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Plants for Windy Gardens

Updated July 18, 2017

Wind whips through a garden and affects plant growth. Steady, strong gusts can disturb roots and dry out plants, causing them to die. A vigorous, prolonged wind can break plants and cause damage to flowers and stalks. However, some plants move with the wind and are deemed wind resistant. These plants usually have long, narrow leaves and supple stems that permit them to wave and bend without breaking.

Pampas Grass

Pampas grass sways in the wind, with its white plumes moving. This plant is native to Argentina and grows extremely fast, as much as 8 feet in one season. It also can act as a wind barrier because it reaches heights of 20 feet and spreads 13 feet wide. The grass flourishes in full sun. It is drought tolerant.

Grass-Leaf Daylily

Few plants are tougher, more persistent, or more trouble-free than the grass-leaf daylily. That applies to wind resistance as well. The blade-like leaves allow the wind to whistle through. This plant survives without protection in temperatures as low as 1.67 degrees C below zero Fahrenheit. In addition, it sports clusters of lily-like flowers in yellow, orange, rust and many more colours. Daylilies like partial to full sun and moderate water.

Mexican Zinnias

One of the toughest summer annuals, the zinnias tolerate heat, sun and wind. The small, narrow leaves allow the breeze to blow through. Zinnias bloom in colours that include yellow, orange, red, cream and deep burgundy. The plants like full sun and moderate water.

Crape Myrtle

The crape myrtle loves hot regions and stands up to strong winds as well. Its leaves are long and narrow. It can grow to 25 feet tall. The summer blooms range in colour from white to pink to red to deep red. The plant likes full sun and moderate water.

Giant Burgundy Fountain Grass

The beauty of giant burgundy fountain grass is apparent in the wind. The deep-coloured plumes and grass blades bend in the breeze, adding movement and colour to the garden. This ornamental grass grows 5 to 6 feet high and spreads about 3 feet in width. The grass loves full sun but will grow in partial shade. It is drought tolerant.

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About the Author

Nellene Teubner Plouffe is a writer who started her journalism career as a reporter and columnist for the "Orange County Register" newspaper in 1992. In 1995, Teubner Plouffe received a first-place award in column writing from the California Newspaper Publishers’ Association. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.