HomeBest and Top of Gardening45 Best Drought Tolerant Plants that Grow In Lack of Water

45 Best Drought Tolerant Plants that Grow In Lack of Water

All plants need water to survive, but some can also do well without frequent irrigation! Here are some of the Best Drought Tolerant Plants!

Planting drought-tolerant plants is an excellent idea if you live in an area with unfavorable weather and water scarcity. They become less thirsty, stay resilient, and can survive in dry soil. If you like the idea, here are some of the Best Drought Tolerant Plants you can easily grow!


Best Drought Tolerant Plants

1. Agave

Best Drought Tolerant Plants

Botanical Name: Agave

USDA Zones: 5-11

Agaves store water in their thick foliage, and this makes them live without it for long. Landscapers often grow them due to the low maintenance nature and unusual shape of their foliage too!

Here are some of the best agave varieties you can grow

2. Lithops

Botanical Name: Lithops

USDA Zones: 9-12

Lithops are unique, stone-like succulent plants with a low-watering requirement. This attribute makes them one of the best plants to grow in small succulent displays.

Check out our article on growing lithops here

3. Sedum

Best Drought Tolerant Plants! 2

Botanical Name: Sedum

USDA Zones: 7-11

Known for its resistance to drought and low maintenance nature, whole sedum genus plants grow in all soil types and prefer plenty of light.

Here are some of the best sedum varieties you can grow

4. Desert Rose

Botanical Name: Adenium obesum

USDA Zones: 9-12

Also known as “Desert Rose,” Adenium is a tropical succulent that requires occasional watering. It does well in full sun and can also be grown as a houseplant in colder climates.

Check out our article on desert rose care here

5. Jade Plant

Furiarossa/Shutterstock

Botanical Name: Crassula ovata

USDA Zones: 9-12

Featuring fleshy paddle-shaped leaves, jade is a popular succulent. It is also believed to bring good luck to the owner.

Check out some amazing jade plant benefits here

6. Cacti and Succulents

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USDA Zones: 6-12

Cacti come in many shapes and sizes and do remarkably well in low water. These are perfect plants for desert conditions, and you can also grow them in pots.

Here are some of the best cacti you can grow

7. Bougainvillea

HelloRF Zcool/Shutterstock

Botanical Name: Bougainvillea

USDA Zones: 9-11

Bougainvillea is a champion in tolerating drought phases. It’s one of the toughest shrubs that thrive on neglect in extreme and intense conditions.

Check out our article on the best Bougainvillea care tips here

8. Moss Rose

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Botanical Name: Portulaca grandiflora

USDA Zones: 3-11

Moss rose is a drought-tolerant flowering plant that thrives in dry, poor soil. Due to its thick succulent leaves, it can survive for a long time without water. It can’t tolerate frost, and you can only grow it as an annual unless you live in warm climates.

9. Blanket Flower

Botanical Name: Gaillardia

USDA Zones: 3-10

The blanket flower has no special needs. Anyone without a green thumb can make it bloom prolifically. All it really wants is a sunny spot and occasional watering spells.

10. Verbena

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Botanical Name: Verbena officinalis

USDA Zones: 9-11

Verbena is an excellent ground cover that spreads rapidly and thrives in high heat and infrequent little water. It does well in full sun and well-drained soil.

11. Lantana

Botanical Name: Lantana camara

USDA Zones: 9-11

Lantana is a tropical plant grown for its fragrant, colorful flowers. The plant loves heat and drought and is known for its less demanding nature. Because it’s invasive, it’s better to grow it in pots.

Here’s all you need to know about growing lantana

12. Wallflower

Botanical Name: Erysimum

USDA Zones: 6-9

Known for their beautiful colors and sweet fragrance, wallflowers are short-lived perennials and require occasional watering. Flowers appear in spring and summer in clusters.

13. Oleander

Botanical Name: Nerium oleander

USDA Zones: 5-9

Oleander is a tropical shrub that blooms prolifically. It produces beautiful fragrant flowers of different colors, like yellow, pink, red, white, and purple. All parts of it are toxic!

14. Rock Soapwort

Botanical Name: Saponaria ocymoides

USDA Zones: 3-8

Grow this plant if you’re searching for the one that thrives on neglect, requires no fertilizers, and performs well in poor soil and drought-like conditions.

15. Sage

Botanical Name: Salvia officinalis

USDA Zones: 5-10

This drought-resistant herb is famous for its aromatic flavor. Sage has low watering requirements, and overwatering can kill the plant quickly.

