27 Best Drought Tolerant Plants that Grow in Lack of Water


Are you tired of replanting plants or eliminating dead plants every summer? Or are you looking for a plant for your farmhouse you rarely visit? 

Well, it happens all the time, especially with people who live in tropical areas. While the sunlight is essential for all plants, it can be unforgiving, especially when you can’t water your plants regularly.

But did you know that there’s a whole collection of plants that can survive long spells of dryness in unforgiving hot weather? Well, having these would be awesome for those who don’t get enough time for watering and maintenance.

All you’d need is a well-drained soil to sow these plants. And you won’t have to compromise on the beauty factor as we have some of the gorgeous plants in this list of 27 drought-tolerant plants.

27 Best Drought Tolerant Plants that Grow in Lack of Water

1. Aloe

One of the most popular drought-tolerant plants, you can find aloe standing strong in dry, hot climates. While all species of the flowering succulent might not be drought-tolerant, several species like coral aloe, jewel aloe, and soap aloe thrive in dry and sandy soil.

Aloe leaves provide a host of health benefits, but the potted plants are straightforward to maintain. You don’t even need to water them in winters when cold temperature and rain does the job.

2. Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus)

Yes, these are the same artichokes from the grocery stores. The edible plants have prickly spines and can grow tall up to 6ft. Since the plant is a native of Southern Mediterranean regions, it only needs light watering and maintenance. It’s an excellent option for an ornamental plant if you live in such an area.

3. Geranium (Pelargonium)

Geraniums are lovely blooming plants that grow flowers of red, purple, orange, and white colors. As elegant as these plants seem, they are tough like a rock. Most of their varieties are drought-tolerant, and they can go for long stretches without watering. That makes ideal plants for farmhouses. Moreover, these can live in your garden for decades spanning through generations!

4. Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

Lavenders are everyone’s favorite fragrant plants and would expect them to require pampering. Instead, the native of the Mediterranean region can live in dry surroundings on occasional watering too. Couple the low maintenance with the calming fragrance and stunning purple blooms and lavender deserves to be in every home.

5. Pride of Madeira (Echium Candicans)

If you are looking for a plant that consumes a whole corner of your big backyard, the Price of Madeira is an intriguing option. The evergreen plant has a 6 to 10 feet foot spread. The plant grows in rocky cliffs where water is a luxury. So it can survive a couple of months without watering. You’d only need to be generous with watering for the first year.

6. Mescal agave (Agave Parryi)

The architectural plant from Mexico, Mescal agave is the spikey beauty that deserves a space in our yard. The evergreen succulent has hard and thick leaves, and the rustic color looks great with mulch and sand around. Your soil should have good drainage because it can rot in soggy land.

7. Palms

Palms exude just the tropical vibe you wanted around your backyard for a beach style garden decor. Dwarf fan palms, Chilean Wine Palms, and Chamaerops Humilis can survive long bouts of drought and look good in all kinds of weather. You just need to ensure proper soil drainage to make them last longer.

8. Watsonia

This striking beauty from South Africa is a must-have in dry climes. It has stunning peach, scarlet or orange flowers, and hard-edged leaves that would steal the limelight from the roses. Plant them in a group to ensure the beauty doesn’t go unnoticed.

9. Sea Holly

Another majestic flowering plant, the Sea Holly, is perfect for smaller yards and dry soil. The white petite spikey flowers combine with a blue bud to enhance the aesthetics of the yard. The flowers also attract a host of bees and keep your yard fresh and lively.

10. Cape Daisy

If you want aesthetically pleasing flowers in your yard, what will you choose? A bunch of daisies will almost always do, right? And what if the daisies don’t even ask for proper maintenance?

That would be an offer we can’t refuse. And these cape daisies that bloom from February right until Autumn are a must-have. Moreover, they attract butterflies that are only going to improve the aesthetic appeal of your garden.

11. Rock Rose

It’s hard to argue against the fact that the flowers of rock rose are stunning, but even more intriguing is the fact that its buds are eye caching. Moreover, it changes colors through seasons. Rock Rose isn’t exactly drought tolerant, but it can survive a few days without water indeed.

12. Caryopteris (Bluebeard)

The sad part about people living in dry climes is that they can’t experience blooming summers even after spending hours in maintaining plants. This brilliant blue flowering shrub called Caryopteris, though, can last through long spells of dryness. It also attracts pollinators and blooms at times when several other flowering shrubs go totally dry.

