High 21 Drought-Tolerant Perennials for Full Solar

Changing your backyard vegetation with drought-tolerant perennials is the sensible alternative for a low-maintenance backyard that conserves water. For any scorching scorching summers, this is usually a actual lifesaver to your backyard, vitality, and water invoice! Listed below are a number of of my favorite drought-tolerant perennial flowers.

drought tolerant perennials for the garden

The local weather is altering, and what we used to have the ability to depend on for backyard micro-climates is now all around the map.

By now, it’s possible you’ll know that I stay in Vancouver, BC. Vancouver is a rainforest, particularly a temperate rainforest, thought-about a part of the wet Pacific Northwest. It’s inexperienced and plush and mossy.

Properly, it was inexperienced and plush and mossy. Now we face drought situations in the summertime from too little rainfall and never sufficient snow over winter. Drought!

The forest fires that ensue from crispy plant materials are horrendous, they usually unfold like (I received’t say it, however you recognize!). All of the water now we have goes to preventing these fires, leaving us with watering restrictions for gardens.

As I pray for rain and water my vegetation with the little rainwater now we have, I can’t assist however suppose that it’s time to look into what vegetation can survive nicely and even thrive in drought situations.

There are some cool vegetation right here that received’t even make you suppose twice about these water-sucking perennials you used to have!

This submit will cowl…

High 21 Drought Tolerant Perennials


Symphyotrichum spp.

Zones 3-8

Most of the different drought-tolerant perennial flowers on this listing will bloom in the summertime, however the aster is a late-season flower that blooms from August to October. So in the event you stay in an space with a scorching autumn, you may nonetheless take pleasure in some color.

My favorite is the New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae). It might are available pink, purple, or white. Asters want an honest quantity of room, spreading 1-4 ft. vast. Each few years, they have to be divided so the middle doesn’t grow to be naked.

asters are drought tolerant perennials

Blue Fescue Grass

Festuca glauca

Zones 4-8

So as to add some totally different texture to your backyard, I extremely suggest grasses. A lot of them are fairly drought-tolerant. Blue fescue grass is a well-liked possibility due to its vibrant blue-grey foliage.

You should utilize fescue frass to preserve soil moisture for neighbouring vegetation and forestall weed progress. It loves full daylight, and when it’s fairly scorching, the plant will cease rising till it rains. Mature vegetation, nevertheless, are particularly drought-tolerant and received’t miss a beat.


Echinacea purpurea

Zones 3-8

Purple echinacea is certainly one of my favorite drought-tolerant perennial flowers. Each backyard I’ve had options them from summer season to fall, as they’ve lengthy bloom occasions. They’ll bloom even after the primary frost.

Of their first 12 months, they might want some safety for colder climates. However after that, they’re among the many hardiest perennials you could find on the market.

Whereas pretty maintenance-free, you’ll wish to routinely deadhead them to maintain them blooming all season lengthy.

Echinacea is superb for the chilly and flu season, serving to to spice up your immune system. Go to this submit to be taught you may make a tincture utilizing echinacea root, leaves, and flowers.

Echinacea is a drought tolerant perennial


Hemerocallis spp.

Zones 3-10

You’ll discover daylilies in lots of entrance yards and decorative beds. They’re a wonderful area filler that works nicely for edges. Essentially the most well-known sort of daylily might be the yellow Stella d’Oro, however many extra are available reds, oranges, and even purples and pinks.

Daylilies bloom from spring by to late summer season. The easiest way to supply one is by inheriting a daylily clump from one other gardener. Daylilies reply nicely to being divided and sometimes want splitting each few years.

Daylilies are additionally on my listing of edible flowers.

yellow daylilies are drought tolerant perennials

False Indigo

Baptisia australis

Zones 3-9

False indigo is a member of the pea household, Fabaceae, and creates tall, stunning spikes of pea-like flowers. The flowers bloom from April to June atop grey-green leaves.

After the blooms fade, they’re changed by black seed pods. They add some good backyard curiosity throughout winter in the event you go away them on the plant.

In case you plant false indigo from seed, you’ll have to attend 3-4 years earlier than the plant reaches its most top. In case you’re not feeling affected person, then you may plant one from the backyard centre, and it must be full-sized inside a 12 months.


Tanacetum parthenium

Zones 5-9

Not solely is feverfew a terrific drought-tolerant perennial, however it’s additionally a highly effective medicinal herb. It’s well-known for serving to to forestall migraines and complications and has anti-inflammatory properties.

I don’t have to fret about planting feverfew as a result of it’s wild and can pop up with none enter from me. However if you wish to develop it in your backyard, it’s straightforward to seize some seeds after which let the plant take over from there.

