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  • Writer's pictureB&K Garden & Landscape Supply

9 of the Best Drought Tolerant Plants for Your Summer Garden



As the sun intensifies and rainfall becomes scarce, maintaining a lush and thriving garden during the summer can feel like a daunting task. The secret to success lies in selecting the right plants that have adapted to thrive in arid conditions. Drought-tolerant plants not only conserve water but also bring beauty and resilience to your landscape.


In this post, we'll introduce you to a selection of stunning drought-tolerant plants that will not only survive but thrive in the summer heat. From vibrant sedums to flowering accent shrubs to hardy native perennials, these water-wise choices will help you create a resilient and captivating summer garden.


1. Stonecrop Sedums


Sedums are the poster children of drought tolerance. With their fleshy leaves and water-storing capabilities, they can withstand extended periods of dryness. They come in a range of colours from yellow to red, making them perfect candidates for eye-catching garden displays, or in pathways, rock gardens or stylish container arrangements.


Rock 'N Grow® 'Coraljade' Stonecrop

2. Lavender


Native to the Mediterranean, this beautiful perennial is drought-tolerant and used to living in full sun. Not only will the lovely purple blooms enchant your garden, but they attract pollinators like butterflies and bees to your yard. This heat-loving plant makes a fantastic perennial border, potted plant, and colourful addition to your garden.


Spanish Lavender

3. Echinacea


Known for their gorgeous colour and sturdy flowers, coneflower are also a wonderful, drought tolerant perennial for your garden. These perennials can grow tall, so they work well as border plants near the back of your garden beds, especially in full sun areas. Their blooms are so stunning that they can also be used as eye-catching potted accents on the patio.


Echinacea 'Magnus superior'

4. Herbs


Many herbs are naturally adapted to dry conditions and can flourish in your summer garden. Rosemary, thyme, and oregano not only bring culinary delights but also offer interesting texture, lovely aromatic foliage and even delicate flowers that attract pollinators.


Creeping Thyme

5. Smokebush


Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria) is not only a visual delight but also a plant that thrives with minimal water. With its unique smoky flower clusters and foliage that transitions from lush green to captivating shades of red and purple, the Smoke Bush maintains its striking appearance even in arid conditions. This shrub's ability to conserve water while delivering a stunning display of colour and texture makes it a valuable addition to gardens where water conservation is a priority.

Cotinus 'Royal Purple'

6. Daylilies


There are thousands of beautiful daylilies to choose from, and these stunning plants are very low-maintenance, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the blooms. The name is appropriate, since each flower lasts only one day! However, each scape has 12 to 15 buds on it, and a mature plant can have 4 to 6 scapes, which is why the flower seems to bloom continuously.


'Pardon Me' Daylily

7. Red Flowering Currant


Red Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum) is a native plant that not only celebrates the beauty of local landscapes but also boasts remarkable drought-tolerant qualities. Its vivid pink to red flower clusters burst forth in the spring, attracting pollinators and adding a pop of colour to gardens.


Red-Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum)

8. Panicle Hydrangea


The lush panicle hydrangea is a surprisingly drought-hardy stunner, and its elongated clusters of flowers, which can range from creamy white to blush pink, create a captivating spectacle in the landscape. With its deep-rooted nature, panicle hydrangeas can tap into deeper soil layers to access moisture, allowing it to thrive with less water.


'Limelight' Hydrangea

9. Pampas Grass


Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) is an iconic ornamental grass known for its striking appearance and impressive drought-tolerant nature. Its feathery plumes, rising high above the foliage, create a captivating focal point in any landscape. What sets Pampas Grass apart is its ability to thrive in dry conditions. With its deep root system, this grass efficiently absorbs and retains moisture, allowing it to endure extended periods of drought without sacrificing its beauty. Pampas Grass showcases its resilience by adding texture, movement, and visual allure to landscapes while requiring minimal water, making it a standout choice for those seeking both aesthetics and sustainability.


Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

As you can see, creating a drought-tolerant summer garden doesn't mean sacrificing beauty. By carefully selecting plants that have evolved to thrive in arid environments, you can design a stunning and resilient landscape that conserves water and requires less maintenance. From stonecrop to lavenders to herbaceous wonders, these water-wise choices empower you to embrace the beauty of nature while nurturing a garden that flourishes even in the face of summer's most intense heat.

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