27 Drought-Tolerant Perennial Flowers for Dry Gardens

Are you new to dry gardening and looking for some perennials that won’t just tolerate drought but thrive in it? You’re in the right place! In this article, organic farmer Jenna Rich will discuss 27 drought-tolerant perennials you can add to a dry garden and help you conserve your natural resources.

White yucca flowers burst forth, delicately adorning the midst of long, slender leaves, forming a picturesque contrast. The radiant sunlight bathes the yucca plant, casting a warm, inviting glow that accentuates its natural beauty.


As our climate continues to change and weather patterns become hard to predict, it is wise to fill our gardens with perennial plants that are both aesthetically pleasing and resistant to heavy rain and drought conditions. 

Since living and growing in New Hampshire, we see drought conditions every other year. As we build up our perennial plots, we seek flowers that will come back and perform well year after year, even with little to no water other than what Mother Nature provides. 

Native plants will always be the best option, no matter what growing zone you are in. They are the most resilient and forgiving, providing garden beauty and color all season. Connect with your local nursery and ask for their advice on what to plant in your area and your landscape. 

If you’ve always been interested in the art of dry gardening and learning how to conserve water resources, here are 27 plants perfect for dry gardens. But first, let’s dive into a brief intro to what dry gardening is. 


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What’s Dry Gardening?

Dry gardening is a method of gardening that minimizes watering to conserve gardeners’ resources. This requires strategic planning and focuses on using ornamentals and native plants. 

Dry gardening is also called xeriscaping and has gained popularity among gardeners in drier parts of the United States. Drought-tolerant perennial flowers adapted to dry gardening need less attention, thrive in poor conditions and soils, and are more forgiving when neglected. 


A close-up reveals the delicate beauty of a cluster of white yarrow flowers, their intricate petals forming a captivating display. Each tiny bloom showcases nature's artistry, a testament to the elegance found in the smallest details of the botanical world.
This versatile plant flourishes in a variety of soil types and climates.
botanical-name botanical name Achillea millefolium
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height Up to 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 9

Yarrow often pops up along highways and on seemingly barren land all over the country. It germinates and spreads easily, is low-maintenance, and can tolerate many types of soil. 

There are both native and cultivated varieties of yarrow in the lower 48 United States, ranging from white to pink and deep magenta. Its ability to thrive anywhere it sprouts makes it an attractive option for dry gardens. Plus, there are many benefits to having it in your garden, including attracting beneficial insects, pest resistance, and erosion prevention. 

Plant yarrow near plants with similar needs and provide ample drainage. Yarrow plants benefit greatly from occasional deadheading, and a heavy prune mid-season may get you a second fall flush of blooms. 


A close-up of a cluster of vibrant pink Sedum “Thunderhead” flowers. The blooms are densely packed, with many open and displaying their rosy petals and contrasting red centers. Some unopened buds, still cloaked in their white protective sepals, add to the textural richness of the scene.
Sedums are hardy flowering plants with long bloom times.
botanical-name botanical name Sedum spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial sun 
height height Varies by species 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 9

There are many different types of sedum, and they will thrive in hot climates with very little water. A favorite backyard beauty is ‘Autumn Joy,’ a late summer and fall bloomer with pink and mauve tones, but its groundcover cousins are gaining popularity. 

Perfect for stone walls, rock gardens, and along borders, creeping sedums, or stonecrops as they’re called, are easy to grow and add beauty to otherwise unsightly gaps and cracks. They spread easily and suppress weeds, giving gardeners more time to enjoy their garden than working in it. 

Don’t worry about the soil quality, either. Sedums don’t mind low fertility! Ensure good drainage, though, as they won’t appreciate soggy areas or standing water. Try ‘Cherry Tart’ for an interesting burgundy succulent-like display. 

Anise Hyssop

Tall clusters of purple anise hyssop flowers tower gracefully, showcasing nature's beauty. Beneath them, lush green leaves sprawl, providing a verdant contrast to the vivid blooms, creating a picturesque scene in the garden.
This drought-resistant member of the mint family repels garden pests with its spicy fragrance.
botanical-name botanical name Agastache foeniculum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 3 to 5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 to 9

Anise hyssop is native to prairies, plains, and fields throughout the Midwest and Great Plains up into Canada, thriving in dry and sunny conditions. It’s not just beautiful, but its deliciously spicy fragrance will keep many garden pests at bay. 

