9 Gorgeous Drought-Resistant Plants

These dainty drinkers add all kinds of pretty to your curb appeal.

Image: Lane Design Build/Luke Gibson Photography

This is perfect if you’re the type who forgets to water the plants (no judgment) or if you’ve got water restrictions in your area. 

Plants that thrive in low-water conditions — and instantly upgrade your yard.

Related: 4 Genius Upgrades Even a Klutz Can Crush

1. Four O'Clocks

Four O'Clocks | Drought Resistant PlantsImage:Thomas Knox/Flickr

Latin: Mirabilis

Type: Perennial

Colors: White, pink, yellow, and variegated

Tip: These hardy plants grow in tangled, 3-foot-high mounds that make them look like shrubs. The big, trumpet-shaped flowers open in late afternoon and are fragrant into the evening, so plant them along walkways and exterior doors.

2. Beard Tongue

Beard Tongue | Drought Resistant PlantsImage: Louisa Billeter/Flickr

Latin: Penstemon

Type: Perennial

Colors: Bright red, blue, pink, purple, yellow, variegated, and white (rare)

Tip: There are more than 250 species of penstemon, so check for varieties well-adapted to your locale. Some species attract hummingbirds.Beard tongue tolerates low water, but needs good soil drainage. When shopping, “penstemon” is more commonly used than “beard tongue.”

3. Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower | Drought Resistant PlantsImage: Jeanne Grunert

Latin: Echinacea

Type: Perennial

Colors: Pinkish petals and a magenta center; there are white and orange versions, too

Tip: Tough and tall, coneflowers grow in clumps and look good at the backs of beds and borders. Blooms generally last all through summer. Don’t cut the seed heads of these perennial flowers after fall frosts — finches like them for winter snacks.

4. Daylilies

Daylily | Drought Resistant PlantsImage: Betsy’s Blog



Colors:One of the most-hybridized of all flowers, daylilies come in dozens of colors; deep orange is classic

Tips:Daylilies are virtually trouble-free, and will grow in all soil and moisture conditions; they’re good confidence-builders for rookie gardeners. Once established, they spread and multiply by tuberous underground roots.

5. Lavender

Lavender | Drought Resistant PlantsImage: Rosipaw/Flickr

Latin: Lavandula

Type: Perennial shrub

Colors: Blue, purple (lavender!), occasionally white and pink

Tips: Fragrant lavender grows in loose sprays of spikes tipped with little clusters of flowers, and are good in informal gardens.Most varieties attract bees and butterflies. They tolerate poor soil and neglect, even preferring sand and gravel to organic mulch. 

6. Bluebeard

Bluebeard | Drought Resistant PlantsImage: Monrovia



Colors:Blue, pink

Tips:Bluebeard is prized for its consistently blue color and mounding, 3- to 4-foot-tall forms that can anchor your landscape plan. Cut them nearly to the ground in late winter to encourage fresh, healthy growth the following year.

7. Azalea

Azalea | Drought Resistant PlantsImage: Betsy S. Hastey

Latin: Rhododendron

Type: Perennial shrub

Colors: White, pink, red, purple

Tips: Drought-tolerant after they’re established, rhodos need ample water to get started. They also like their soil well-adjusted and well-drained, so checking for soil pH and other nutrients is helpful before planting. They prefer filtered — not direct — sunlight. There are over 800 varieties in all sizes; ask your local nursery what works in your region.


8. Spirea

Spirea | Drought Resistant PlantsImage: My Weeds Are Very Sorry blog

Latin: Spirea

Type: Perennial shrub

Colors: Pink, red, white

Tips: Tough little spirea isn’t fussy aboutwateringor soil conditions, which makes it perfect for less-than-perfect gardeners. At 2-3 feet high, they’re good as foundation cover. The lacy blossoms appear early and are great mixers in bouquets; cut back after the first bloom to get a second bloom in late summer.


9. Snapdragon

Snapdragon | Drought Resistant PlantsImage: Red Dirt Ramblings

Latin: Antirrhinum

Type: Annual

Colors: Red, yellow, purple, white, pink

Tips: Noted for their height (3 feet) and upright stance, snapdragons are a garden favorite of children. They’ll tolerate low watering, but they prefer loose, well-drained soil that’s rich with compost.

Related: 19 Ways to Transform Your Yard with Very Little Effort