Are you looking for colorful drought tolerant plants for your landscape or ornamental garden? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Everyone wants a completely low-maintenance plant that still looks stunning. Choosing hardy, self-sufficient plants that don’t require a lot of water is necessary if we want our backyards to be lush and lovely.
In the USA, the seasonal drought is anticipated to last for quite some time. So let’s find ways for our environment to look stunning even under pressure.
Here is a long list of drought-tolerant plants that you will absolutely love!
This colorful broadleaf evergreen will give you a taste of the tropics. Oleanders are remarkably water-efficient and only need a small amount. They flourish in zones 5 to 9, and their fragrant blossoms come in shades of pink, yellow, red, white, and purple.
2. California Lilac
This is an adorable plant that gives the xeriscaped garden a charming twist. Beautiful buds bloom into vibrant blue, white, or pink flowers against a backdrop of small, dark green foliage. California lilac flourishes in zones 8 to 10, favoring most soil types with a higher pH. Well-established plants don’t need water in the summer heat.
3. Sea Holly
These are colorful drought tolerant plants that can beautify your landscape. Sea holly may be the only remaining plant from old neglected, and unwatered garden spaces, serving as a fading remembrance of beloved gardens from bygone eras.
The unique flower heads and spiky foliage have an intriguing silvery blue color. Sea holly thrives in hot, well-draining soils and can endure nearly anything in zones 4 to 9.
4. California Poppy
California poppies grow as an annual and happily self-seed in cooler climates, and they are hardy in zones 7 to 11. Each morning, the vibrant orange blossoms unfold themselves with great enthusiasm.
If the environment is right, they develop in colonies and produce what appear to be oceans of color. These tiny beauties develop swiftly and typically blossom before you know it. They enjoy full sun and sandy, well-draining soils and are incredibly drought tolerant.
Coneflower is a charming native plant whose popularity is on the rise. It’s also among colorful drought tolerant plants.
New varieties and color combinations are becoming more popular, while the classic laid-back light pink to purple variety never goes out of style.
Even in extreme heat and a lack of water, this clumping, drought-tolerant summer flower maintains its upright posture and stunning appearance.
Coneflowers thrive in most soil types as long as they drain well in zones 4 to 9, preferring full sun.
6. Blanket Flower
Blanket flowers got their name from when they used to display how their daisy-like red, orange, and yellow flame-colored petals would cover the North American grasslands.
Despite the fact that many ornamental species have been domesticated for use in the home garden, they are still commonly found in the wild. Gaillardia thrives in poor soil, full sun and can withstand heat and drought in zones 3 to 10.
7. Snow in Summer
This is also among the colorful drought tolerant plants on this list. When it comes to toughness and tolerance to drought, this exceptionally robust groundcover can hold its own with yarrow. Some people might even think that snow in summer is weedy.
Snow in summer requires no upkeep due to its woolly textured silver foliage and dancing single plain white flowers in hardiness zones 3 to 7. It serves as a fantastic ground cover and can even displace certain challenging weed competitors, including bindweed.
The tropical floral color show of bougainvillea ranges from peachy yellow to scarlet to purple and is ideal for a drought-tolerant barrier plant. Bougainvillea flourishes in zones 9 to 11 because it enjoys the heat, dryness, and well-draining conditions.
9. Trumpet Vine
This is one eye-catching vine with tropical-looking, bright, red-orange, tubular blossoms that will astonish even the most fastidious water-conscious observer. Trumpet vine only requires occasional pruning because it grows so quickly.
In hot climates, they will function even with some shade protection. These long-lived vines, however, prefer full sun and are hardy in zones 4 to 9, and once established, they don’t need much further water.
10. Sweet Potato Vine
Among the colorful drought tolerant plants are the sweet potato vine. Planting these low-maintenance vigorous vines in the full sun creates a lush tropical look that people won’t believe is part of a water-wise planting scheme.