Once established, this drought-tolerant perennial flower needs little attention. It will also do well in well-draining, moist soil

Plant this member of the mint family in an area that needs naturalizing or somewhere it can safely spread, as it easily does by underground rhizomes. It boasts a fun and fluffy purple flower spike that pollinators flock to.


Goldenrod flowers in close-up, their delicate petals glowing in the sunlight, contrasted against the green stems. In the background, a soft blur reveals a cluster of additional goldenrod blooms.
Plant goldenrod near blue and violet asters and purple echinacea for vibrant color.
botanical-name botanical name Solidago
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 2 to 6 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2 to 8

Goldenrod will grow without much effort just about anywhere and doesn’t suffer from many diseases or pest issues. Due to their rhizomatous growth, they’ll perform best along borders or property lines rather than garden plots. 

They will thrive in drought conditions or swamps and thickets. Native to North America, goldenrod plants are very forgiving

Pollinators adore them for their dense flowers and high pollen and nectar volumes. Plant them near your blue and violet asters and purple echinacea for a vibrant pop of color. Harvest goldenrod stems early before the pollen is heavy and use them as a wildflower bouquet filler. 


the bright white blooms of yucca spring from spiky foliage.
The waxy leaves of yucca increase its drought tolerance.
botanical-name botanical name Yucca spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2 to 4 feet or up to 30 feet, variety dependent
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 11

Yucca plants make a striking centerpiece in a backyard landscape and are grown for their flower spikes and sword-like leaves. Species like Yucca brevifolia, or the Joshua Tree, are large and commanding, while others are more compact, like the variegated Yucca flaccida.

These incredible drought-tolerant perennial flowers have adapted to survive both harsh, dry climates and extreme temperatures down to -20°F (-29°C). They demand little to no effort from gardeners. Clay soil or low pH? Yucca plants won’t care! 

The waxy leaves of yucca won’t dry out in a drought. However, plants used in landscaping will look better if they’re watered about once a week.  


A group of coneflowers, their purple petals unfurling around prominent orange centers, catch the eye with their lively display. Beneath them, deep green leaves provide a lush backdrop, enhancing the flowers' natural beauty.
These flowers aid in pollinating annual vegetable crops.
botanical-name botanical name Echinacea purpurea
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3 to 4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 8

Coneflowers will thrive anywhere with full sun and well-draining soil. They may help with the pollination of annual vegetables by attracting hummingbirds, birds, and flowers.

Provide them with garden neighbors who have similar watering needs. While they’ll tolerate drought conditions, plan to water them when the soil is almost completely dry, especially newly established plants. 

The most maintenance that will be required is to prevent them from self-seeding, and that’s only if you want to! The seedheads will continue to provide food for wildlife, even as the flowers fade. 

Flowering Quince

A close-up reveals pink flowering quince blossoms intertwined with green leaves, showcasing intricate details. In the blurred background, a profusion of similar flowers gently sways, creating a harmonious tapestry of color and texture in the garden scene.
Consider ‘Geisha Girl’ for a compact variety with beautiful apricot-colored blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Chaenomeles speciosa
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6 to 12 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 8

Young flowering quince plants should be watered weekly during dry spells. They’ll perform well in mild drought conditions once established. Plant them along a garden border and mulch at the base to help retain moisture to extend the time allotted between watering sessions. 

While leaves may drop during extreme drought and heat spells, new foliage should sprout in the cooler temperatures and rain of fall. There seem to be few lasting negative effects on the plant from prolonged drought.

Try ‘Geisha Girl’ for a more compact variety that boasts a lovely apricot-colored bloom in late spring when annuals have begun to fade.


