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Thrive, Not Just Survive: 15 Drought-Tolerant Plants for the US

dry weather drought tolerant plants

Water is a precious resource, and with changing climates and frequent droughts, every drop counts. But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a beautiful garden. By choosing the right plants, you can have a vibrant, flourishing garden that's also drought-tolerant. Let's explore 15 excellent choices for drought-tolerant plants in the United States.


Key Takeaways

  • Drought-tolerant plants are an excellent choice for sustainable gardening.
  • There's a wide variety of drought-tolerant plants to choose from, so you can have a beautiful, colorful garden that's also water-wise.
  • While these plants are resilient, they still need care. Always check the specific needs of each plant and adjust your care accordingly.


What Makes a Plant Drought-Tolerant?

Drought-tolerant plants are those that can survive with minimal water. They've adapted to survive in conditions where water is scarce, often by storing water in their leaves or developing deep root systems.


15 Drought-Tolerant Plants for Your Garden

1. Agave

Agave plants are succulents that store water in their thick, fleshy leaves. They're native to the desert and can tolerate extremely dry conditions.


2. Sedum

Sedums, also known as stonecrops, are hardy plants that can withstand drought due to their thick, water-storing leaves.


3. Lavender

This aromatic herb is not just beautiful and fragrant; it's also highly drought-tolerant thanks to its Mediterranean origins.


4. Yucca

Yuccas are hardy, low-maintenance plants that can survive in dry soil thanks to their deep root system and tough, sword-like leaves.


5. Echinacea

Also known as coneflowers, Echinaceas are drought-tolerant perennials that also attract butterflies and bees.


6. Sage

Sage plants are not only useful for cooking, but also drought-tolerant. They prefer well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine.


7. Penstemon

Penstemons, with their tube-shaped flowers, are both beautiful and drought-tolerant. They're native to North America and come in a variety of colors.


8. Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses like switchgrass and blue fescue can withstand dry conditions and add texture and movement to your garden.


9. Crepe Myrtle

Crepe Myrtles are not only drought-tolerant but also resistant to heat, making them a great choice for Southern gardens.


10. Bougainvillea

These vibrant, flowering vines are drought-tolerant and thrive in hot, sunny climates.


11. Juniper

Junipers are evergreen shrubs that are highly resistant to drought. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, making them versatile landscaping plants.


12. Russian Sage

Despite its name, Russian sage is not a true sage. However, it is highly drought-tolerant and produces beautiful purple flowers.


13. Succulents

Succulents like echeveria and hens and chicks are excellent choices for drought-tolerant container gardening.


14. Palms

While not all palms are drought-tolerant, some, like the Mediterranean fan palm, can withstand dry conditions.


15. Rosemary

This aromatic herb is not just for cooking—it's also a drought-tolerant plant that prefers well-drained soil and plenty of sun.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Drought-Tolerant Mean?

Drought-tolerant plants are those that can survive with minimal water. They've adapted to survive in conditions where water is scarce.


How Do I Care for Drought-Tolerant Plants?

Even though these plants are drought-tolerant, they still need some water. The key is to water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth.


Can Drought-Tolerant Plants Survive in Any Climate?

While these plants are more resilient to dry conditions, they still have climate preferences. Always check the plant's specific needs before planting.


Do Drought-Tolerant Plants Need Sun?

Most drought-tolerant plants prefer full sun, but there are some that can tolerate partial shade. Always check the plant's specific sun requirements.


Can I Have a Colorful Garden with Drought-Tolerant Plants?

Absolutely! Many drought-tolerant plants produce vibrant flowers and come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.


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