Hosepipe bans are usually enforced when the weather is at its hottest and there has been little or no rainfall for a prolonged period. Ironically, this usually comes at a time when the garden is already very dry and plants need water the most.
The first sign of trouble is when the young leaves of susceptible plants start to look dull and lifeless. Following this wilting will occur and eventually the leaves will start to shrivel. In bad cases leaves will begin to fall and the plant will finally collapse and die. Plants can be seriously damaged before this stage occurs, but slight wilting and browning is generally reversible if water is applied copiously. Well established woody shrubs and evergreens should be more tolerant in dry conditions, however, shrubs with very large leaves or shallow roots, such as Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Hydrangeas, can be seriously effected. Where wilting and leaf loss occurs, this can leave some stems on shrubs bare until the rains return. Lawns can look bad during drought and brown patches will start to appear, although grass can be very tolerant under drought conditions and usually recovers quickly once rain arrives. For more information see our article on Caring for Lawns During a Drought.
If you're in an area prone to droughts or are under notice of hosepipe ban then there are few steps you can take to help prevent plants from dying. Most importantly, don't wait until the drought arrives but do something now before while the soil is still moist.
For information on what you can do in a Hosepipe Ban and whether there is a ban in your area visit Drought-Order.com.