A foxglove beardtongue plant rises gracefully, boasting green leaves and delicate light purple blooms. In the background, a blur reveals a lush tapestry of these enchanting flowers, adding depth and allure to the botanical scene.
Foxglove beardtongue is best planted among native perennials in the garden.
botanical-name botanical name Penstemon digitalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2 to 4 feet  
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 8

Add these spiky white flowering plants to xeriscapes, naturalized areas, or parts of your garden you are “rewilding.” They prefer well-draining soil in full sun but will also perform well in dry, partial shade. 

Heavy clays and wet soils may lead to crown rot in some varieties. Beardtongues will readily self-seed and attract many types of pollinators. 

Beardtongues need consistent watering when newly added to your landscape until they become established. Failing to do so will result in smaller plants and reduced flowering. Once they’ve settled in, these drought-tolerant perennial flowers will be a reliable bloomer in the garden.  

Winter Jasmine

A close-up reveals the delicate beauty of winter jasmine, showcasing a branch adorned with yellow blossoms. The soft focus background enhances the enchanting scene, highlighting a symphony of yellow flowers in a captivating blur.
Utilize winter jasmine to prevent erosion by planting it on slopes.
botanical-name botanical name Jasminum nudiflorum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 10 to 15 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6 to 10

If you’re looking for an early blooming drought-tolerant perennial, look no further than winter jasmine, whose flowers emerge before the leaves in late winter or early spring. Its nickname in Chinese translates to “flower that welcomes spring.” 

Consistently beautiful and high-performing with or without rainfall or irrigation, winter jasmine is a four-season stunner. Its yellow blooms will remain attractive from winter to spring, providing rare winter flowers even when snow is present. Its mounding branches will arch down or vine up, depending on their garden placement and trellis provided.

Mass plant winter jasmine on slopes to help with erosion or allow its vines to trail along rock walls. 


A profusion of coreopsis blooms, delicate stems offering support beneath the sun's warmth. Petals transition from deep reds to brilliant yellows, each bloom adorned with a rich brown center.
Cheerful and bright coreopsis flowers bloom in late spring to late summer.
botanical-name botanical name Coreopsis tinctoria
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2 to 4 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2 to 11

These cheerful and bright flowers are yellow, orange, red, or bi-color. They bloom in late spring to late summer. Native to North America and nicknamed tickseed, they’ve adapted to all sorts of climates and soil types. 

Coreopsis is an heirloom, slightly wild in appearance, and is often planted in rock and cottage gardens. It’s also a popular choice for pollinator mixes. It’s easy to start from seed and often flowers in its first year. 

Quick to spread and easy to divide, this member of the aster family is moderately drought and heat-tolerant. We love it for its ability to thrive in unirrigated and naturalized areas. 

Hens and Chicks

A close-up reveals the intricate beauty of a Hens and Chicks succulent, its green leaves tinged with captivating purple hues at the tips. In the blurred backdrop, a harmonious scene unfolds with other succulents thriving amidst a rocky landscape.
Drought-tolerant Hens and Chicks spread yearly with minimal care.
botanical-name botanical name Sempervivum spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial sun 
height height Varies by species
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 8

These forgiving and drought-tolerant succulents will add interest to any backyard rock garden and will spread out each year without much assistance. Choose from a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that fit your garden aesthetics, ranging from bright greens, fiery red, and orange to bi-color green and pink.  

Hens and chicks are named for the juicy leaves that form larger rosettes (the hens) and the smaller baby plants (the chicks). 

They can survive in soils that most other plants cannot, so pop them in along rock walls, in small cracks, and where soil is limited. Water when newly planted, then rely on rainfall alone. 

Lamb’s Ear

A Lamb's Ear plant, its velvety leaves catching sunlight, stands tall with graceful stems crowned by delicate gray flowers. In the backdrop, a vibrant tapestry of lush plants sets the stage for this botanical beauty.
‘Silver Carpet’ is a non-flowering variety of Lamb’s Ear with large fuzzy petals.
botanical-name botanical name Stachys byzantina
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 10 to 18 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 9

Lamb’s ear thrives in conditions similar to its native area, the Middle East. It likes hot and dry weather, will tolerate poor soils, and performs well in partially shaded areas. Some varieties flower, but lamb’s ears, or wooly hedge nettle as it’s lovingly called, are mostly grown for their fluffy and adorable soft, gray petals (ears). Deadhead flowers to prevent self-seeding.

