Top 15 Drought-Tolerant Plants That Can Handle Dry Weather
Even when the rain stops, these drought-tolerant plants keep going strong. They’ll survive dry conditions while adding color and texture to your garden.
Courtesy Kari Thomson
Echinacea spp. • Zones 3 to 9
Often self-sowing, coneflowers need little upkeep. These drought tolerant plants and thrive in almost any soil with adequate drainage. Plus, coneflowers attract birds and butterflies.
These 15 water-wise plants thrive during dry spells.
Nepeta x faassenii • Zones 3 to 8
Perfect for borders, rock gardens and containers, these drought tolerant plant have aromatic flowers that attract butterflies and bees. Catmint blooms from early summer to early fall, with plants that are 1 to 3 feet tall and wide. Check out more long-blooming flowers for attracting pollinators.
Agastache • Zones 5 to 11
A bee’s delight, agastache grows 3 to 5 feet tall and sports purple or white flower spikes. This tall drought tolerant plant is a good choice for the back of a border. Psst—here’s the top 10 plants for bees.
Courtesy Lauren Kaiser
Lantana camara • annual to Zone 8
Abundant blooms make lantana a welcome addition to any sunny garden. Clusters of brightly colored blossoms adorn this plant, which grows 3 to 6 feet tall and wide. With a mounding or trailing habit, it’s a good choice for a container. Check out more easy plants you can grow in containers.
Courtesy Linda Minns
Salvia splendens • grown as an annual
A true attention-getter, this tall drought tolerant flowering plant produces season-long color in just about any landscape. Its vibrantly colored columns range from 8 to 30 inches tall. These summer to fall bloomers are also striking when confined to containers. Discover the top 10 salvias to grow for hummingbirds.
Courtesy Becka Phillips
Lavandula • Zones 5 to 10
It’s no wonder lavender tolerates drought, since the fragrant plant is native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The mounding plants make attractive specimens or borders. Check out 5 attractive drought-tolerant shrubs for your garden.
Courtesy Carmel Rugel
7. Russian Sage
Perovskia atriplicifolia • Zones 4 to 9
With 2- to 5-foot stems in shades of purplish blue, Russian sage is a real garden trouper: It tolerates cold, drought and poor soil. As long as you grow it in a sunny spot, it won’t disappoint. Psst—here’s the top 10 plants you can’t kill.
Courtesy Stephanie Gabler
8. California Poppy
Eschscholzia californica • grown as an annual
If your yard isn’t the most fertile, look no further than California poppies. These drought resistant plants grow best in full sun but don’t mind poor soil a bit. Discover more pink and orange flowers that look just like a sunset.
Artemisia spp. • Zones 3 to 8
Reliable artemisia is valued for its beautiful, slender gray to silver leaves on tall, arching stems or in low mounds, which range from 1 to 5 feet high and wide. These drought tolerant plants are tough and trouble-free.
Here’s how to grow fragrant, tropical and drought tolerant plumeria flowers.
10. Licorice Plant
Helichrysum petiolare • annual
Licorice plant’s fuzzy, silvery foliage grows long enough to trail, readily weaving throughout surrounding plants. This drought resistant vine thrives in partial shade to full sun and spreads out to 6 feet. Check out more beautiful drought tolerant ground covers.
Veronica spp. • Zones 3 to 9
This easy-to-grow favorite, also known as speedwell, boasts beautiful white, purple, pink or blue spikes and has a long bloom time. These drought tolerant plants reach 1 to 2 feet high and thrive in well-drained soil and full sun. Love the color purple? Here’s the top 10 purple flowers that attract hummingbirds.
Achillea • Zones 3 to 9
These easy-care, long-lasting flowers come into their own once spring bulbs are past their peak. No matter what garden space you’re looking to fill, yarrow is a prime candidate. Yarrow is also one of the top 10 plants for sandy soil.
Proven Winners, ProvenWinners.com
Portulaca spp. • annual
These easy-care, drought tolerant annual plants are a sure source of perky color. Portulaca grows in low clusters, bloom in a rainbow of hues and thrive in the hot, sunny spots where other flowers might wither. If you’re new to gardening, you need to learn the difference between annuals and perennials.
Bonus: More Drought Tolerant Plants
We selected 30+ more tough drought resistant plants that will thrive in climates that see both periods of rain and drought. Plants that are tolerant of difficult conditions may be invasive in certain areas, so do some research or contact your local extension service before planting.
- Autumn sage (Salvia greggii)
- Balloon flower
- Bearded irises
- Blue flax (Linum perenne)
- Blue spirea (Caryopteris x clandonensis)
- Broom (Cystisus and Genista)
- Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
- Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)
- Creeping phlox
- Creeping thyme; wooly thyme
- Culinary sage (Salvia officinalis)
- Dianthus, including Cheddar Pink and others
- Gayfeather or blazing star (Liatris)
- Globe thistle (Echinops)
- Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)
- Ice plant (Delosperma)
- Lambs’ ears
- Oregano, including ornamental-flowered varieties
- Ornamental grasses (non-invasive varieties)
- Pine-leaf penstemon (Penstemon pinifolius)
- Purpletop verbena (Verbena bonariensis)
- Red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora)
- Red-hot poker
- Rock rose (Cistus)
- Sea holly (Eryngium)
- Sun rose (Helianthemum)
- Thread-leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)
- Globe Mallow