13. Panicle Hydrangea

The delicate and elegant plants aren’t exactly what you’d have thought about them on the first impression. Instead, these gorgeous white flowering shrubs are hardy and need the sun more than the sea to bloom well. Afternoon shade will do them a world of good though, although water isn’t as important to them.

14. Baptisia (False Indigo)

This stunning perennial grows unique spikes of flowers of excellent violet colors. Even more impressive is the fact that the colors of the flowers range from charcoal to pink and forward to deep purples. These plants look dazzling in the borders too.

15. Catmint

A combination of grey and green foliage with a fascinating minty fragrance makes catmint a must-have, especially in extensive gardens. The purple-blue flowers increase its charm in midsummers. Even the new blooms don’t have a dull, mounded shape and retain its stability.

16. Russian Sage

The silvery foliage of the Russian Sage makes it an exotic variety of plants that provide your garden a classy look. The majestic violet-blue blooms of this plant make it an apt option for people living in desert climes looking to induce life into their backyard. The flowers attract the now rare hummingbirds, which add to the beauty of your yard.

17. Sedum

It might sound unreal, but it’s nearly impossible to kill even one of the hundreds of varieties of the perennial Sedum plants. Its lovely fresh pink colors add to the beauty of your yard, and it can quickly bring alive dull gardens. The fleshy leaves can survive for months without water, and the plant will even survive for months in a vase.

18. Ornamental Grasses

If you are looking to develop a low maintenance landscape for your farmhouse or backyard, or ornamental grasses will fill large areas of land in a no-fuss manner. There’s no requirement of regular watering, and it can fill large spaces of unoccupied land without feeling like a burden.

19. Angelonia

Yes, we naturally look dull in the hottest times of summers, but these Angelonia plants are at their best at that time. They save your garden from looking like a graveyard amidst bouts of dry spells. The gorgeous pink, white and purple flowers will make your little yard look like an orchard. And they are perfect for including in gifting baskets even in dry climes.

20. Lantana

You can run out of gas, but your Lantana will keep blooming in the hottest of summers. The vibrant colors are just what we maintain gardens for. And if you live in tropical areas, these plants will survive through winters without drops of water.

21. Portulaca

These double-flowering plants look like they’d need pampering that only your grandma could provide. Instead, all these gorgeous blooms need is soil with an excellent drainage facility. The shades these plants offer are like no other. They come in scarlet, fuchsia, and even coral shades that can be impossible to ignore for those passing by.

22. Blanket Flower

If dazzling and vibrant had a synonym in flower languages, blanket flowers have to be it. The fiery orange and yellow colors just add the vibrance to the soothing aesthetic your yard is all about. And despite their level of freshness, they are not ones to give up amidst dry spells of distressing droughts.

23. California Poppy

Add a fiery touch to an otherwise calm and soothing garden with the Lantana plants. They thrive in dry climes and can survive long bouts without water. They bloom a host of hues from yellow to orange and red. You can find tall Lantana with a height of up to 8 feet while smaller varieties are also available. 

24. Coneflower

Coneflower has an uncanny resemblance to cheery daisies. The beautiful pinkish violet flowers attract a lot of butterflies and bees. They thrive in direct sunlight and can survive through spells of dryness. Plant them in well-drained soils to ensure they don’t get soggy and rot. They are long-lasting and tend to spread to wide areas.

25. Salvia

Salvia is a member of the Mint family and comes as a fragrant addition to your yard. Its blue and purple flowers look gorgeous when the sun is out as well as when the moonlight shines. They thrive under direct sunlight, although you can also grow them in partial shade as per convenience. You can keep their blooms coming by plucking out fading flowers.

26. Beardtongues

The dainty and lively blooms of beardtongue are illusive. This plant just doesn’t back down when the going gets tough. Instead, they feel at home in waterless yards. It’s an excellent addition to have around an orchard or when you are planning an English-style garden with colorful flowers.

27. Blazing Stars Ajuga

These evergreen flowers produce majestic rod-shaped purple blooms that you can’t miss having in your garden. And these plants don’t care about the surroundings. So if you experience extreme climate in your area, blazing stars ajuga is just the kind of plant you’d need. These comfort plants can thrive in both spine chilling winters and back-breaking summers of tropical regions.

Even though many of these plants would survive long spells of dryness, it’s wise to sprinkle a little water now and then. On the contrary, you should also avoid spraying too much water and keep the soil from getting too soggy,y or these plants might rot.