Feverfew self-seeds, so if you wish to management the unfold, make certain to deadhead and solely go away a number of heads to self-seed and return the next 12 months.

Firecracker Penstemon

Penstemon eatonii

Zones 3-8

Firecracker purple is true with this drought-tolerant perennial! On one of many 2-3 ft tall stems, firecracker penstemon can type 5-10 tubular, vibrant purple flowers. It might bloom from late spring to late summer season.

It grows nicely in dry, rocky areas and solely requires partial shade, making it a really low-maintenance plant. It seems nice in prairie plantings, rock gardens, and cottage gardens.

French Mallow

Malva sylvestris

Zones 4-8

Each cottage backyard wants French mallow as certainly one of its drought-tolerant perennials. It grows as a perennial within the Mediterranean and as a biennial elsewhere however will self-seed for a few years of enjoyment. You might also acknowledge the plant by its different frequent identify, cheeses mallow.

The flowers are a deep purple with noticeable vibrant veining. Bees love the flowers for his or her pollen.

French Mallow is simple to develop from seed. The plant can develop as much as 5 ft excessive and has lengthy, furry stems.

purple mallow flowers


Solidago spp.

Zones 2-8

Native to North America, you’ve in all probability seen goldenrod rising amongst meadows and bush or alongside highways in ditches. Whereas as soon as thought-about a weed, many individuals now recognize this wildflower’s magnificence and sturdiness.

The plant will develop nice by itself, not needing any supplemental fertilizer and little or no water, besides when younger and never but established. Because it will get taller, it might want staking or assist to forestall it from flopping over.

goldenrod and asters in bloom together
Goldenrod and asters.

Hens and Chicks

Sempervivum tectorum

Zones 3-11

Hens and chicks get its cute identify comes from the principle rosette appearing because the hen with the small rosettes rising from it often known as the chicks. It’s some of the widespread succulents, partly as a result of it’s so low upkeep and can survive chilly winters.

As a kind of succulent, it likes dry and heat climates and desires subsequent to no supplemental watering. It can develop in sandy and rocky soil, doing nicely in rock gardens and in between landscaping stone.

Lamb’s Ear

Stachys byzantine

Zones 4-9

Relating to foliage, there’s nothing fairly like lamb’s ear. It has thick, silvery foliage that feels as comfortable as a teddy bear. Within the backyard, it will probably grow to be a gorgeous floor cowl because it spreads quick.

Place them in areas the place the soil is poor, and different vegetation wrestle. When in wealthy soil, it will probably unfold quick.

It doesn’t like plenty of moist soil. Add a layer of mulch to forestall the leaves from getting moist and soggy.

Lamb's ear and strawflower growing side by side
Lamb’s ear and strawflower rising subsequent to 1 one other.


Lavandula spp.

Zones 5-9

Lavender will all the time be certainly one of my most close to and expensive vegetation. It’s a kind of powerhouse vegetation, being stunning, edible, medicinal, nice for pollinators, and a drought-tolerant, full solar perennial.

Native to the Mediterranean, it likes scorching and dry situations in the summertime and funky winters. It responds nicely to pruning, so shear off the spent blooms after the primary spherical of flowers, and it’s possible you’ll get a second spherical of lavender.

The 2 hottest kinds of lavender are English (Lavandula angustifolia) and Spanish (Lavandula stoechas). Each are nice choices for a drought-tolerant backyard.

lavender is a drought tolerant perennial

Lavender Hyssop

Agastache foeniculum

Zones 3-8

This drought-tolerant perennial is native to prairies and dry forested areas. Yow will discover lavender hyssop within the Midwestern USA and From Ontario to BC. They’re a pollinator favorite, blooming from late summer season to early fall.

Some additionally acknowledge this plant by its different identify, anise hyssop, as a result of it has a slight anise odor. It’s a member of the mint household.

Lavender hyssop can develop as much as 5 ft. tall and three ft. wide, so that they work nicely planted at the back of a mattress. It can get lanky if planted in partial shade, so give it full solar.


Liatris spicata

Zones 3-9

Whereas liatris is a member of the daisy household, it doesn’t have the signature petals like others within the household. It grows in tall spikes embellished with star-like flowers that type a fuzzy-looking head. They’re a gorgeous purple color and a welcome sight for butterflies.

Most liatris is grown from corms or by buying begins from the backyard centre. This fashion, they’ll flower of their first 12 months.

Liatris are native to the prairies and are among the finest summer-flowering bulbs for chilly areas. Plant the corms in early spring for purple flowers from mid-late summer season.

purple liatris with a butterfly visiting
Liatris is likely one of the hardier summer season bulbs on the market. Photograph courtesy of Flowerbulbs.com


Lupinus x hybrida

Zones 4-8

One other member of the pea household, the lupine is a gorgeous wildflower that has spectacular giant spikes of pea-like blooms. They’re most frequently present in purple but additionally are available blue, white, and yellow.

