Drought-Tolerant Plants for Dry Soil

These pretty flowers and plants grow naturally in dry environments.

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These desert plants store water in their leaves and are able to go a period of time without being watered.

Blooming Chives

Easy to grow alliums are perennials, and they’re related to chives, shallots and onions. If deer, voles, rabbits or other animals browse in your garden, you’ll find they usually leave these bulbs alone. Plant alliums in the fall, in well-drained soil, giving them plenty of sun.

Smoke Bush

Smoke bush, or Cotinus coggygria, is often used as a garden specimen due to the purple-pink plumes and the purple leaves on some cultivars. It is highly drought-tolerant.

Madagascar Periwinkle

Vinca (Catharanthus roseus) is sometimes called Madagascar periwinkle. New types grow in a trailing formation that quickly covers ground in the garden.

Meadow Favorite

Scabiosa lucida is a dwarf, clump forming perennial with fine cut, grey green basal leaves. It has pincushion flowers that are pale lilac, standing on erect stems from spring until frost. Plant in free draining soil in a sunny position.


The Yucca is a widely used drought-tolerant perennial. They have thick and waxy leaves, meaning they don't require much water after being established.

Tall White Beardtongue

Red-tinted leaves combine beautifully with spikes of white blooms in this beardtongue selection. ‘Husker Red’ is a butterfly favorite, and songbirds flock to feast on the seeds. Full sun coaxes best leaf color. Plants prefer well-drained soil that’s dry or medium-wet.


This spiny plant thrives in dry environments. They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes.

English Lavender

Lavandula 'Munstead', or English lavender, is compact with purple-blue flowers. Flowers are of shorter stature, making it a good choice for the front of the border. It is early-flowering and very fragrant.


This variety of rosemary is beloved for its winter hardiness outdoors, but it also makes a fine indoor plant. The secret to success is to avoid overwatering (a clay pot helps) and growing it on the cool side through winter. Harvest leaves as needed to season meats and soups. Botanical name: Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Arp’

‘Serenita Mix’ Angelonia

This is another heat tolerant annual that holds its own, even in Texas summers. The Serena types offer a lower price point as bedding plants because they’re grown from seed.

Century Plant

Not only is this plant drought tolerant and low maintenance, it is also a landscaping show-stopper.

Butter Daisy

The melampodium divaricatum prefers dryer soil and has yellow petals with a darker center.

Russian Sage

Perovskia 'Blue Spire', Russian sage, is an erect, deciduous subshrub with deeply-divided, aromatic grey-green leaves and large, plumy panicles of violet-blue flowers in late summer and autumn.

Cornflower Fun

Centaurea cyanus, cornflower or Bachelors button, is a small annual flowering plant. It is a lovely ornamental plant in its natural habitat of meadows and grasslands, flowering from June until August.

Feathery Fountain Grass

Fountain grass, Pennisetum, is a mound-forming ornamental grass and a garden favorite that gets its name from its cascading, fountain-like leaves.

Happy Trails ‘Pink Passion Mix’

Also known as moss rose, portulaca is a go-to annual for sunny spots where heat and dry soil reign. Stems on this moss rose trail from 14 to 18 inches long, making it a great choice for a flowering ground cover. Blossoms open in shades of rose, pink and fuchsia.

‘Balboa’ Globe Amaranth

Papery blooms blanket this drought tolerant beauty all summer long. Quarter size pink flowers pop against the silvery leaves. ‘Balboa’ can take the heat, showing strong heat tolerance in places like Dallas, where summer really sizzles. It’s a butterfly favorite, and blossoms also dry very easily. Just pick flowers as they’re opening and hang upside in a dark place.

'Purple Magic' Verbena

From the Aztec Magic BallFlora Plant line, 'Purple Magic' verbena. These beautiful plants are drought and heat tolerant.

Black-eyed Susan

This eye-catching cultivar of the native black-eyed susan sports two-tone petals. Cut flowers for bouquets, or let them set seed for birds to nibble. Plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 9, but sometimes perform more as a short-lived perennial or biennial. This is a moderately drought-tolerant plant.

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