Top 10 Drought Resistant Plants


The trouble with gardening is that no one set of plants suits every yard. Each species has its requirements to survive and conditions to thrive.

However, the good news is that some plants will suit your climate and environment; you might just need to work harder at identifying them. Whether you prefer flowering perennials, succulents, or varieties of cactus, you can find what you’re looking for.

Most plants thrive in a sunny spot with plenty of moisture and drainage. However, there are exceptions, and if you live in an area that doesn’t often see rain and watering every day isn’t an option, then here are the top 10 drought resistant plants.

1. Allium

The irresistible purple flower heads of an allium should make them a welcome addition to your yard. Their striking appearance, as they stand atop tall stems, makes them hard to ignore, and they are great for attracting pollinators into your plot.

Also known as flowering onions, this perennial is long-lasting because of its links to more common onions and chives. It will bloom throughout the sunny season, adding color and interest.

Alliums are remarkably tolerant of drought if grown in the ground and shouldn’t need much water; in fact, too much water can cause the bulb to rot away. Pot-grown alliums will need more moisture to survive.


2. Big Bluestem

Big Bluestem is a native American grass that is tall and forms in striking tufts. The main root of Big Bluestem can reach depths of 10 feet, finding a seemingly impossible water supply.

It will add excellent variety to your yard, especially when planted alongside those of varying heights and textures, particularly those in shades of white. 

Big Bluestem sits within the family of Andropogon grasses. There are over 500 varieties, and most are drought-tolerant, so if big bluestem is not quite for you, ask your local nursery for similar alternatives.


3. Baptisia

Baptisia is an excellent addition to a drought-prone climate. It has long roots that can reach far below the surface in search of water and is also rather beautiful.

Baptisia grows in clumps that reach around 1 meter and have light green foliage, with most varieties displaying a blue flower, but some hybrids have white or pink blooms.

Baptisia particularly likes sandy or loamy soil with a neutral PH level. Baptisia will need watering soon after planting to establish its roots but will continue to seek deeper water during dry conditions.


4. Muhly Grass

To add a delicate touch of magical pink to your yard, consider Muhly Grass. Native to Florida, this striking ornamental grass is like growing candy floss in your beds and borders.

Muhly grass grows in clumps that reach heights of 2-3 meters. It is super easy to grow and, once established, will happily endure drought conditions.

To maintain a healthy plant, during the winter, trim it right back and watch how it emerges the following spring, ready to astound you again and again.


5. Echinacea

Echinacea is an admirable all-around plant. It’s native to North America and already entirely adept for the climate. It can tolerate the low winter temperatures, is happy in the heat, and does not need a rigorous watering schedule. 

Also known as the Coneflower, Echinacea is beautiful, is a great attractor of pollinators, and has medicinal properties to boost your immune system, making it perfect for treating common colds and minor infections.


6. Candelabra Aloe 

The Candelabra Aloe is an eye-catching succulent perennial. It has striking tall rocket-like flowers that shoot out from within exciting leaves.

It originates in mountainous regions of South Africa, where it can survive with a limited water supply. Although during particularly hot spells, it will need regular irrigation. 

If you’d like your plant to reproduce, the Candelabra Aloe is easy to propagate. Remove side shoots from the main plant and remove lower leaves before putting them into a new pot of soil. You don’t even need to water it often.


7. Yucca

Yucca plants are desert lovers and thrive in hot, sunny, sandy, and relatively dry conditions. They are also slow-growing and don’t attract pests, making them the perfect addition to your yard.

There are also around 50 varieties of Yucca to choose from, so you’re bound to find one that suits you.

The yucca has evolved to conserve water and make it through dangerously dry spells. It has waxy leaves to stop water from evaporating and a shallow roots system, ready to absorb any moisture available.


8. Catmint

A close relative to lavender, catmint is a purple-flowering herbaceous perennial growing worldwide.

Catmint adds a refreshing minty aroma to your yard, even if you slightly touch it. Its delicate appearance makes it perfect for beds, and it is not fast to spread, meaning you won’t constantly need to keep it under control.

During the early stages of life, catmint will need regular water to establish itself, although it will happily go without regular irrigation once mature.


9. Agave

The sharp spiky leaves and expansive size make agave a statement piece for your yard. They have a long life of around 20 years but usually only flower once at the end of their life span.

Once their magnificent blooms begin to fade, so does the plant, leaving seeds in their place to repeat the cycle.

Agave originates in the hot, dry, arid regions of North America and so will survive perfectly well in your yard without streams of water; in fact, overwatering may well lead to the plant rotting, which would also kill it.


10. California Poppy

Above all, California Poppies bring a vibrant orange splash to your yard that can become a part of a fantastic display when paired with whites, purples, and blues. They are happy in almost neglectful conditions, such as sandy soil, rockeries, and drought conditions.

Although beautiful, California Poppies are deemed invasive in some states and, unless carefully managed, will successfully spread throughout your yard due to their seed dispersal. If left unchecked, the plant will take over and kill other plant species.

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