The Best Drought-Tolerant Plants To Keep Your Garden From Going Naked

Tuesday Apr 04th, 2017


Drought got your garden feeling lonely? You don't have to go naked this summer. Xeriscaping with drought-tolerant plants can bring in color and texture without sucking down that precious water.

Xeriscaping has been practiced in the southwest for years, but with several states now facing drought conditions and mandatory water restrictions—in addition to a growing desire to conserve natural resources—the practice has grown.

If you're looking for ways to pack some drought-friendly punch into your garden this year, here are a few places to start.


"This easy-care, drought-tolerant annual is a sure source of perky color," said Birds and Blooms. "Portulaca grows in low clusters, bloom in a rainbow of hues and thrive in the hot, sunny spots where other flowers might wither."

Blanket Flower

Better Homes and Gardens calls blanket flower "a tough prairie plant" and also "flamboyant," which is great for someone who likes lots of color. Better yet, this perennial "blooms all summer and into fall."

Prescott Valley Growers


This favorite scent is also a hearty plant that can add color and fragrance to your garden with minimal upkeep.

California Poppy

Plant it in full sun even in soil that's not the best quality, and watch this sunshiny flower grow.


Licorice Plant

If you're a fan of the way vines look trailing around fences are among other plants, this "fuzzy, silvery foliage (that) thrives in partial shade to full sun and spreads out to 6 feet," said Birds and Blooms, is a unique option.

Wilson Bros Nursery


Looking for something that requires little effort and can grow without perfect soil and with minimal water? Try coneflower. A bonus: It is also "often self-sowing," said Birds and Blooms.

Gardening Know How


This succulent brings in chartreuse leaves and "spreads freely, making it a fluffy groundcover or filler between other plants," said Sunset magazine.

Sarilia Country Estates


One of our favorite succulents is also one called out by Sunset. "Small, rounded burgundy leaves cover this low-growing, quick-spreading succulent from the Caucasus," they said. "Tiny reddish flowers bloom in summer."

Sunnyside Gardens

Succulents are a favorite choice today for those who are looking to be water wise while still creating a standout garden, said Monrovia. "Easy care and attractive, these succulents provide high style when potted in containers in urban settings and in rock gardens, paths and challenging dry spots in the garden."


"Not only does yarrow tolerate heat and drought like a champion, but this easy-growing perennial is also a great cut flower—and it comes in a number of varieties with blooms in shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, and white," said Better Homes and Gardens.

Yarrow is also a great choice in areas where wildlife is known to feast. "Deer, rabbits, and most other pests won't touch it."

Steve Bulatovic

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