We Love: Dry-Time Flowers
Want floral pick me-ups that handle a drought?
Try these on for size.
Kniphofia, 'Yellow Pokers'. Photo - Derek Harris Photography/Shutterstock
Red hot pokers, Kniphofia, deliver lots of options of mostly warm-toned, rocket-shaped flowers, usually in winter and spring. Originally from Africa, they love dry weather. Some species can be weedy in some climates and near bushland, so try sterile cultivars instead. Plant in full sun.
The striking lemon-yellow inflorescence of Aloe ‘Moonglow’ is quick to light up drab mid-winter gardens. It grows to just 80cm, and produces lots of flowers from a young age, allpacked with nectar to provide a food source for birds over the cooler months.
Gaura. Photo - P. OCHASANOND/Shutterstock
Commonly called butterfly bush, the swaying flowers of Gaura seem to last forever. Prune to the ground after flowering to avoid seeding or be prepared to weed out the seedlings. Comes in white, pink and two-toned ‘Rosy Jane’.
Golden Guinea vine. Photo - Anne Powell/Shutterstock
Golden Guinea vine, Hibbertia scandens, is a brilliant Australian native vine that will quickly cover a tired fence or carpet the ground to keep out weeds. Bright yellow flowers in late spring and summer do a wonderful job of feeding native stingless bees.
Phlomis ‘Lemon Blush’
Unusual whorls of buttery yellow flowers and a shrubby habit are the appeal of Turkish sage, Phlomis russeliana. Look out for the pale cream form called ‘Lemon Blush’. Loves cold winters and hot, dry summers, but not humidity.
Frangipani ‘Bowen Yellow’
Frangipani 'Bowen Yellow'
One of the best bright golden yellow frangipanis is ‘Bowen Yellow’, also known as ‘Bribie Gold’ and ‘Darwin Yellow’. It looks great when planted in front of a dark wall. Once established frangipani are very tolerant of dry conditions.
Starfish flowers, Stapelia, are desert succulents. They need lots of sunshine and water only when bone dry. Great in a pot, they flower in spring, randomly through summer and with a big flush in autumn. Keep them in a tight pot as too much room allows for a wet mix, which is their main enemy.