Plant them in mass along borders, along rock walls, or anywhere the soil isn’t particularly fertile in full sun and ensure proper drainage. 

‘Silver Carpet’ is a non-flowering variety that boats big and ultra-fuzzy petals. Water all varieties well until they’re established, when they become drought-tolerant, and you can reduce watering. 

Blanket Flower 

A close-up of a single blanket flower, its petals gracefully transitioning from a red hue to a brilliant yellow, creating a stunning contrast against the backdrop of rich, blurred greenery.
These are easy to grow from seed but may not flower until the second year.
botanical-name botanical name Gaillardia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 1 to 3 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 10

This interesting daisy-like perennial has wildflower parents and gets its nickname from its low-spreading growth habit that forms a sort of blanket throughout the garden.

These drought-tolerant perennial flowers thrive in full sun with dry conditions and prefer poor soil. It also doesn’t care much about pH levels or how well the soil drains. Plant blanket flowers around other sun-loving perennials in an area where they can grow freely. Water deeply when first seeded or planted to allow them to establish, then hold off unless conditions are extremely dry. Established plants are very tolerant of drought. 

Growing it from seed is easy, but it typically won’t flower until its second year. Start seeds indoors about four to six weeks before your last frost. While they’ll easily self-seed, future plants may vary in appearance. 

Globe Thistle

Purple globe thistle flowers and foliage illuminated by the sunlight, showcasing their vibrant hue and intricate texture. They flourish gracefully, nestled among a cluster of large rocks, their resilience and beauty adding to the natural landscape's allure.
Wear gloves when handling globe thistle to avoid pricking your fingers.
botanical-name botanical name Echinops ritro
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2 to 4 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2 to 8

Another beauty that doesn’t mind poor fertility or dry soil, the globe thistle is a unique perennial that looks great in a wide range of garden styles. Its steely blue, spherical flower heads look whimsical in a field of wildflowers and add texture to a fresh or dried bouquet. 

Add globe thistle to a perennial or annual border where the soil drains properly. Deer and rabbits won’t be a bother. Wear gloves when handling to keep the spikes from pricking your fingers! 

Pro tip: Plant globe thistle in areas where you want to attract ladybugs, like near annual vegetables. It works well alongside other pollinator attractants, like catmint and bee balm. 

Desert Spoon

A close-up reveals the intricate details of a desert spoon plant, showcasing its elongated leaves. Each leaf is adorned with yellow thorns, adding texture and contrast to the blades, creating a striking visual display in the arid landscape.
This thrives in dry climates and sandy soils with minimal maintenance.
botanical-name botanical name Dasylirion wheeleri
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4 to 8 feet, 10 to 15 feet with flower spike
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8 to 11 

You can guess by the name desert spoon’s tolerance to dry climates and sandy soils. It’s native to desert environments, so as long as the soil is well-draining and gritty, you shouldn’t have to pay much attention to this plant for it to thrive. 

It features thick, broad, and glossy evergreen leaves but also boasts an impressive flower spike that can add up to ten additional feet to its height

Though not required, you can fertilize your plant in the spring, but don’t overdo it. Hold off on watering once it’s well established. 

Little Bluestem

 Little bluestem plants, with slender green stems, sway gently in the warm sunlight. These native grasses, characterized by their tufted growth and vibrant color, provide a picturesque scene as they absorb the sun's warmth
The flowers of the little bluestem plant transition from blue-green to purple in fall.
botanical-name botanical name Schizachyrium scoparium
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2 to 4 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 9 

The unique blend of blue, green, and purple blades transition into reds, coppers, and oranges in the fall, supplying constant, ever-changing seasonal beauty. Little bluestem provides valuable nesting area, cover for local critters, seeds for birds, and attracts native pollinators. 

This ornamental grass thrives in poor soil conditions across prairies, planes, on slopes, and in naturalized areas is easy to grow in most zones across the United States. Little bluestem serves as an important part of local ecosystems, hosting butterflies, pollinators, and small animals throughout the year. 

