News & Updates

August 5, 2016

ReScape Lead Trainer, Jennifer de Graaf, on “Drought-Tolerant”

Here in California, we frequently use the term, “drought-tolerant” to refer to plants that are supposedly low water use. But what does “drought-tolerant” mean? Is a “drought-tolerant” plant actually happy in a drought? Our lead trainer for the ReScape Qualified Professional training program, Jennifer de Graaf, dissects this term using WUCOLS and water use classifications, tools that are more useful than just looking for the term “drought-tolerant” when selecting plant materials.

“…so when we say a plant is drought tolerant, what the heck does that mean?  It means that plant has some degree of adaptability to drought.  But here’s the thing – how much adaptability?  How do I use this information?  What does this plant do in response?… Tolerance is about not being dead yet – it has nothing to do with living well, being healthy, or looking good, it is about living to drink another day.”

-Jennifer de Graaf, de Graaf Design Associates

Read more of Jennifer’s analysis of the term,”drought-tolerant” and how to select plants that are low-water use in your region.



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