Grey-foliage-plants

South Africans are encouraged to be wiser when it comes to conserving water, especially in areas of drought. Luckily, for those of you who love having a beautiful garden, there are many plants that don’t need a lot of water to thrive.


Water-wise plants

Plants with smaller, needle-like leaves

Because the leaves are thinner, less water is lost through evaporation. Examples include:

  • Thyme
  • Origanum
  • Rosemary
  • Some acacias
  • Ericas

Plants with succulent leaves

These plants store water in their fleshy leaves so moisture is available when needed. Examples include:

  • Echeverias
  • Vygies
  • Aloes
  • Latifolia
  • Salvia

Grey foliage plants

The grey, light colour reflects the sun’s rays, therefore, the plant is kept cooler and loses less water. Examples include:

  • Avender
  • arctotis
  • Artemisia
  • Giant honey flower

Plants with hairy leaves

The hair on the plants prevents water loss. Examples include:

  • Lamb’s ear
  • Beach salvia
  • Silver tree
  • Helichrysum

Plants with waxy leaves

The waxy coating on the plant helps to prevent moisture from being lost. Examples include:

  • Euonymus
  • Indian hawthorn
  • Kalanchoe  

Plants with closing leaves

When the plant needs to save water, it closes its leaves, reducing exposure to sunlight and, therefore, reducing water loss. Examples include:

  • Rockroses
  • Jerusalem sage
  • Acacias

Plants with a strong internal skeleton

When a plant has a strong internal skeleton, it can prevent wilting by supporting the leaves. Examples include:

  • Restios
  • Strelitzia
  • Agaves

Plants with volatile oils

These plants are known to produce the essential oils that we find in many onshelf products. The oils act as extra protection against moisture loss. Examples include:

  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Rosemary

Plants with light coloured undersides

A water stressed plant will turn the lighter side of their leaves upwards to reflect the sun’s rays away. Examples include:

  • Gazanias
  • Indigenous buddlejas.
  • Wild olive tree

For more information, read:

https://www.sali.co.za/water-wise-plants/

http://www.waterwise.co.za/export/sites/water-wise/gardening/water-wise-plants/downloads/Choose_Water_Wise_Plants.pdf

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