Top 10 Drought-Tolerant Plants

Even when the rain stops, these drought-tolerant plants prove that the show must go on. They’re sure to survive dry conditions while adding distinctive color and texture to your garden.

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Portulaca

Portulaca

Portulaca spp. • annual

This easy-care, drought-tolerant annual is 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.

Kathy Saul
Coneflower

Coneflower

Echinacea spp. • Zones 3 to 9

Often self-sowing, coneflowers need little upkeep, are drought-tolerant and thrive in almost any soil with adequate drainage.

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Catmint

Catmint

Nepeta x faassenii • Zones 3 to 8

Perfect for borders, rock gardens and containers, this drought-tolerant plant’s aromatic flowers attract butterflies and bees. Catmint blooms from early summer to early fall, with plants that are 1 to 3 feet tall and wide.

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Agastache

Agastache

Agastache • Zones 5 to 11

A bee’s delight, agastache grows 3 to 5 feet tall and sports purple or white flower spikes. It’s a good choice for the back of a border.

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Lantana

Lantana

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.

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Salvia

Salvia

Salvia splendens • grown as an annual

A true attention-getter, this tall drought-tolerant flower 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.

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Lavender

Lavender

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.

Alan and Linda Detrick
Russian Sage

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.

RDA-GID
California Poppy

California Poppy

Eschscholzia californica • grown as an annual

If your yard isn’t the most fertile, look no further than California poppies. They grow best in full sun but don’t mind poor soil a bit.

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Artemisia

Artemisia

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 plants are tough and trouble-free.

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Licorice Plant

Licorice Plant

Helichrysum petiolare • annual

Licorice plant’s fuzzy, silvery foliage grows long enough to trail, readily weaving throughout surrounding plants. This vine thrives in partial shade to full sun and spreads out to 6 feet.

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Veronica

Veronica

Veronica spp. • Zones 3 to 9

This easy-to-grow favorite boasts beautiful white, purple, pink or blue spikes and has a long bloom time. It reaches 1 to 2 feet high and thrives in well-drained soil and full sun.

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Yarrow

Yarrow

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’s a prime candidate.