You should buy lupine as each a perennial and an annual, so make sure you’re getting the correct one! Nonetheless, the plant will produce many seed pods (that are poisonous).

It must be famous that some areas take into account lupine an invasive species, which is poisonous to people and animals. So plant with care.

purple lupine flower


Salvia Rosmarinus

Zone 7-10

Rosemary is a staple for a lot of cooks, however it’s additionally a gorgeous decorative shrub—that smells completely divine! It might develop to be 4×4 ft., so be sure to plant it someplace with sufficient room.

You may develop rosemary from seed previous to the final frost, or begin a plant as a chopping from another person’s rosemary. They’re pretty cheap to get as a begin from the backyard centre as nicely.

There are many alternative rosemary cultivars; some are extra cold-hardy than others. Search for one that’s finest suited to your space.

rosemary is a drought tolerant perennial


Rudbeckia hirta

Zones 3-9

You might acknowledge rudbeckia by its extra frequent identify, black-eyed Susan. It’s straightforward to see the place it will get its identify, with its nice brown middle contrasting in opposition to the yellow, daisy-like petals. Rudbeckia has became a backyard staple, due to their vibrant look and low-maintenance wants.

Rudbeckia is a short-lived perennial, that means it can stay about 3-5 years earlier than declining. The plant will self-seed, nevertheless, which may imply loads of pure blooms.

Assist your rudbeckia get established with supplemental watering of their first 12 months. After that, they’re fairly hardy to drought situations.


Sedum spp.

Zones 3-10

Sedum is a gorgeous groundcover succulent that’s naturally drought tolerant. They’ve thick, fleshy leaves and produce clusters of small flowers. The leaves are available numerous shades, in addition to the flowers.

Nearly each continent has sedum, that means you may seemingly discover a native species so as to add to your full solar backyard. They work nicely in mass plantings, in containers, groundcover, and for borders.

Sedum are self-reliant so long as they’re planted in well-draining soil and get full solar. You don’t want to fret about deadheading the spent flowers.

drought-tolerant perennials
Sedum ‘Autumn Pleasure’


Thymus vulgaris

Zones 4-11

Thyme is the overall identify for 300-400 species, however it’s a beloved herb for its culinary and medicinal makes use of. It’s native to Europe and Asia, so it will probably develop in numerous temperate climates.

Beginning thyme from seed is troublesome and time-consuming, so I recommend shopping for thyme as a begin or taking cuttings from a buddy.

You’ll solely must water established thyme vegetation when the soil is totally dry, although it will probably undergo intervals of drought simply nice. Divide the vegetation each 3-4 years to forestall the stems from getting too woody and tasteless.


Coreopsis spp.

Zones 2-11

If you wish to fill a mattress with vibrant sunshine-like flowers, tickseed is the right plant for you! This drought-tolerant, full solar perennial is native to North America and is tremendous low upkeep.

There are fairly a number of styles of tickseed. Some will get tall and unfold fairly a bit, so plan accordingly.

They’re pretty maintenance-free, however if you wish to encourage extra blooms, deadheading is advisable. Plant them in full solar. They aren’t too specific about their soil wants.

coreopsis drought tolerant perennials


Achillea millefolium

Zones 3-9

Wild yarrow is historically white and used for medicinal functions, however you could find yarrow in nearly any color from the backyard centre. They reply nicely to division, so when you’ve got a plant with plenty of stalks, strive separating them earlier than planting them for much more vegetation.

You can even develop yarrow from seed simply. Begin them indoors earlier than the final frost, or direct sow them exterior afterwards. They’re not choosy about the place to develop, typically sprouting from poor soil. In reality, they are often aggressive spreaders, so maintain that in thoughts in the event you don’t need the wild look.

orange and red yarrow

Continuously Requested Questions on Drought-Tolerant Perennials

What plant requires the least quantity of water?

In case you’re seeking to preserve water and need a drought-tolerant plant, search for native vegetation to your space in addition to perennials. Perennials have extra intensive root programs and are extra established, reaching water additional down within the soil than annuals. Native vegetation are used to the situations in your space, rising within the wild with none supplemental watering.

Which vegetation can face up to essentially the most warmth?

Search for any vegetation which might be native to scorching, dry climates. Succulents are sometimes a terrific alternative for surviving on little or no water in full solar climates. Mediterranean vegetation, in addition to prairie vegetation, are additionally used to dry, scorching situations.

Extra Perennials to Develop

Pin image for twenty one drought-tolerant perennials.

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