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Seven Drought Tolerant Garden Plants

Updated on March 7, 2017


Courtesy flickr-bcballard
Courtesy flickr-bcballard

The Seven

I often refer to right plant right place when talking about garden design. The reason is that when you put a plant where it has all its needs met (air, food, soil) that plant will thrive.

This means that the gardener needs to be familiar with the site conditions where the garden will be, or is, when making plant decisions.

The following seven ornamental plants are all drought tolerant an ideal for gardens where water is scarce or where the gardener seeks to reduce water use.

These plants can be grown in containers or as part of a rock garden and they will also attract pollinators so can be handy near a vegetable patch.

1- ‘Magic Carpet’ Thyme- Thymus serpyllum ‘Magic Carpet”. This thyme will reach a height between 5 and 10 centimeters and is covered with tiny lemon-scented blooms through the summer. Works well between paving stones in a garden pathway, for example.

2- Red Penstemon, Penstemon barbatus’Coccineus’ the crimson, tubular blossoms are bright beacons calling hummingbirds as they bloom from late spring to early summer; Height between 45-60 cms.

3- Red Hens and Chicks, Sempervivum, this plant’s small rosettes of succulent leaves forms colorful evergreen mounds and will continue to multiply; makes a perfect ground cover or works well in a container.

4- Kiss Gazania Blend, Gazania splendeds, The Kiss Gazanias have been specially bred for vigorous bloom while maintaining a uniform height of 25 cms. The masses of daisylike flowers are open all summer through. Works well in containers and in sunny borders.

5- Lewisia ‘Little Plum’ Lewisia longipetala hybrid ‘Little Plum’: the pale pink star-shaped blooms will appear from late spring to mid-summers and grow from 10-15 cm tall. Great in rock gardens and borders.

6- Sedum ‘Summer Glory’ Sedum spurium ‘Summer Glory’. This is a great ground cover as the low growing 10-15 cm plants with their succulent dark green leaves will develop a reddish tint in fall love difficult sites.

7- Starburst Ice Plant, Delosperma ‘Starbust’ This is a hardy ground cover that grows between 5 and 10 cms tall has succulent grey-green foliage and daisylike blooms. The orchid pink blooms appear from early summer to frost.

These seven plants will give you beauty throughout the growing season and are ideal for gardeners who have to or want to keep their watering to a minimum. So if you live were water is often scarce or where the summers can get hot or simply want a rock garden then these plants will get you started.

Growing Thyme


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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Greetings. Thanks for dropping by.

  • agvulpes profile image

    Peter 8 years ago from Australia

    G'day Bob, In Melbourne we are going through a one of the longest drought periods in our history. Some native plants which are thriving are grevilleas and the native bottle brushes.

    I'll check out your suggestions and see if they are available here.

    Thanks for the info!

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping in.

  • countrywomen profile image

    countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

    Although we have surplus of water/rain here in Seattle hence drought tolerant plants isn't necessary for me but I still would like to have a garden of my own in my dream house with lots of flowers/vegetables. I love gardening and would surely bookmark this to read again. Thumbs up.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    The sedum will attact humming birds,; how fast it spreads will depend upon the site conditions, I plant them here in zone 4 and they doubled in size in a season.

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 8 years ago from West By God

    Thank You!!!!  I was going to ask you this very same question!!  Patience is a virtue!  Now I know what to put in that front garden that even Hostas aren't particularly fond of!

    A few questions:  Can I just put the sedum in the rocky dry gorund and leave it there?  Will it sread and take over?  Nothing that says it is fast spreading,, planted in any of my gardens do anything like  I am trying to attract hummingbirds.  Trumpet Vines are supposed to grow good around here too, but not in my garden!  For the last 6 years it has been trial and error for if something grows good the first year sometimes it doesnt' make it to the next year.