Drought Resistant Plant list – Make your Yard easier to care for

Drought resistant plants make gardening easier and cut back on watering which is helpful in certain areas of the world.

I use drought resistant plants in my front yard. It receives sunlight all day and the plants do not do well unless they are hardy and drought resistant.

Below is a list of flowers that are annuals and perennials, shrubs and trees for vegetation that takes less water. They are from the University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science.

Annuals, Biennials, Bulbs (most spring flowering)

baby’s breath (annual)
begonia (wax leaf)
dianthus (annual pink)
dusty miller
flowering tobacco (Nicotiana)
four o’clocks
gloriosa daisy (annual Rudbeckia)
Mexican sunflower (Tithonia)
morning glory
periwinkle (annual vinca)
phlox (annual)
purple fountain grass (Pennisetum)
rose moss (Portulaca)
spider flower (Cleome)
statice (Limonium)
sweet alyssum
zinnia (Profusion series especially)  

Perennials, Grasses (G) USDA hardiness zones will vary with species and cultivar

Achillea (Yarrow)
Agastache (Anise Hyssop)
Alcea (Mallow)
Amsonia (Blue Stars)
Artemisia (Wormwood)
Asclepias (Butterfly Flower)
Baptisia (False Indigo)
Calamagrostis (Feather Reed Grass, G)
Calluna (Heather)
Carex (Sedge, G)
Chrysogonum (Goldenstar)
Coreopsis (Tickseed)
Delosperma (Hardy Ice Plant)
Dianthus (Pinks)
Echinacea (Coneflower)
Erianthus (Plume Grass, 6)
Festuca (Blue Fescue, G)
Fragaria (Strawberry)
Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
Gaura (Wandflower)
Geranium (sanguineum, Perennial G.)
Gypsophila (Baby’s Breath)
Helleborus (Hellebore)
Hemerocallis (Daylily)
Hosta (Plantain Lily, shade)
Lamium (Dead Nettle)
Lavandula (Lavender)
Liatris (Blazing Star)
Lupinus (Lupine)
Miscanthus (Eulalia, G)
Nepeta (Catmint)
Oenothera (Evening Primrose)
Panicum (Switch Grass, G)
Papaver (Poppy)
Pennisetum (Foxtail Grass, G)
Paeonia (Peony)
Penstemon (Beard tongue)
Perovskia (Russian Sage)
Phlox (subulata, Ground P.)
Rudbeckia (Black eyed Daisy)
Salvia (Perennial Sage)
Sedum (Sedum)
Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks)
Stachys (Lamb’s Ears)
Thymus (Thyme)
Verbascum (Mullein)
Vinca (Periwinkle)
Yucca (Adam’s Needle)

Shrubs, Vines (V) (E=evergreen)

Aristolochia (Dutchman’s Pipe, V)
Aronia (Red Chokeberry)
Buddleia (Butterfly Bush)
Campsis (Trumpetcreeper, V)
Caryopteris (Bluemist Spirea)
Chaenomeles (Flowering Quince)
Clematis (Sweet Autumn Clematis, V)
Clethra (Carolina Allspice)
Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster, E)
Cytisus (Scotch Broom, E)
Hamameles (Witch Hazel)
Itea (Virginia Sweetspire)
Juniperus (Juniper, E)
Lonicera (Honeysuckle, V)
Microbiota (Russian Arborvitae, E)
Myrica (Bayberry)
Parthenocissus (Virginia creeper, V.)
Potentilla (Cinquefoil)
Rosa (Rose, many species/shrub types)
Taxus (Yew, E)
Viburnum (dentatum, Arrowwood V.)
Weigela (Old-fashioned Weigela)

Trees (E=evergreen)

White fir (Abies concolor, E)
Box Elder (Acer negundo)
Gray Birch (Betula populifolia)
Cedars (Cedrus, E)
Hackberry (Celtis)
Spruces (Picea, E)
Pines (Pinus, E)
Oaks (Quercus)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis, E)
Elms (Ulmus)

Besides the few in this list, you can probably find more at complete garden centers and nurseries. Some of the clues to look for in plants, that help them survive droughts, are:

  1. fleshy thick stems and leaves, succulent like cactus (such as Sedums, Sempervivums)
  2. waxy coated leaves (such as rosemary, wax-leaf begonia)
  3. densely hairy leaves (such as lamb’s ears or Stacys)
  4. silvery, grayish or bluish foliage (such as Artemesia, Dianthus)
  5. narrow leaves (such as Gaura, ornamental grasses)
  6. prickly leaves (such as globe thistle or Eryngium)

I also have an article with more information on planting drought resistant plants: http://thegardenersrake.com/drought-resistant-plants-for-your-landscape-and-gardens

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2 responses to “Drought Resistant Plant list – Make your Yard easier to care for”

  1. wow! I cannot believe I found this information! I love to garden but am a disaster at it. Super help here! Thanks

  2. Denise

    Hi Heidi,
    I am glad you found the information helpful. You have a great site also! Denise

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