As climate change presents us with the challenge of gardening with less water, choosing plants to suit our growing conditions becomes paramount.
All plants need water to survive. However, like plants that require more water, some plants grow in a lack of water. They are the best drought tolerant plants and can live without water for a long time.
Agaves store water in their thick foliage and send their roots deep below the soil surface to collect the water available. The Leaf has sharp edges. Landscapers often use agaves due to the unusual shape of their foliage, and of course, they are low care and drought tolerant plants.
Bougainvillea is a champion in tolerating the drought. It seems to be one of the toughest shrubs that thrive on neglect in extreme and intense conditions. This colourful plant is easy to grow too.
Moss rose, or “Portulaca” is a drought-tolerant flowering plant that thrives in dry, poor soil. Due to its thick succulent leaves, it can survive for a long time without water. It comes in a variety of colours and requires warmth to thrive.
Lithops are unique stone like succulent plants due to the reason they are also known as “Living stones.” Lithops are suitable houseplants, with very low watering requirements they are easy to keep.
Blanket Flower “Gaillardia.”
The blanket flower has no special needs. Anyone without a green thumb can make it bloom prolifically. All it really wants is a sunny spot and occasional watering spells. It blooms all summer long and also in the autumn.
Verbena is an excellent ground cover that spreads rapidly and thrives in high heat and a little water. It comes in many colours and blooms in clusters from spring to fall (year round in warm climates). It needs full sun and well-drained soil.
Lantana is a hardy tropical plant grown for its fragrant, colourful flowers. Although it blooms throughout the spring and summer, in warmer areas, it has year round flowers. The Lantana loves heat and drought, a less demanding plant and can be grown in any soil type. Its flowers attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
Known for the beautiful colours and sweet aroma, the wallflowers are short-lived perennials in warmer regions (USDA Zones 8-10), others are annuals (in colder regions) or biennials that resist drought well and require occasional watering. Flowers appear in spring and summer in clusters. Put your wallflower plant in a sunny or partially shaded place and remember not to water it much.
Oleander is a tropical shrub that blooms prolifically. It produces beautiful fragrant flowers of different colours, like yellow, pink, red, white and purple. Oleander is known to adapt well to hot and dry climates and grows very well in coastal areas. It prefers full sun but doesn’t mind a few hours of shade too.
Also known as “Tumbling Ted,” a good semi-evergreen groundcover that blooms in summer. It is native to the mountainous regions of the Southern Europe; it is relatively cold hardy and doesn’t grow well in hot climates (above zone 9). Grow this plant if you’re searching for the one that thrives on neglect, requires no fertilizers and perform well in poor soil in the drought-like conditions.
This perennial, drought-resistant herb is famous for its aromatic flavour. The best time to grow is when the weather starts to warm up after the frost (and when there is abundant sunshine). Sage has low watering requirements, and overwatering can kill the plant quickly.
Thanks to the vibrant colours, poppies are the biggest attraction in any garden or a patio. To grow poppies all you need is a sufficient exposure to sun and low to moderate watering. Check out how you can grow poppies in pots here.
This mound forming shrub has grey-green foliage and pretty button like flower heads that appear in summer. Grow this plant in a well-draining, loamy soil in full sun.
Known for its resistance to drought, it is sufficient to water it once a week in the spring and summer and, if required, once a month in winter. This plant grows well in all soil types and prefers plenty of light and sunshine.
There are many sedum varieties available, and almost all of them are low maintenance. You can choose the flowering ones or those with variegated foliage.
Also known as “Desert Rose,” Adenium is a tropical succulent plant that requires occasional watering. Adenium needs full sun and heat to thrive, however, it can also be grown as a houseplant in colder climates.
This unmistakable flowering herb is a beautiful perennial and needs no introduction. It is easy to grow and tolerant of heat and drought and offers the perfect combination of colour and aroma. You can also plant it in the pot, just be sure the pot has good drainage because the plant cannot tolerate excess water.
There are several genera of plants in the daisy family that are called “Rock Daisy.” They are most suitable for the rock gardens; these flowering plants thrive well in neglect and the lack of water.
Once established, globe thistles tolerate drought and are probably one of the easiest perennials you can have in your garden, and once in bloom, they are one of the most exciting (prickly though) plants you can see. The flowers appear in blue or violet colours (depending on the variety) from summer to early autumn.
Rose Campion is one of the drought tolerant plants that are easy to grow. This plant is also admired for its silvery green foliage. A rose campion requires only supplemental watering during prolonged dry periods.
This drought tolerant plant has fragrant round clusters of flowers that appear from late spring the plant is also complemented by the fleshy blue-green foliage. Once established, the plant needs occasional watering and is relatively low care.
Most of the plants from the Euphorbia genus tolerates the scarcity of water easily and don’t require special attention. The plants from this genus are found in almost every part of the world, from short living annuals to tall perennials.
Russian sage is truly an admirable plant due to its silvery foliage and beautiful plumes of lavender colour flowers. This tough and drought resistant plant must be planted in a position that is sunny and well-drained.
Yarrow has small, tightly packed showy flowers. This hardy perennial also has fern-like decorative foliage. Yarrows are low maintenance plant and suitable for borders, wildflower meadows, and rock gardens. Growing yarrow requires a position that is sunny and likes well-draining loamy soil.
Cactuses and Succulents
Not only the cactuses and succulents need less water, but they are also low-maintenance and easy to grow. During the period of drought, these tough plants shrink and use the reserved water. There are many cacti and succulent varieties that you can choose to grow.