Check out our article on growing sage here

16. Poppy

Botanical Name: Papaver

USDA Zones: 3-8

Thanks to the vibrant colors, poppies are the biggest attraction anywhere when in bloom. To grow poppies, all you need is sufficient exposure to the sun and low to moderate watering.

Here’s all the information you need on growing poppies

17. Lavender Cotton

Botanical Name: Santolina chamaecyparissus

USDA Zones: 6-9

This mound-forming shrub has gray-green foliage and pretty button-like flowers that appear in summer. It does well in low water and thrives in full sun.

18. Lavender

Botanical Name: Lavandula

USDA Zones: 5-9

This unmistakable flowering herb is easy to grow and is quite drought-tolerant. You can also plant it in the pot to enjoy its refreshing fragrance!

Check out our article on growing lavender here

19. Rock Daisy

Botanical Name: Perityle

USDA Zones: 5-11

It is most suitable for rock gardens. These flowering plants thrive well in neglect and lack of water.

20. Globe Thistle

legalhelpl

Botanical Name: Echinops

USDA Zones: 3-9

Once established, globe thistles tolerate drought and are probably one of the easiest perennials you can have in your garden.

21. Rose Campion

Botanical Name: Silene coronaria

USDA Zones: 3-8

Rose Campion is admired for its silvery-green foliage. The plant requires only supplemental watering during prolonged dry periods.

22. Red Valerian

Botanical Name: Centranthus ruber

USDA Zones: 5-8

This drought-tolerant plant has fragrant round clusters of flowers that appear from late spring and complements its fleshy blue-green foliage.

Want to grow Valerian? Click here

23. Crown of Thorns

Botanical Name: Euphorbia milii

USDA Zones: 5-11

Euphorbia milii tolerate the scarcity of water easily and don’t require special attention. It flowers almost year-round in a location that remains dry, warm, and frost-free.

24. Russian Sage

provenwinners

Botanical Name: Perovskia atriplicifolia

USDA Zones: 5-9

This tough and drought-resistant shrub is truly an admirable plant, thanks to its silvery foliage and beautiful plumes of lavender color flowers.

25. Yarrow

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Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium

USDA Zones: 3-9

Yarrows are low-maintenance plants with decorative foliage. They’re suitable for borders, wildflower meadows, and rock gardens.

26. Pineleaf Penstemon

highcountrygardens

Botanical Name: Pineleaf Penstemon

USDA Zones: 4-9

Pineleaf Penstemon is a herbaceous perennial and low-maintenance plant. It blooms wonderful scarlet-red flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies alike.

27. Giant Hyssops

Best Drought Tolerant Plants 15

Botanical Name: Agastache

USDA Zones: 4-10

Boasting pink, blue, white, or orange flowers, Agastache is a drought-loving plant. It attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators!

28. Beardtongue

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Botanical Name: Penstemon

USDA Zones: 3-9

Beardtongue features clusters of tube-shaped flowers on rigid stems. These plants become drought-tolerant after maturity and require watering every couple of weeks.

29. Coneflower

living4media

Botanical Name: Echinacea

USDA Zones: 5-10

Coneflowers are quite drought-tolerant, but they need little maintenance from time to time. You can grow them in any soil type with good drainage.

30. Calfornia Poppy

Botanical Name: Eschscholzia californica

USDA Zones: 7-11

Calfornia Poppy is a fast-growing, drought-tolerant annual that thrives well in full sun and can also handle partial shade. Grow this plant in well-draining, sandy-loamy soil.

31. Purple Fountain Grass

living4media

Botanical Name: Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’

USDA Zones: 9-11

This is a famous ornamental, clump-forming grass with purple-red narrow leaves. This drought-tolerant specimen can manage for some days without water.

See the names of the best ornamental red grasses here

32. Kangaroo Paw

Botanical Name: Anigozanthos spp.

USDA Zones: 9-12

Native to Australia, it grows in dry, sandy regions and can withstand long dry spells due to the sap conserved in the roots.

33. New Zealand Tea Tree

living4media

Botanical Name: Leptospermum scoparium

USDA Zones: 8-10

Also popular as Manuka. This evergreen shrub has fragrant, prickly, small foliage and ornamental pink, white, or red blooms. Once established, they are drought resistant.

34. Twinberry Honeysuckle

laspilitas

Botanical Name: Lonicera involucrata

USDA Zones: 4-8

This deciduous shrub flowers in orange-red blooms have trichomes (tiny hairs) that catch water and hold onto it, making the plant drought-tolerant.

35. Pride of Madeira

Botanical Name: Echium candicans

USDA Zones: 9-10

This evergreen plant, with stunning blue flowers, has a mounding growth habit. It grows naturally on rocky cliffs and tolerates dry soil very well.

