Drought-tolerant perennials

Plant name / Botanical name Cold zones Plant description
Agastache Agastache spp. and hybrids 5 to 10 Spikes of lavender, pink or orange in summer
Ajuga Ajuga reptans 3 to 10 Ground cover with green, bronze or variegated foliage; spikes of blue or pink flowers in spring
Anthemis Anthemis tinctoria 3 to 8 Yellow or white daisies much of the summer
Artemisia Artemisia versicolor ‘Seafoam’ 4 to 10 Low mat of fine-textured silver-gray foliage; most other artemisias are also drought tolerant
Baby’s breath Gypsophila paniculata 3 to 9 Billows of tiny white flowers in summer
Basket-of-gold Aurinia saxatilis 3 to 7 Low mat of bright-yellow flowers in early spring
Bearded iris Iris hybrid 3 to 9 Wide variety of colors in late spring
Bishop’s weed Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegatum’ 3 to 9 Vigorous ground cover with variegated leaves
Blanket flower Gaillardia grandiflora 3 to 9 Mahogany-red flowers with yellow edges much of the summer; most blanket flower species are drought tolerant
Butterfly weed Asclepias tuberosa 4 to 9 Glowing orange flowers in summer
Candytuft Iberis sempervirens 4 to 9 Low clumps of white flowers mid- to late spring
Catmint Nepeta spp. 3 to 9 Spikes of lavender-blue flowers in late spring
Cushion spurge Euphorbia polychroma 4 to 8 Dome-shaped mound with bright-yellow bracts in late spring
Daylily Hemerocallis hybrids 3 to 9 Wide variety of colors that bloom mostly in summer
False indigo Baptisia australis 3 to 9 Spikes of deep-blue flowers in late spring
Garden pinks Dianthus gratianopolitanus 3 to 9 Mounds of fragrant pink flowers in late spring
Gaura Gaura lindheimeri 5 to 10 Tall spires of pink or white flowers in summer
Gazania Gazania spp. 6 to 10 Shades of orange and yellow in early spring
Germander Teucrium chamaedrys 4 to 9 Pale-pink to deep-purple flowers in late summer
Goldenrod Solidago spp. 4 to 9 Sprays of golden-yellow flowers in late summer
Hardy ice plant Delosperma cooperi 5 to 10 Ground cover with bright pink flowers all summer
Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis 4 to 9 Spikes of blue or pink flowers in midsummer
Jupiter’s beard Centranthus ruber 5 to 8 Rosy pink flowers in late spring
Lamb’s ears Stachys byzantina 4 to 9 Mounds of gray leaves and spikes of magenta flowers in summer
Lavender Lavender spp. 5 to 10 Spikes of fragrant blue-purple flowers in summer
Lavender cotton Santolina chamaecyparissus 5 to 10 Yellow button flowers in summer; aromatic gray foliage
Mallow Malva sylvestris 4 to 9 Mauve-purple flowers with stripes on the outside in late summer
Missouri primrose Oenothera macrocarpa 4 to 8 Large yellow flowers much of the summer; most Oenothera species are drought tolerant
Mullein Verbascum bombyciferum 4 to 8 Tall spires of yellow flowers in mid- to late summer
Orange globe mallow Sphaeralcea munroana 4 to 9 Wands of orange flowers in midsummer
Oriental poppy Papaver orientale 3 to 7 Often brightly colored papery flowers in spring
Ornamental onion Allium senescens 3 to 8 Lavender or pink flowers in late summer; most alliums are drought tolerant
Penstemon Penstemon spp. and hybrids 4 to 11 Large family of drought-tolerant plants with spike flowers in many colors
Peony Paeonia lactiflora 3 to 8 Mounds of white, pink or red flowers in spring
Poppy mallow Callirhoe involucrata 4 to 8 Wine-red, white -eyed flowers much of the summer
Prairie zinnia Zinnia grandiflora 4 to 9 Deep-yellow flowers from late summer into fall
Purple coneflower Echinacea purpurea 4 to 9 Carmine-pink daisies in late summer
Red hot poker Kniphofia uvaria 4 to 10 Orange and yellow spikes in summer
Rough blazing star Liatris aspera 3 to 9 Spikes of rosy purple flowers in summer
Russian sage Perovskia atriplicifolia 4 to 9 Spires of lavender-violet flowers in late summer
Sage Salvia spp. 5 to 9 Spikes of blue, pink or white flowers in summer; many drought-tolerant species and hybrids
Sea lavender Limonium latifolium 3 to 9 Airy panicles of lavender-blue flowers in late summer
Snow-in-summer Cerastium tomentosum 3 to 7 Gray-foliaged ground cover with white flowers in late spring
Stokes’ aster Stokesia laevis 5 to 9 Lavender-blue or pink chrysanthemum-like flowers in summer
Tall sedum Hylotelephium hybrids 3 to 9 Flat clusters of pink, white or rust in late summer
Threadleaf coreopsis Coreopsis verticillata 3 to 9 Small yellow daisies much of the summer
Thyme Thymus serpyllum 4 to 9 Mat-forming ground cover with pink or white flowers in spring; most thyme species are drought tolerant
Verbena Verbena bipinnatifida 3 to 8 Magenta-pink flowers all summer; many other verbena species are drought tolerant
Veronica Veronica spicata 3 to 8 Spikes of blue, pink or white flowers in summer
Yarrow Achillea filipendulina 3 to 8 Dark-yellow flower clusters in summer
Yucca Yucca spp. 4 to 10 Tall spires of creamy white flowers in summer; spiky evergreen foliage

Source: National Gardening Association Website