How To: Create a Drought Tolerant Garden

Drought-tolerant gardens are rising in popularity as people strive to create beautiful, sustainable gardens that can withstand the hot, dry summers that have recently been experienced in the UK.

There are many aspects to consider when planning or updating your garden to include drought tolerant plants, so we’ve put together a few of our top tips to help you. If you need more information or would like some recommendations based on your garden, please do not hesitate to pop in-store where our Holt Garden Centre plant team will be more than happy to assist you.

How To: Create a Drought Tolerant Garden

Cultivate your soil

Preparing the soil properly and giving it the right nutrients can aid in making your garden more resistant to hot, dry temperatures. Cultivate the soil and apply a high quality compost or manure to help improve the soil structure and improve the water retention.

Choose plants that suit your soil type

Choosing plants that are best suited to your soil type will help them be more tolerant to changing temperatures. To identify your soil type, you can check our handy guide here and pick up a soil testing kit in-store.

Keep on top of weeding

Regularly remove weeds and unwanted plants from your garden and beds to reduce competition for nutrients and water during particularly warm spells.


A very important part of keeping your garden drought-tolerant is mulching. By adding mulch you can help to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds and regulate soil temperatures. Bark, straw and leaves are particularly useful as these break down over time and add nutrients to the soil.

How To: Create a Drought Tolerant Garden


No matter what plants you choose you will still need to provide adequate water. The best way to water in hot temperatures is to water early in the morning or late in the evening and prioritise plants that need water most, especially new additions. Drought tolerant gardening is making sure that water is used where necessary and reducing waste, you can find more tips here for saving water in the garden.

Choose the right plants

One of the most important factors is to ensure that you pick plants that are drought tolerant. Many different species have adapted to low water conditions, which include succulents, lavender and ornamental grasses. It is important to find the best plants for your garden so picking those which are suited to your soil and climate will work best. Those with silvery toned foliage tend to be drought tolerant as their light coloured leaves help reflect sunlight.

Plant young plants

Planting things whilst they are still young will help build a tolerance to your garden’s conditions. Planting in the autumn gives enough time for them to become established before the warmer weather arrives.

Just because a garden is drought tolerant, it doesn’t mean that they require less maintenance. Regular mulching, fertilising and soil upkeep is needed to keep your plants thriving. With the proper care, drought tolerant gardens can provide beautiful gardens which can survive warmer temperatures and little rainfall. For further help and advice on how to create a resilient garden, and the best plants to add to your garden, visit us in store and view our wide selection of garden tools, plants and gardening needs. 

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