36. Trumpet Vine

boethingtreeland

Botanical Name: Campsis radicans

USDA Zones: 4-11

This flowering vine is quite drought-tolerant and can be grown in a range of conditions. It grows fast with bright green leaves and ornamental red-orange flowers during summer.

37. Catmint

shutterstock/photowind

Botanical Name: Nepeta x faassenii

USDA Zones: Zones 3 to 8

Grow this drought-tolerant plant on borders, rock gardens, and in pots. It produces fragrant blooms that lure bees and butterflies.

38. Artemisia

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Botanical Name: Artemisia spp.

USDA Zones: 3-8

Artemisia is admired for pretty, slender, gray to silver foliage on tall arching stems, that grows up to 1-5 feet tall and wide. It’s a popular choice for drought-tolerant gardens.

39. Licorice Plant

plantmaster

Botanical Name: Helichrysum petiolare

USDA Zones: 9-11

This tropical perennial is loved by gardeners for its spreading growth pattern and fuzzy, silver leaves. It thrives well in partial shade to full sun.

Note: Keep in mind that it is not edible and not used for making licorice. Also, listed as an invasive plant where it is considered perennial.

40. Veronica

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Botanical Name: Veronica spp.

USDA Zones: 3-9

Also known as speedwell, this drought-resistant plant features purple, white, pink, or blue spikes. It grows up to 1-2 feet tall and grows best in well-draining soil and full sun.

41. Aloe 

Botanical Name: Aloe spp.

USDA Zones: 10-12

Aloe species can grow in drought-like conditions easily. The best ones for landscaping are Coral, Tiger, Soap, and Jewel Aloe. 

42. Artichoke

Botanical Name: Cynara cardunculus

USDA Zones: 7-11

The beautiful, drought-tolerant ornamental plant also bears edible artichokes from autumn to spring. It is also quite easy to maintain.

43. Palo Verde

Botanical Name: Parkinsonia spp.

USDA Zones: 8-10

Palo Verde is native to semi-deserts of Africa and America and is an excellent drought-tolerant plant. Pruneit to maintain the shape of a canopy whenever necessary.

44. Geraniums

Botanical Name: Pelargonium spp.

USDA Zones: 9-11

Most varieties of Geraniums are tolerant of drought and heat. Once you establish the plant, they thrive well for a long duration without water.

45. Wild Lilac

anniesannuals

Botanical Name: Ceanothus

USDA Zones: 8-11

Wild lilacs are colorful and fragrant shrubs that are evergreen and tolerant of drought. You can grow them in the landscape as hedges, ground covers, borders, and more.

Watch a great video that we have made here

39 COMMENTS

  1. Many of these are tropicals and will not grow well in zone 7 or lower. They cannot survive winter. Lantana is great, but doesn’t smell very nice.

    • Lantana, although an introduced species actually provides a safe home or hideaway from birds for our smaller native rodents and marsupials. It was first introduced by a wealthy English family at Daisy Hill in QLD. I learnt about it on a year 12 biology/ecology field trip to the nature reserve there.

    • Lantana is NOT poisonous. That is a myth perpetuated by a few folks. I have done a lot of research and the general consensus is that the plant is not poisonous. I have grown it for over 20 years and have never had a problem with it.

  2. Helpful, but not exactly what I’m looking for…I need to find plants that are good for Part shade/Part sun, and don’t need much watering, but most importantly, child friendly and pretty.

  3. Hi I have a caravan on solway firth, and have a few ceramic pots, which I would to put plants in but I am only there every 3 weeks. Is there any plants that would be suitable. In the winter I put pansies in and they were great. Thank you

  4. There are a lot of plants who don’t require much water to survive like Succulents and you have mentioned some of them; Succulents come in lots of varieties (like slender cacti, spiky sedum, smooth Echeverri, or flowering Kalanchoe), but typically enjoy sunlight and dry air. Their thick leaves store water, so they typically only require weekly watering.

  5. I have 2 large terracotta pots at my front door, I have one with impatiens in it. what other flowers can I plant in them, I know impatiens dont like sun so both pots are in shady areas, no sun at all so I kind of want something that will grow needing no sun but not too big wither.

  6. Wild lilac species are fragrant and colorful shrubs. They re evergreen and drought tolerant, and they can be used in the landscape as screens, hedges, ground covers, borders, and more. While most wild lilac species are native to California, some grow in the eastern U.S., the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, and Mexico. Some grow upright; some are compact and bushy; and some are low-growing and spreading.

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