Drought Tolerant Plants

Bradford Greenhouses Blog

To grow healthy plants, water is the first requirement. However if you live in a dry area or have a cottage where you won’t be there frequently to water, you want to pick plants that can tolerate drought. When planting your garden you should group plant material with similar water requirements together, based on the water available. Knowing what plants will thrive in dry areas will save you and your garden much grief when it doesn’t rain!

When beginning your planting, be sure to follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a strong, deep root system.

We’ve outlined some of our favourite varieties that can tolerate dry spells. Check out their characteristics to see if they’re the perfect match for your garden!

Yarrow

Yarrow
  • Zone 4-9
  • Plant in full sun
  • Blooms in the summer
  • Grows moderately fast to 3’ tall and 2’ wide
  • Deer resistant
  • Attracts birds and butterflies
  • Best used as a perennial border
  • Prune in fall

Hens-and-chicks

Hens & Chicks
  • Zone 4-9
  • Plant in partial to full sun
  • Blooms mid-summer to fall
  • Slow growing, low perennial
  • Adds rich colour and texture to gardens
  • Excellent rock garden plant

Daylily

Daylily
  • Zone 4-11
  • Plant in full sun
  • Blooms all summer
  • Pest and disease resistant
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Deer resistant

Evening-Primrose

Evening Primrose
  • Zone 4-8
  • Plant in full sun
  • Blooms during the day in summer
  • Fast growing
  • Attracts birds
  • Fragrant blooms
  • Ideal as a groundcover

Gaillardia-Arizona-Sun

Gaillardia
  • Zone 3-9
  • Plant in full sun
  • Blooms June to frost
  • Heat tolerant
  • Attracts butterflies

Gaura

Gaura
  • Zone 5-9
  • Plant in partial to full sun
  • Blooms late spring through fall
  • Grows at a moderate rate 20-36” tall and wide
  • Heat and humidity tolerant
  • In the spring, before new growth emerges, cut back extensively and fertilize
  • Deadhead to encourage re-blooming

Lavendar-Potpourri-White-Herb

Lavender
  • Zone 4-5
  • Plant in full sun
  • Blooms in June-July with white, pink or blue flowers depending on the variety
  • Can grow 10-25” tall
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Hardy, non-invasive perennial
  • Compact varieties can grow in containers, but will need coarse potting mix for drainage
  • Avoid cutting into older, woody stems

Veronica

Veronica
  • Zone 4-8
  • Plant in partial to full sun
  • Blooms spring, summer or fall in pink, blue, purple or white, depending on the variety
  • Grows 1-3’ tall
  • Prefers loamy soil
  • Attracts birds and butterflies

Sedum-Angelina

Sedum
  • Zone 3-11
  • Plant in partial to full sun
  • Blooms in the summer
  • Part of the succulent family
  • Comes in groundcovers as well as upright varieties

Juniper-Blue-Point

Juniper
  • Zone 3-7
  • Plant in full sun
  • Deer resistant
  • Excellent for screens and hedges or used as an accent specimen
  • Foliage retains colour all year
  • Fertilize before new growth emerges in spring

Grass-Karl-Forester-1

Perennial Grass
  • Zone 4-9
  • Plant in full sun
  • Comes in many deer resistant varieties
  • Adds texture and movement to your garden