A Dozen Drought-Tolerant Perennials for Your Garden

Discover the secret to a vibrant, low-maintenance garden, even in scorching summers and erratic weather patterns. Embrace the beauty of drought-tolerant perennials that survive and thrive.

Agapanthus, African Lily

With elegant long stems and tubular flowers, these South African plants endure harsh conditions. Perfect for pots or sunny borders, they come in various cultivars, from the petite ‘Brilliant Blue’ to the RHS AGM-winning ‘Midnight Star.’

Achillea, Yarrow

Yarrows are pollinator magnets, flaunting flat-topped umbels in various colors. ‘Moonshine’ and ‘Walter Funcke’ offer a spectrum from pale whites to warm reds, making them a delightful addition to sunny, dry borders.


Resembling lupins, Baptisia australis features blue summer flowers and glaucous green leaves. Recent cultivars like ‘Cherry Jubilee’ and ‘Vanilla Cream’ offer a modern twist to this North American native.


Echiums, the showstoppers of the garden, boast towering spikes of flowers. Varieties like ‘Red Feathers’ are compact and hardy and feature raspberry-red blooms, adding vertical flair to mixed borders.


With tall, feathery stems, fennel adds an airy contrast to dense or colorful plantings. The purple form, ‘Purpureum,’ pairs beautifully with Mediterranean plants and can be harvested for its seeds.


Formerly known as Oenothera, Gaura’s delicate blooms belie its resilience. Thriving through drought, it offers continuous summer flowers in shades from white to pink, a perfect mid-height addition among grasses.

Lychnis Coronaria

Sporting silvery-grey foliage, Lychnis coronaria thrives in dry, poor soils. Its bright magenta flowers provide summer-long beauty, and ‘Alba’ offers a white alternative to this easy-care, self-seeding perennial.


Verbascums add flair to mixed borders with their vertical spires of color. They bring a classic cottage garden charm from acid yellow to pastel shades and can naturalize in the right conditions.

Echinops, Globe Thistle

Globe thistles bring structure with bright blue spherical flowers. Drought-tolerant and pollinator-friendly, they extend interest into fall and winter with appealing dried seedheads.

Salvia Nemorosa

This ornamental sage, thriving in well-drained soil and full sun, offers intense summer color. ‘Caradonna’ and ‘Amethyst’ cultivars remain popular, requiring little watering once established.

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