While mainly prized for its foliage, little bluestem blooms from June to December and spreads by self-seeding. This characteristic lends itself well to areas at risk for erosion. Try ‘Jazz’ for a short cultivar that transitions from blue-green to purple in the fall. 


A bunch of lavender lilac flowers and their vibrant leaves soak up the warm sunlight, creating a picturesque scene. The blurred backdrop reveals an abundance of these blossoms, surrounded by lush greenery.
Mulch lilacs at the base to aid in moisture retention.
botanical-name botanical name Syringa
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial sun 
height height Range from 3-foot ornamental shrubs to 30-foot trees
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 7

These fragrant and beautiful flowering shrubs are surprisingly drought-tolerant, needing supplemental water only in extreme cases. Utah State University Extension horticulturist Jerry Goodspeed says they’re “one of the most drought-tolerant plants”. 

Mulch at the base of newly planted lilacs to help them retain moisture and protect the root system in colder climates during the first few years of establishment and keep weeds at bay. Prune in the spring, but avoid it for the first five years. Deadhead at the end of the season to maintain healthy plants. 

Lilacs vary in height and can be used as stand-alone statement pieces, mixed into borders with other shrubs, or as flowering hedges. 


Catmint plants stand tall, their slender stems gracefully supporting clusters of purple flowers. In the blurred background, a profusion of similar blossoms creates a dreamy ambiance, accentuating the beauty of the catmint in focus.
The catmint is a low-maintenance perennial with minimal water needs.
botanical-name botanical name Nepeta racemosa
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 6 to 18 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 8

Catmint is a versatile drought-tolerant perennial flower. They’re great to add to new garden areas for their ability to tolerate poor or unknown soil fertility. 

While it should be watered as needed during extended periods of extreme heat for best performance, catmint can survive on once-a-month watering sessions. 

Overall, this perennial is very easy to care for. It’s deer-resistant and makes an excellent ornamental bloomer. You can also dry it to use as a soothing herbal tea. 

Glossy Abelia 

A close-up of white glossy abelia flowers, exuding a subtle allure. Complementing the floral display, crimson stems create a vivid focal point, and the interplay of red and green leaves adds a harmonious touch.
This hardy hybrid shrub showcases white-pink blooms throughout the year.
botanical-name botanical name Linnaea x grandiflora
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3 to 12 feet, variety dependent
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6 to 9

Glossy abelia is a hybrid developed by crossing Abelia chinensis and Abelia uniflora. The result was an evergreen and easy-to-shape deciduous shrub that thrives in extreme temperatures and seems to perform best when it’s neglected. 

This low-maintenance and hardy, flowering shrub is lovely planted in mass as a natural privacy fence or border. Enjoy its foliage and crisp white, tinged pink blooms from spring to fall. 

Glossy abelia doesn’t suffer from many pests or disease pressure. Provide well-draining soil of any fertility level, but note its intolerance of salty soil. 

Creeping Phlox 

Purple creeping phlox flowers cascade gracefully along a low stone wall. In the background, a lush array of plants provides a rich tapestry of foliage, adding depth and texture to the scene.
Regular dividing and watering of creeping phlox plants prevents powdery mildew.
botanical-name botanical name Phlox subulata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4 to 6 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 9

This delicate-looking flowering perennial is alarmingly tolerant of drought once established and can also manage extended periods of rain without support. White, pink, and purple flowers bloom in spring and summer.

Creeping phlox will form a carpet of flowers in the garden, performing well in rock gardens, along retaining walls, on sloped land, and will fill in gaps and cracks. The bright rose-colored variety ‘McDaniel’s Cushion’ has been given the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society, and for good reason! 

Divide your plants every few years in the spring to make new plants and keep production high. Water new plants well until established. Overwatering will increase the risk of powdery mildew. 


Deep purple salvia flowers, vivid and erect, rise against a backdrop of blurred, verdant foliage. Their slender stems sway gracefully amidst the lush greenery, creating a striking contrast in the garden's vibrant tapestry.
This low-maintenance, long-lasting flowering herb attracts pollinators with its deep purple blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Salvia nemorosa
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1 to 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 8

Salvia is a drought-tolerant perennial flower that thrives in full sun and heat, requiring little attention once established. It’s recommended to provide some water during extended periods of drought, but avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot. 

