Drought-tolerant plants are ideal for dry climates and for gardeners who don’t want to spend a lot of time watering their plants. These types of plants thrive on very little water and are an asset to the plant since they don’t use much of this natural resource.
Drought-tolerant plants come in a wide range of plant height, bloom color, bloom time, and foliage texture. When you selecting new plants for your garden, consider some of these 10 drought-tolerant plants.
Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia)
This is a tropical annual plant that thrives in hot, dry climates. Angelonia produces 18-inches (45 cm) stems that are covered with small colorful blooms during the hottest part of summer.
Bloom colors include pink, white, purple, and bi-color and the flowers send out a fragrance that smells like apples.
Plant in full sun in compost-rich soil for best results. Hardy in USDA growing zones 8-11 and the plant will behave like a perennial in climates that have warm winters.
This brilliant blue-flowering perennial shrub will produce tall spikes of blue flowers in late summer when most of the other flowers are finishing up for the season.
Bluebeard shrub will reach a mature height of 3-4 feet (90 – 120 cm) tall and wide and the blue blooms attract a variety of pollinators. Plant in spring in a sunny location. Hardy in USDA growing zones 5-9.
This is a hardy perennial flower that is prized for its long blooming season, pollinator attractiveness, and medicinal uses. Coneflowers are easy-care plants that re-seed themselves and come in several bloom colors.
Plants will reach between 2-5 feet (60 – 150 cm) tall when mature and have around a 2-foot (60 cm) spread. Hardy in USDA growing zones 4-9, plant coneflowers in a sunny location.
False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)
Attractive perennial shrub will send up spikes of unusual flowers in late spring that are irresistible to early-season pollinators. Bloom colors from deep purple to pale pinks and some plants produce an unusual bloom color of dark charcoal.
This drought-tolerant plant will reach a mature height of 2-3 feet (60 – 90 cm), develop interesting seed pods in late summer, and it’s rarely bothered by pests or diseases. Hardy in USDA growing zones 4-9.
Marigolds (Calendula officinalis)
Marigolds are the hardest working plant in the garden and no landscape should be without them. They re-seed themselves, germinate easily, come in mature heights that range from 6-inches (15 cm) to 4-feet (120 cm), bloom colors that range from pale yellow to deep orange, and have single, double, or multiple petals, they love hot, dry weather, bloom from spring until the end of summer, naturally repel garden pests, and the plants are edible.
Marigolds are hardy in most growing zones, are not picky about soil conditions, and will thrive in drought. Plant these hard-working flowers around the vegetable, herb, fruit, and flower gardens to keep pests away. Cats and dogs will stay away from them too.
Lantana (Lantana camara)
Lantana is a hardy annual plant that will continue to produce colorful, multi-bloom flowerheads even in the hottest, driest part of summer. In USDA growing zone 7 and above, lantana will bloom year-round. Below zone 7 the plant will behave as an annual.
This drought-tolerant plant comes in many different sizes that range from 2-6 feet (60 – 180 cm) tall and 1-3 feet (30 90 cm) wide. Plant in full sun and lantanas will reward you with colorful blooms from early spring until late summer.
Pink Muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris)
This is a tall-growing ornamental grass that will reach a mature height of 4-feet (120 cm) and produce plumes of pink blooms near the end of summer. Pink Muhly is drought-tolerant and hardy in USDA growing zones 4-12.
This ornamental grass creates large clumps that can be divided, but it does not spread.
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
This fragrant perennial plant is a member of the mint family and thrives during times of drought. Russian Sage will reach a mature height of 4-feet (120 cm) and produce tall wands on purplish-blue flowers on silvery stems throughout the summer.
When the blooms and leaves fall off the plant at summer’s end, the silvery plant stems provide colorful beauty throughout the winter. Plant in a sunny location. Hardy in USDA growing zone 4-9.
Sedum is a member of the cacti family and is well-known for its drought-tolerance. Sedum comes in many varieties, colors, and sizes. Some sedum grows upright and other types grow low to the ground and produce trailers, making them ideal for growing in a rock garden where the soil is shallow and dry.
Sedum is a slow-growing perennial in warm climates. In climates with cold winter weather, grow sedum in containers outdoors and bring indoors to overwinter.
Zinnias (Zinnia elegans)
These tall-growing beauties will produce a large, single, open-face bloom on top of each stem from spring until the first killing frost in fall/autumn. Bloom colors vary and the blooms can be single, double, or multi-petaled.
The big, showy nonstop blooms are disease resistant and make great cut flowers. The blooms attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Zinnias are hardy annuals and will thrive during times of drought.
Plant in full sun and well-draining soil. Zinnias may become top-heavy and need to be staked to keep the plants upright.