Drought-Tolerant Annuals Charleston SC

I have a sunny patio in Charleston where I put containers of blooming annuals last summer. I had a hard time keeping up with the watering. It seemed like I needed to water before and after work or they would wilt. Can you recommend annuals that can withstand some dryness?

Peaceful Villa Farm Outlet and Mediterranean Market
Store (803)708-1379 Farm (803)937-4960
1532 Sunset Blvd
West Columbia, SC
 
RonMowers
(803) 731-1459
5444 Bush River Road
Columbia, SC
 
Clyburn Brothers & Son
(803) 428-6284
4375 Bethune Hwy
Bethune, SC
 
Highpoint Holdings
(864) 338-7643
253 Simpson Rd
Honea Path, SC
 
Bay Branch Farms
(843) 623-3507
2176 Cassidy Mill Rd
Chesterfield, SC
 
Cottle Strawberry Farm
(803) 695-1714
2533 Trotter Rd
Columbia, SC
 
Grassy Bay Turf Farms
(843) 756-0903
4224 Carolina Rd
Green Sea, SC
 
Den-Mar Farms
(843) 658-6050
1972 Henry Deese Rd
Jefferson, SC
 
Millwood Farms
(803) 534-4293
1128 Deer Crossing Rd
Orangeburg, SC
 
Nichols Farms
(803) 276-7505
204 Hannah Church Rd
Newberry, SC
 

Drought-Tolerant Annuals

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I have a sunny patio where I put containers of blooming annuals last summer. I had a hard time keeping up with the watering. It seemed like I needed to water before and after work or they would wilt. Can you recommend annuals that can withstand some dryness?



Answer: In general, containers tend to dry out much more quickly than the ground does. The biggest caveat for growing vegetables in containers, for instance, is that they will likely need to be watered at least once a day if not two or three times, particularly if they sit in full sun on a stone or cement patio. Drought-tolerant vegetables are few and far between. Lucky for you there are a number of rugged but pretty flowering annuals that will look good with less than daily watering. The following have a size and habit that make them suitable for containers:

  • Blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella): daisylike flowers in yellows, pinks, reds and orange
  • Nasturtiums
  • Gazania (Gazania regens): daisylike flowers in vivid, hot colors
  • Marigolds
  • Rose moss (Portulaca grandiflora): extremely tolerant of heat and drought. Succulent leaves and stems form a mat that spills over the sides of the pot. Warm and cheery cup-shaped flowers.
  • Sunflowers
  • Geraniums (Pelargonium): very tolerant of drought because of their thick, water-storing stems.
  • Zinnias


You might also consider buying or making self-watering containers for your patio. These are pots that have a built-in reservoir of water. The soil in the pot wicks water from the reservoir as it dries. You can buy them, such as the EarthBox, or make your own. Erik Knutzen offers a PDF of instructions and a how-to video on his blog, homegrownevolution.com.



Images courtesy of the Missouri Botanic Garden PlantFinder



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