Waterlogged soil in winter and dry soil in summer is a problem for plants. Wet soils begin to deprive the roots of oxygen, causing them to die. At the other extreme, drought means as moisture is lost through plants’ leaves and stems, they also wilt, desiccate and die. Winter wet when plants are dormant is less damaging than spring flooding when plants’ roots start to respire.
According to climate experts, more frequent and more sudden extremes of wet and dry are predicted for the future. During autumn-winter 2014, the RHS surveyed horticultural professionals and the wider gardening public to find out which plants they have experienced as being able to cope with wet winters and dry summers.
The list is a starting point and complements the field research and lab-based work the RHS Science teams undertake. The survey extends existing RHS Gardening Advice information, experience and desk research.