Its deep violet flowers complement bright orange and yellow annuals and are commonly used in cottage and cutting gardens, and along borders

To promote growth and extended blooming season, add a slow-release, well-balanced fertilizer in the spring when new growth is emerging. Pollinators love salvia, and deer and rabbits leave it alone!

Bearded Irises

 A close-up of bearded irises, showcasing their intricate petals adorned with purple and white hues. The blurred background gracefully merges similar blossoms and lush green foliage, creating a harmonious natural tapestry of colors and textures.
The bearded irises can be easily propagated through splitting in the fall.
botanical-name botanical name Iris × germanica
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade 
height height 1 to 4 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 10

Another beauty that can withstand neglect and thrives with little maintenance. The bearded iris loves sun and heat, and while some varieties can tolerate temperatures to -25°F (-32°C), they won’t always produce as many flowers in cooler climates. 

As long as you plant them in full sun and well-draining soil, their drought tolerance is incredible. While not required, water them in the morning as needed to avoid wet leaves overnight and reduce the risk of bacterial rots. 

Underground rhizomes will spread easily, but you can also split them in the fall to create new plants. Plant them right after splitting to allow time for roots to set before winter. Starting bearded irises from seed is not recommended. 

Ornamental Alliums

Ornamental allium flowers in shades of purple, each bulb displaying its distinctive round shape, adding a pop of color to the garden. Delicate, slender leaves gracefully sprawl beneath the blooms, enhancing the overall elegance of the floral arrangement.
These should be planted with similar watering needs to prevent rot.
botanical-name botanical name Allium 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1 to 5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4 to 9

The wide range of alliums is perfect for a dry garden for their desire to be grown on the drier side. If flowers are small or the leaves are thin and droopy during extended dry spells, provide supplemental water. Plant alliums with other perennials that have similar watering needs to avoid rot. 

Their spherical flower heads are multi-purpose. They provide garden beauty and are excellent in dried flower crafts. In the garden, they are pollinator attractants and deer repellents. They range from white to different shades of purple, whose petals are slightly onion-scented. Note ornamental alliums are not edible plants

Try growing Allium giganteum to make a real statement. 


Daylilies bloom in shades of yellow and orange, adding a burst of color to the garden. Green stems and buds stand nearby, promising more blossoms to come, creating a harmonious and lively scene.
Adaptable daylilies are resilient perennials that thrive in various climates.
botanical-name botanical name Hemerocallis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun or partial shade
height height 1 to 4 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 11, variety dependent 

Daylilies are gorgeous, adaptable, and easy to care for. What more could you ask for in a perennial? They tolerate heat and cold, grow well in both dry and moist climates, and tolerate a wide range of soil types, including heavy clay and low fertility. Look for extended and re-blooming varieties that offer longer bloom periods. 

Have an area that suffers from annual soil erosion? The tuberous roots of daylilies will prevent it. Containers to fill? Daylilies look great in them. Extended periods of drought? Daylilies won’t mind. The stored nutrition in their tuberous roots allows them to make it through. 

Fun fact: Daylilies aren’t true lilies but rather members of the genus Hemerocallis in the Asphodelaceae family. 

Pink Muhly Grass

A pink muhly grass swaying gently in the breeze, its delicate strands casting a soft hue. Nestled amidst vibrant green foliage, it adds a splash of color to the garden landscape, capturing the warm sunlight in its feathery blooms.
This requires pruning and division every few years for optimal growth.
botanical-name botanical name Muhlenbergia capillaris
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 2 to 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 to 9

Looking for a tall and interesting ornamental grass that’s beautiful, long-lasting, and low-maintenance? Look no further; pink muhly grass is all of the above! Its tall, thin, and green blades are graced with a plethora of tiny pink flowers, giving the illusion of a blade that’s half green, half pink from afar. Pink muhly grass blows whimsically in the wind but doesn’t need support. 

The roots run deep, so plants can fend for themselves during extended periods of drought. However, if you notice the soil surrounding your plants is overly dry, supplemental water will be appreciated. 

