Drought-Tolerant Perennials [Survive Summer Heat]

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Drought-Tolerant Perennials [Survive Summer Heat]

Short Answer: Drought-tolerant perennials are ideal for gardeners seeking to create a beautiful landscape that withstands dry conditions. These hardy plants, such as Lavender, Russian Sage, and Sedum, are known for their ability to thrive in low-water environments, making them perfect for water-wise gardens. Their adaptability to dry climates not only conserves water but also reduces maintenance needs. Incorporating these perennials into your garden ensures a vibrant and resilient display of color and texture, even in challenging drought conditions.

These are resilient perennials that can withstand hot and dry weather while still producing beautiful flowers. They are also known to attract pollinators, but fortunately, they do not attract deer and rabbits.


Yarrow

Yarrow

Yarrow is a drought-tolerant perennial that grows easily and can withstand high temperatures. It makes a great cut flower and is not usually bothered by deer, rabbits, or other pests. The plant blooms in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, red, pink, and white, so you can select the colors that complement your garden’s color scheme.

  • Name: Achillea varieties
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 3 feet tall and wide
  • Zones: 3-9

Blanket Flower

A tough prairie plant, the blanket flower blooms all summer and into fall. Its flamboyant flowers are usually marked with bright shades of red and yellow. Most varieties of blanket flowers offer excellent hardiness and nonstop blooms that attract pollinators.

  • Name: Gaillardia varieties
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 2 feet tall
  • Zones: 3-8

Pineleaf Penstemon

The semi-evergreen penstemon bursts into bloom each summer, producing masses of bright scarlet-red flowers that butterflies and hummingbirds will love as much as you do. It’s a cinch to grow in any sunny spot, and this drought-tolerant perennial looks beautiful in bouquets and flower arrangements, too.

  • Name: Penstemon pinifolius
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 18 inches tall
  • Zones: 4-10

Agastache

You can rely on Agastache to be covered in blooms throughout the summer and autumn. It comes in several colorful varieties, such as ‘Desert Sunrise’ (shown here), which offers orange blooms that feature pink and lavender tints. This drought-tolerant perennial attracts many hummingbirds and makes a pretty cut flower, too.

  • Name: Agastache varieties
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 3 feet tall
  • Zones: 5-10

Sedum

Hundreds of sedum varieties are available; almost everyone is a tough, drought-resistant perennial flowering plant. Most varieties are grown for their blooms, though you can find some, like ‘Frosty Morn,’ that have beautifully variegated foliage. No matter which type you plant, the fleshy, succulent leaves will help sedum hold on to water through any dry spells.

  • Name: Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 18 inches tall
  • Zones: 3-9

Russian Sage

One of the toughest drought-tolerant perennials, Russian sage offers fragrant silvery foliage and plumes of violet-purple blooms. Taller varieties are great for the back of the border. It is heat and drought-resistant, and deer, rabbits, and most other pests steer clear of it.

  • Name: Perovskia atriplicifolia
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 6 feet tall
  • Zones: 5-9

Bush Sage

An all-around brutal beauty, bush sage is a species of salvia that grows well in a range of conditions, produces colorful flowers, and attracts hummingbirds. Plus, it’s a drought-resistant perennial, too. What’s not to love? ‘Raspberry Delight’ is one cultivar that offers gorgeous raspberry-red flowers over a long season: From late spring to early fall.

  • Name: Salvia ‘Raspberry Delight’
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 3 feet tall
  • Zones: 6-10

Meadow Sage

Another variety of salvia, meadow sage produces eye-catching clusters of violet-blue flowers from midsummer to early fall. This drought-resistant perennial plant is also a favorite of pollinators and will help attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden.

  • Name: Salvia ‘May Night’
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 28 inches tall
  • Zones: 5-9

Mojave Sage

Among the most beautiful perennial salvias, Mojave sage produces wands of pink blooms that look good from summer into fall. Even when not in bloom, its gray-green foliage is stunning so that you can enjoy this drought-resistant plant every season. Native to the hills of California, Mojave sage pairs well with other salvias, lavender, penstemon, and plenty of other drought-tolerant perennials.

  • Name: Salvia pachyphylla
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 3 feet tall
  • Zones: 5-9

Lavender

This drought-tolerant perennial plant has it all: Lavender looks beautiful, smells amazing, and it’s as tough as nails (except in soggy soil). Enjoy the blue, lavender, purple, or white flowers in summer, and you can even pick some for drying and using in crafts.

  • Name: Lavandula angustifolia
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: 3 feet tall
  • Zones: 5-8

Lamb’s Ears

An easy-to-grow ground cover, lamb’s ears have soft, fuzzy leaves. Their silvery tone helps them complement just about any plant in the garden, and despite its cuddly name, this drought-tolerant perennial is tough. Beware, though: Lamb’s ear can spread quickly in rich soil, but it’s easy to pull up any plants you don’t want.

  • Name: Stachys byzantina
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 18 inches tall
  • Zones: 4-8

Globe Thistle

One of the best flowers many gardeners may not have heard of, the globe thistle produces round, metallic-blue flowers throughout the summer. Its attractive blooms are perfect for drying and use in dried-flower projects and other crafts. Plus, it’s a cinch to grow with little watering.

  • Name: Echinops ‘Blue Globe’
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 4 feet tall
  • Zones: 4-9

Purple Coneflower

It’s easy to see why purple coneflower is such a popular plant. This resilient, drought-tolerant perennial blooms much of the summer, producing tons of pinkish-purple blooms that hold up really well in bouquets. Or, if you leave them in the garden, they’ll attract scores of butterflies.

  • Name: Echinacea purpurea
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 4 feet tall
  • Zones: 3-9

Amsonia

A rugged yet underused perennial, Amsonia produces clusters of sky-blue flowers in late spring. It’s not just a one-season wonder, though. In autumn, its foliage turns brilliant shades of gold—enough to rival many trees when they put on fall finery.

  • Name: Amsonia ciliata
  • Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil
  • Size: To 2 feet tall
  • Zones: 3-9

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
South AustraliaSturt's Desert Pea, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus BlossomAdelaide Blue Gum, South Australian Blue Gum, Saltbush
Western AustraliaRed and Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Swan River DaisyJarrah, Marri, Karri
TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for today.com magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.