20 Drought Tolerant Plants That Can Handle Dry Weather

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Don't let a dry climate stop your gardening dreams. From stunning succulents to tough perennials, these plants add beauty and variety to your landscape, even during droughts or water shortages.

Here are 20 vibrant, drought tolerant plants that do great with minimal watering. They thrive with little irrigation, making them perfect for arid regions.

1. Aloe

Aloe vera is a drought-tolerant succulent. This means it stores water in its thick, fleshy leaves which allows it to survive in dry conditions for extended periods.

Even in hot, dry climates, aloe vera only needs to be watered occasionally. However, for optimal growth, occasional deep watering during the growing season is recommended.

2. Asters

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The Asteraceae family of daisy plants includes blooming plants like asters. Since many aster species can withstand drought, they are a great option for xeriscaping, a kind of landscaping that reduces the need for watering.

These perennials bloom in late summer and early fall and come in a range of hues, including purples, blues, pinks, and whites.

3. Bearded Iris

Bearded Iris boasts stunning blooms and surprising resilience. This drought-tolerant beauty brings elegance to gardens with its sword-like leaves and vibrantly colored, ruffled flowers.

Thriving in a wide range of climates (zones 3-9), it requires minimal watering once established, thanks to its deep root system that tackles dry periods with ease.

4. Bee Balm

Bee Balm (Monarda) is a colorful and hardy perennial that thrives in dry conditions and boasts showy flowers in red, pink, purple, and white.

It prefers well-drained soil and sunshine but can tolerate some shade. Bee Balm is a great choice for gardeners who want to add beauty and biodiversity to their landscape. It's easy to care for and survives in most climates (USDA zones 4-9).

5. Blanket Flower

The Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) is a low-maintenance perennial that thrives in hot, dry conditions. It produces a dazzling display of daisy-like blooms in fiery reds, oranges, and yellows all summer and fall.

Plus, it tolerates a wide range of climates, surviving in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 10. So add some pop and resilience to your garden with a Blanket Flower!

6. Catmint

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Catmint is a beautiful flowering plant that boasts fragrant gray-green leaves and clusters of lavender-blue blooms.

Growing in zones 3-8 with minimal watering, it's perfect for low-maintenance gardens. Its long-lasting flowers attract pollinators, and its spreading habit provides ground cover, making it a great choice for drought-prone areas.

7. Coreopsis

Bring happiness to your landscape with Coreopsis, a sun-loving perennial. These sturdy plants produce beautiful daisy-like flowers in yellow, pink, and red that bloom consistently from late spring to early autumn.

It grows well in well-drained soil and requires little water once established. These low-maintenance beauties are cultivated in USDA hardiness zones 4-9 and provide long-lasting color even in hot, dry areas.

8. Dianthus

The Dianthus is an easy-to-maintain beauty that grows in dry conditions because it finds moisture in its deep roots. Zones 3–9 are ideal for dianthus.

This perennial has slender blue-green leaves that contrast nicely with its gorgeous fringed pink, red, white, and lavender flowers. Due to its resilience and vibrant blooms, this plant is best suited for rock gardens, borders, and water-wise landscapes.

9. Hellebore

Hellebore is a aridness-resistant champion. Its beautiful, cup-shaped flowers in white, pink, purple, and green emerge above leathery, evergreen foliage.

These attractive plants thrive in partial shade and well-drained soil, making them a perfect choice for low-water landscapes. With their deep roots, they can withstand dry spells and bring year-round beauty to your garden!  They excel in USDA hardiness zones 4-9.

10. Honeysuckle

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The hardy and adaptive honeysuckle vine thrives in many different environments. It is drought-tolerant because of its deep roots, which draw moisture from the earth's interior.

It grows well in much of North America (USDA zones 4-9) and can withstand partially shady and sunny spots. Gardeners love this low-maintenance vine for its gorgeous blossoms and leaves, as well as its ability to tolerate dry spells.

11. Juniper

Juniper is an evergreen shrub known for its adaptability and drought tolerance. Junipers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from creeping ground covers to tall and upright shrubs.

Their needle-like foliage adds year-round greenery to your yard, and their deep roots help them thrive in dry conditions. Junipers are also tolerant of a wide range of climates, making them a great choice for many regions.

12. Lamb's Ear

Lamb's Ear (Stachys byzantina) is a perennial prized for its soft, velvety, silver-gray foliage that resembles a lamb's ear. This resilient plant excels in USDA hardiness zones 4-9, thriving in well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade.

This plant thrives in dry conditions thanks to its fuzzy leaves that hold onto water. This low-maintenance plant adds beauty and texture to your garden without needing constant watering.

13. Lantana

 This low-maintenance bloomer boasts clusters of colorful flowers in shades of red, orange, yellow, and more, all atop aromatic foliage.

Lantana thrives in USDA hardiness zones 8-11 thanks to its deep root system, which efficiently taps into water reserves in the soil. This means you can enjoy its long-lasting beauty with minimal watering, saving water, and keeping your gardening chores to a minimum.

14. Pink Muhly Grass

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This drought-resistant ornamental grass has feathery pink plumes that add drama to your landscape. Growing in zones 6-10, it's a tough plant that adapts well to dry, well-drained soils.

Once established, minimal watering is required, making it a low-maintenance choice. Pink Muhly Grass is both water-wise and visually stunning, bringing a pop of color and texture to any garden.

15. Red Emu Bush

The Red Emu Bush (Eremophila maculata) is a shrub best suited for desert environments. Its vivid red tubular blooms and leathery, grey-green leaves provide visual appeal, and its deep root structure helps it to survive in dry environments.

USDA zones 9 through 11 are ideal for this hardy plant, which once established needs little water. It is an excellent option for water-wise gardening because of its capacity to grow in poor soils.

16. Salvia

Salvia is a multipurpose perennial that can withstand droughts. It is perfect for water-wise gardening because of its deep-rooted structure, which makes it resilient to dry times.

Salvia prefers full sun and well-drained soil, and it grows well in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 10. Salvia draws pollinators such as butterflies and bees, which enhances the aesthetic appeal and ecological advantages of any garden setting.

17. Santolina

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Santolina is a shrub that grows well in dry, sunny environments despite dryness. It has vivid yellow button-like blooms and beautifully textured, silver-green leaves.

Hardy in USDA zones 6 through 9, this plant requires little water once established, which makes it perfect for xeriscaping.

18. Trumpet Vine

The sturdy, drought-tolerant trumpet vine, or Campsis radicans, is well-known for its vivid orange and red trumpet-shaped blossoms.

It is very hardy in dry situations because of its deep root system, which enables it to reach water from deep within the soil. This resilient vine, which grows well in USDA zones 4 through 9, may reach remarkable heights and cover fences.

19. Yarrow

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) thrives in dry conditions with its exceptional aridness tolerance. This perennial beauty boasts feathery foliage and clusters of vibrant blooms, adding a touch of elegance to any garden.

Yarrow flourishes in full sun and well-drained soil, adapting well to zones 3 through 9.  Its deep roots enable it to withstand dry periods, making it a perfect choice for water-wise gardens (xeriscaping).

20. Yucca

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Yucca is a visually arresting, drought-tolerant plant with spectacular, towering flower spikes and leaves that resemble swords. Yucca is adapted to dry circumstances and can survive without much watering.

It is perfect for xeriscaping since it likes full light and well-draining soil. Even in the warmest and driest regions, yucca thrives in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 10.

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