Leave several feet between pink muhly grass plants to allow them to spread out. Prune and divide them every few years to keep them fresh and healthy. They require little more than that for maintenance. Pink muhly grass is the perfect addition to xeriscapes, tolerating sandy slopes and road salts, but pH should not be higher than 7.0 for peak performance. 


A close-up of lavender flowers standing tall, their delicate petals unfolding gracefully. In the blurred background, a sea of similar flowers extends, creating a mesmerizing tapestry of purple hues in nature's canvas.
Lavender plants flourish in less maintained areas and harsh winters.
botanical-name botanical name Lavandula angustifolia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1 to 3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 to 9

This semi-woody herbaceous perennial is easy to grow, transplant, split, and care for. I started plants from seed several years ago and noticed they weren’t loving the heavy, rich soil of the field I first planted them in. After transplanting them to a less maintained area, they have lived happily for three seasons. 

I mulch them to protect the crowns from our harsh winters but don’t give them a second thought during drought years. They happily flower every summer, providing lots of deliciously fragrant purple flowers. Lavender plants are perfectly lovely with and without flowers, making them an easy choice for dry gardens. 

Grow lavender with other perennial herbs in a rock garden or nearby annual vegetables to attract pollinators. 


A silver mound plant with delicate foliage, flourishing amidst rich mulch, showcases nature's resilience. Behind the silver mound plant, large rocks stand as guardians, lending stability and contrast to the greenery.
The silver mound’s feathery silver foliage adds texture and softness to gardens.
botanical-name botanical name Artemisia spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1 to 5 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3 to 10

Consider this perennial herb if you’re seeking lush foliage without many blooms. There are over 450 species that thrive in full sun and are drought-resistant. 

Artemisia ‘Power Castle’ is an upright, mounding variety that blooms inconspicuously in the fall and complements pink and purple flowers and ornamental grasses. Prune to the shape you desire and cut plants back in the fall.

Pro tip: Do your research on species before planting and confirm its invasive species status. Artemisia vulgaris, or common mugwort, is considered a noxious weed in some parts of the country. The pure species tend to be less invasive than cultivars. 

Final Thoughts 

It’s fun to grow new and trendy annuals each year, but it’s also nice to fall back on well-established perennial patches in times of inclement weather conditions. Dry gardening is a method being adapted by gardeners everywhere as a way to cut back on garden chores, reduce erosion, conserve water, and create a beautiful landscape with little maintenance. 

Choosing native perennials will help support our local ecosystems and provide continued beauty each season. 

The gardener is going to fertilize arborvitae in the garden. Close-up of a hand holding a small plastic measuring spoon full of fertilizer. These fertilizers are finely granulated and white in color. Arborvitae is a genus of evergreen conifers known for their distinctive appearance, characterized by dense, scale-like foliage arranged in flattened sprays.


When and How to Fertilize Arborvitae

Whether you’re growing an arborvitae hedge or decorating your porch with these vibrant evergreens, healthy green plants are your goal. And that means supplying your plants with the proper nutrients. Join Briana Yablonski as she covers when and how to fertilize arborvitae.

Close-up of a growing lemongrass from seed plant in a sunny garden. Lemongrass is characterized by its tall, slender stalks that grow in clumps. They have a pale green color and are cylindrical with a slightly bulbous base. Lemongrass leaves are long and linear, resembling blades, and grow in a tuft at the top of the stalks.


How to Grow Lemongrass From Seed

Lemongrass can be propagated by taking cuttings or by division, but why not try starting it from seed? It is easy and rewarding and will boost your seed-starting confidence! Gardening expert Kelli Klein walks you through the steps.

A stunning close-up captures a vibrant cluster of Virginia bluebells. Their bell-shaped blooms boast a rich, almost luminous blue, standing out against the crisp green leaves. Bathed in warm light, these delicate wildflowers seem to burst from the frame.

Ornamental Gardens

23 Spring Ephemeral Plants for Your Garden

Would you like some early spring flowers to grace your landscape with the very first flowers of the season? Try growing some spring ephemeral flowering plants to liven up your garden and welcome the growing season in style. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen introduces 23 spring ephemeral flowers and how you can incorporate them into your garden.