- Fertilise with a balanced slow-release fertiliser, like 3:1:5, once every two weeks.
Bulbines are drought-tolerant plants with pretty, star-shaped yellow or orange flowers that make for great accents in a mixed container or flower bed. These succulent shrublets are low-maintenance evergreens. Here’s how to ensure they flourish in your garden:
- Plant in full sun or semi-shade.
- Water slowly and deeply at night, once a week.
- Bulbines are adaptable to many soil types, but do best in well-draining soil.
- Fertilise monthly with a balanced fertiliser.
Gazanias are a dream for low-maintenance gardeners, and are a great option in water-restricted areas. They can be identified by a burst of vibrant colour, dark green or silvery foliage and, often, distinct stripes on their petals. They are low-growing plants – well suited to bed edges, rockeries and hanging baskets. This is the care they require:
- Gazanias do best in full sun.
- Only water once the soil is dry – overwatering will result in rotting.
- Gazania plants prefer sandy or clay soil.
- Deadhead Gazania blooms regularly to prolong their flowering period.
Vygies are South Africa’s most colourful group of flowers and have more than 1 800 species to choose from. Their silky-textured flowers will give an extraordinary luminosity to any border. Finding it hard to choose? Read our guide to picking the right vygie flower for your garden. In the meantime, these are our tips for caring for them:
- Vygies flower best in full sun, but can tolerate partial shade.
- Water immediately after planting, but allow top soil to dry out completely before watering again.
- Vygies can thrive in many different soil types and require little nourishment.
- Vygie flowers respond well to liquid fertiliser.
These beautiful, evergreen and drought-tolerant plants flower throughout most of the year, and thrive in hot conditions. Bougainvillea can be grown in containers, on a trellis up the wall, or as a thorny hedge. Here’s how best to take care of your bougainvillea:
- Plant in full sun.
- Give the plant a good watering every 3–4 weeks, but don’t let soil dry out completely.
- Bougainvillea does best in loose, well-draining soil.
- Feed with a potash-rich fertiliser like 3:1:5 or 2:3:4 after every flush of flowers.