Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Phil
If you live in hot, dry climates or are just very busy that you don’t have a lot of time to keep watering your garden, here are the best drought resistant plants that won’t die on you.
Water is an essential part of keeping plants healthy. And, while too much water is often the culprit of dying or deteriorating plants, lack of water can likewise lead to the same result. It just takes a lot longer to get there.
Choosing drought tolerant plants afford you the luxury of water less frequently. And, in case you forget to do so, they plants will be forgiving enough.
Here are some of the best drought resistant plants that are beautiful as well.
Drought Resistant Plants for Your Garden
Aloe Vera is the most popular among the many different Aloe varieties. This is in large part because it is often used in commercial products. But, it is worth noting that there are many different aloe plants around.
That said, one of their distinctive features is that they are drought tolerant.
Like other succulents, they store water in their thick spiny leaves allowing them to go through periods of no water. This makes them perfect if you’re very busy or don’t have a lot of time for houseplant maintenance.
And, because of this, it is important to keep them in well-draining potting mix so as not to “drown” hem with too much water. Letting them sit in water will quickly destroy them.
Geranium produce amazing blooms of various colors. And, there are many varieties you can choose from depending on where you live.
Do note that some are hardier than others. So, if you live somewhere with cooler temperatures do go with those.
In general, geraniums are drought resistant plants. But, they do need a bit of balance as well.
That’s because if you leave them without water for too long, they’ll start to wilt and drop leaves.
Interestingly, if you want more profuse blooms, it is a good idea to let the soil dry out about 1 to 2 days then water lightly after that. This technique encourages it to produce more flowers come blooming season.
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Artichokes are among the oddest looking vegetables around. While they’re not as popular as many other veggies, if you enjoy they, you’ll be happy to know you can grow them in your garden as well.
These hardy perennials are well suited to USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 11. And, they grow best under full sun and loose, fertile, well-draining soil.
Lavender are best known for their scents which are used for essential oils and other fragrances. These plants are dries after harvesting to produce that effect.
But, you can likewise enjoy their beauty.
Lavender are compact shrubs that grow upright. They produce flower spikes instead of the big blooms that roses and peonies do.
And, one of their most distinctive features is their purple color.
These herbaceous perennials grow up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. They enjoy full sun and well-draining soil. And given the right conditions, you’ll see them bloom during the summers.
I like to think of coneflowers as inverted sunflowers. That’s because their petals look like they’ve been placed in the back instead of covering the front.
But, that’s also what makes them very pretty.
One big advantage of coneflowers over sunflowers is they come in a wide variety of colors. Thus, you can choose the one that blends in the best with your garden.
It is also worth noting that coneflowers are hardy and drought resistant plants. You’ll be able to find them in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 through 9. And, you don’t have to worry if you forget to water them.
That said, it is important to water them daily during the first few months of planting. After that, you can gradually move towards an inch of water a week. But, after year 2, they’ll only need watering during droughts.
Sweet Potato Vine
These aren’t exactly the plants that your grow to get sweet potatoes. But, they belong to the same family. Instead, these are more ornamental.
As such, they’re more for show rather than picking, cooking or eating. That said, some people do eat the plant’s beautiful leaves (which are edible)
Sweet potato vines are known as spillers. As such, this drought resistant plant is best placed in containers or spaces where you can allow its fast growing foliage to overflow outwards.
Like many drought tolerant plants, sweet potato vines grow more vigorously when regularly watered. The key is keeping the soil moist but not soggy or wet, which will cause it to wilt.
Juniper are known as evergreen shrubs that grow a thick, dense foliage. This makes them amazing for hedges, bushes or borders.
But, what makes them distinct is that their foliage look like needles, somewhat akin to those of pine trees.
That said, they are much smaller growing to about 3 feet high and 3 feet wide.
They enjoy sandy soil which is quick draining. This is in contrast to many plants which prefer loamy soil that retains water better.
If you happen to be looking for perennials with dual colors, check out the beardtongue flower.
This is a lovely plant that comes from the same family (Plantaginaceae) as foxgloves and snapdragons. As such, you’ll see some resemblance.
It is available in an assortment of colors including pink, orange, yellow, blue, white and purple. They can likewise grow as tall as 8 feet high although this varies quite a bit.
Since they’re drought tolerant, you don’t want to overwater them. And, the easiest ways to avoid any accidents or mistakes is to plant them in well-draining soil.
The Palo Verde is a tree which traces its origins in semi-desert conditions. As such, it is a drought resistant plant. This makes it perfect if you’re looking to do so xeriscape landscaping.
In addition to its low water requirements, it native environment has also made it able to tolerate hot conditions.
That said, no water for prolonged periods does slow its growth. So, if you want to keep it from getting bigger than a shrub, that’s the way to go.
However, they do best with regular watering. This allows them to grow upright and look their best with dense foliage and flowers.
For something bright and different looking, check out the trumpet vines.
These are hummingbird magnets. They come in yellow and red colors with orange being the most well-known. These warm, bright hues are perfect if you want to grow summer colors.
But, as pretty as they are, you may want to be a bit cautious with these aggressive climbers. That’s because they’re prolific self-seeders.
Thus, you may find them growing about and around where they’re grown as their underground runners spread. After a while, they can invade the space of nearby plants and choke those out.
Salvia is better known as Sage. But, do note that this is not the sage herb that’s used for cooking. Instead, these are beautiful, fragrant flowers that bees and butterflies can’t help get attracted to.
Like the others in this list of drought tolerant plants, salvia does not like to be overwatered. All they need is about an inch of water per week. So, if there’s enough rain, you don’t need to water them.
Often grown as garden borders, they can bloom between summer to fall. And, they’re available in many colors including white, pink, red and yellow. The most popular being the blue and purple ones.