Lavender, Rudbeckia, and EchinaceaLavender, Rudbeckia, and Echinacea

Low Water, Big Statement: Top Picks For Drought Tolerant Perennials

Whether you’re experiencing drought, or are looking for low-maintenance plants for your sunny landscape, drought-tolerant perennials are a great choice for anyone who wants to conserve water while enjoying a colorful garden. We're all trying to move toward a more sustainable approach to gardening, and drought-tolerant perennials are a big step in the right direction. Conserving water is a definite plus, no matter where you live.

While cacti and succulents first come to mind as low-water plants, drought-tolerant perennial varieties come in all shapes, sizes, and colors that can create a lush, water-wise landscape all season long. Like all plants, these resilient plants do need adequate water to establish root systems in the first year. Once established in your garden, they will thrive with little to no irrigation.

Plant drought-tolerant plants, and relax your watering schedule! Read on for our favorite low-water plants. 

LavenderLavender
Lavender thrives in dry, well-draining soil, and pollinators love it.

Lavender:

Who doesn’t love the intense scent of Lavender in the garden and dried for use indoors? The best thing about Lavender is that it’s also drought-tolerant, preferring dry, well-draining soil and full sun. This iconic plant is tough and dependable as long as there isn’t too much moisture in the garden, coming back each year and delighting with spiky blooms in the summer months. Bonus: Lavender is also deer resistant!

Learn more about How To Choose The Best Lavender For Your Garden.

Gaillardia:

Also known as Blanket Flower, has some of the longest-blooming flowers in the garden. This perennial will quickly become the backbone of your garden, offering up colorful blooms for months and coming back each year, multiplying. This hardy plant is extremely drought-tolerant and needs almost no maintenance, also attracting pollinators to the garden. 

White YarrowWhite Yarrow
Pollinators love the flat-topped flowers of Yarrow.

Yarrow:

Known for its multicolored, long-lasting blooms, Yarrow is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant perennial for full sun and fast-draining soil. The spectacular foliage is fern-like and deep green, offset by brightly colored blooms in the mid to late summer garden. Also known as Achillea, Yarrow is deer resistant and attracts an abundance of pollinators to the garden in the summer months. 

Thyme:

Thyme is an easy-to-grow groundcover that adds gorgeous color to the mid-season garden floor. All parts of the plant are fragrant, and they spread the scent wherever they're planted.  Its pinkish flowers and signature foliage, which is usually grey-green, make it highly decorative. Best of all, the plants require almost no care once they are established. Creeping Thyme is a favorite flowering groundcovers for low-water lawn alternatives, growing in full sun or partial shade.

Echinacea and Swallowtail butterflyEchinacea and Swallowtail butterfly
Echinacea is a tough and easy-to-grow native wildflower.

Echinacea:

Every gardener loves Echinacea! Also known as Purple Coneflower, or simple Coneflowers, this drought-tolerant perennial is native to the plains and the long-lasting blooms attract birds, butterflies, and bees to the garden. Echinacea will grow in almost any garden and makes for excellent cut flowers.

Coreopsis:

Also known as Tickseed, is an easy-to-grow native perennial that loves full sun - and is also deer resistant. Coreopsis is a powerhouse in the summer garden, offering up an abundance of blooms in a multitude of colors, flowering all season long.

'Autumn Joy' Sedum and butterfly'Autumn Joy' Sedum and butterfly
'Autumn Joy' Sedum s loved for its bright pink blooms that offer fall color - and nectar for pollinators.

Sedum:

Also known as Stonecrop, illuminates the late-season garden with spectacular color. Available in both tall and low-growing cultivars, these succulents have thick leaves that store moisture, which makes them the perfect candidate for full sun and low-moisture conditions. Sedum is perfect for low-maintenance landscapes, rock gardens, and dry soil. 'Autumn Joy' Sedum might be the most famous, its pink blooms bringing color to the fall garden. Whether you’re in California or Vermont, Sedum is a must-have in any perennial garden.

Penstemon:

Also known as Beardtongue, is a hardy, drought-tolerant perennial for low-maintenance gardens. This colorful plant grows best in sunny, dry areas, delighting the early-season garden with mounds of gorgeous foliage and tall flower spikes in the early summer. Penstemon attracts a bounty of pollinators, including Hummingbirds, and is native to the western United States and Mexico. 

'Goldsturm' Rudbeckia and monarch butterfly'Goldsturm' Rudbeckia and monarch butterfly
'Goldsturm' is loved for its bright color and remarkable ease in growing.

Black Eyed Susans:

Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) are long-lasting flowers that keep the garden going with brilliant color into the late season. The most famous is probably Rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' and you've likely seen it everywhere, every summer, blooming non-stop through the peak of summer heat. Black Eyed Susans return dependably with more and more blooms each year, and best of all, are among the easiest plants to grow.

Butterfly Bush:

Looking to attract butterflies to your drought-tolerant garden? Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) has become a sensation in gardens throughout the United States. This easy-to-grow perennial boasts picture-perfect blooms that emit a sweet fragrance that attracts a parade of pollinators all season long. 

Ready To Dig In? You'll Love These Drought-Tolerant Plants

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