Drought-tolerant plants will offer blooms despite long hot summers

Drought-tolerant plants may be the solution to withstanding scorching Virginia summers while keeping the garden in bloom.

This spring, instead of planting flowers that require watering every couple of days, try including some known for needing less.

There are several flowering annuals and perennials ideal for the conscientious gardener, noted Chris Mullins, a Virginia Cooperative Extension horticulturalist. “Things like portulaca, a succulent-looking plant that has a really pretty flower. It’s low-growing and can be a good ground cover.”

Others include the rudbeckia, or black-eyed Susan, and the wild columbine with red and yellow tubular flowers. There’s also lantana with butterfly…