Homeowners who live in places that are undergoing a drought or in places that never get lots of rain shouldn’t be denied the beauty of a garden. Following is a list of three drought tolerant plants commonly cultivated in the United States.

echinacea flowers

What are Drought Tolerant Plants?

When buying a plant or a seed, you also get a list of instructions on when to wet it and where to keep it. These usually apply to areas where the weather is balanced, with no excesses on either cold or warm. But if you live near a desert or in the area where the sun rays are powerful, then maybe some of these plants are not for you.

The drought tolerant plants, however, enjoy the excessive warm weather, with lots of sun light and a tiny amount of rain. These plants have cells which protect them from dangers related to heat and which have an amazing beauty.


This flower is also called echinacea. It is a perennial that grows to two to four feet high and is a staple of a wildflower garden. It produces long-lasting, daisy-like flowers throughout the summer.

Also, it does well in hardiness zones 3 to 9. In the fall, there is the habit of collecting seed cones pretty often and using them in flower arrangements.

Penstemon, or Beardtongue

These drought tolerant plants produce tube-shaped flowers on stems that can grow from 18 to 36 inches tall. There are also prostrate varieties that can do well in the crevices of dry walls and rock gardens. Beardtongue is actually a type of annual. But it self-seeds so abundantly that it returns year after year and is considered a perennial.

The colors of the flowers are red, pink, lavender or white and are especially beautiful in arrangements. Beardtongue blooms reliably from spring to fall and thrives in zones 3 to 9.


These beloved, easy-to-grow, drought tolerant plants come in every shade but blue and pure white. They can be successfully grown from hardiness zones 3 to 10. These plants are members of the Hemerocallis family and are not true lilies, though their trumpet shaped petals resemble them.

They can be dainty or very large and showy, with double or triple petals and ruffled edges. Some are fragrant. As the name implies, the flowers last for only a day. But the buds on each stem bloom at different times throughout the summer and fall.

Main Varieties of Drought Tolerant Plants


  • E. pallida is a variety with white or rose-purple flowers that can be up to 3 1/2 inches across.
  • E. purpurea is about the same height.
  • The flowers of some varieties range from white to pinkish-purple. One cultivar called Bright Star has rose-pink flowers with deep red centers.
  • Meanwhile, White Lustre produces an abundance of white flowers. Its cones are an interesting bronze color.

Beardtongue: There are several species and cultivars of beardtongue.

  • One is P. barbatus, whose Alba variety has white flowers, and whose Bashful and Elfin Pink varieties are pink.
  • P. digitalis has white flowers with purple throats that appear from spring to the middle of summer.
  • Gloxinia penstemon has large red flowers but is a true perennial in the warmer areas of its range.
  • Midnight and Sour Grapes have purple or blue flowers, as does P. heterophyllus.

Daylilies: There are hundreds of varieties of daylilies.

  • Among the most popular are Hemerocallis Artist’s Dream. It is a bicolor hybrid with red and yellow ruffled blossoms with yellow-green throats.
  • One type of daylily, H. fulva, is so common that it grows wild along roadsides. It is known for its bright orange blooms.
  • Other types are H. lilio-asphodelus, the lemon daylily, Stella De Oro, Golden Chimes and Little Cherub, which are all different shades of yellow.
  • Pink or purple varieties are Peach Fairy and Joyful Occasion.

How to Grow Drought Tolerant Plants in Your Garden

Coneflowers are not only drought tolerant plants, but they resist heat and wind. The stems are very sturdy and do not bend in a high wind. Also, they do not need staking. Coneflowers like well-drained soil and tolerate full sun to light shade. Some gardeners find that the colors of the flowers are more intense when the plant is grown in light shade.

Beardtongue likes well-drained loam and grows well in full sun to light shade. The lower varieties should be spaced about a foot apart while the taller varieties should be planted about to feet apart. These plants are so drought tolerant that they are favorites in xeric gardens. This is as long as the soil has the right amount of nutrients. They can be grown from seeds or cuttings taken in the middle of summer or by division done in spring.

drought tolerant plants

Daylilies should be planted in groups for maximum effect and because their grasslike leaves spread out and suppress weeds. They should be planted in the spring or fall, with miniature varieties planted about two feet apart and tall varieties about three feet apart. These plants  should be fed sparingly. Too much fertilizer will result in more leaves than flowers. They like full sun to partial shade.

Wrapping It Up

Drought tolerant plants don’t all have to be grasses, succulents or cacti, though these also have a place in a garden! They can have flowers as gorgeous and long-lasting as the thirstiest rose bush.

The images are from depositphotos.com.

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