The Q&A Archives: Plants for the Persian Gulf

Question: I live in the Persian Gulf where temperatures can reach upto 50 celsius in the summer. The winters are pleasant with the lowest temperatures around 10 celsius. My garden is approx 72 square meters large with grass all over. The soil is largely composed of clay. What kind of plants can I grow that will be around for a long time and survive the harsh climatic conditions? I do not want to have a large number of annuals and would prefer permanent kind of plants that look bushy and compact. I also have one corner in the garden where I made a mound of soil, but I have no idea what to plant on it. Please help me as I have no gardening knowledge at all!!

Answer: Can you visit local gardens, to see what thrives there, and what suits your fancy? Native plants are always a good choice, because they've proven themselves to be well adapted to the climate. Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the plants of your region. If it is very dry there, you might consult a reference book such as "Xeriscape Gardening: Water Conservation for the American Landscape", by Connie Ellefson (Macmillan, 1992). This book gives lots of tips about conserving water and choosing plants. However, I would be cautious about introducing non-native plants to your region. Is there a Department of Agriculture you could consult, to see about regulations for importing plants?

Some possibilities for that spot include ornamental grasses, various types of artemisia, sage (salvia), penstemon, or flax species. Again, I'm not sure of your particular climate (esp. rainfall and seasonality of rain) and availability of plant material, so I'd check with local gardeners and nurseries.

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