The foliage is lush and comes in various colors, including purple, bronze, spring green, and chartreuse. It may also be climbing or trailing (or both).
Sweet potato vines are hardy in zones 9 to 11, are frequently grown in containers or as bedding plants, and can withstand drought.
11. Fountain Grass
Fountain grass lends a charming atmosphere with its clump-forming, gently arching stalks. This low-maintenance, water-wise plant comes in a number of variants. Also, this plant has purple to red leaves and thrives in full sun and well-drained soils in zones 9 to 11.
12. Feather Reed Grass
Any water-wise garden finds it difficult to maintain drought tolerance in heavy clay. Feather reed grass comes in handy here. It’s among colorful drought tolerant plants you can have in your garden.
Feather reed grass, which is hardy in zones 4 to 8, is beautiful as a backdrop or when planted in large quantities and gracefully endures the dry season.
13. Creeping Thyme
This is also one of the colorful drought tolerant plants on this list. Although most members of the thyme genus can survive drought, creeping thyme looks especially attractive in difficult conditions.
It is also a native of the dry, hot Mediterranean region, and it prefers full sun and soils with good drainage in zones 3 to 8. The silvery-green leaves of creeping thyme develop and embraces the ground, seeming like a plush carpet.
This beautiful, fragrant plant can be used as a water-efficient alternative to grass. In addition, stone pathways can be planted with it. A lovely scent follows your steps as you walk across creeping thyme.
This enormous genus of plants, which has over 1000 species, is united by its ability to withstand droughts and its spikes of vibrant late-season blooms.
Nothing enhances xeriscaping as well as using a variety of salvias to liven things up. Salvias are typically hardy in zones 5 to 10 so, you can plant them as one of the colorful drought tolerant plants in your space.
Salvias of the shrub, perennial, or annual variety can reward you with ease of care, aromatic foliage, and spectacular spikes of colorful blooms if you take care not to overwater or position them in a wet region.
Yarrow is also among the colorful drought tolerant plants. This natural, incredibly hardy, long-blooming perennial herb may surprise you with its startling potential health advantages.
It blooms in a range of colors throughout the heat of the summer, from pale to hot pinks, whites, and yellows. Yarrow thrives in the rock garden, as a groundcover, in the perennial border, and as a useful edging plant in the vegetable or herb garden.
It is remarkably simple to grow in hardiness zones 3 to 9. Also, yarrow produces an intriguing, incredibly soft, drought-tolerant lawn substitute.
Many northern gardeners dream of moving to a region where this lovely scented, pine-needled shrub can grow in a hedge up to 5 feet tall!
Rosemary does well in full sun and soils that drain well and are hardy in zones 6 to 10, though it may require some winter protection. Not to mention that it grows in a pot and is tasty, making it a year-round culinary option.
Artemisias, a large genus of colorful drought-tolerant plants, includes hardy shrubs and herbs like tarragon and sagebrush. Silver mounds and wormwood are popular varieties in the ornamental garden.
In general, the complex leaf structure and silvery gray foliage are aromatic, thriving in full sun in zones 4 to 8. Artemisias are strong and elegant, and they pair beautifully with other drought-tolerant champs like succulents and decorative grasses.
Lavender is famous for its flavorful, restful, and purifying smell and is very drought-tolerant once established. This is why it is among our list of colorful drought tolerant plants.
After its first year of life, lavender requires little moisture because it is a native of the arid, sandy Mediterranean region and is hardy in zones 5 to 8. The abundant blue-purple flower spikes look stunning against the sturdy, fragrant silvery foliage.
This fascinating genus of colorful drought-tolerant plants has a fantastic range of species. There is a sedum to fit any dry landscape need imagined, from ground-climbing, draped, creeping species to upright, clump-forming, fall-blooming varieties that are beloved by bees.
Any flowering garden can use stonecrop that is hardy in zones 3 to 11 as a low-maintenance border, dazzling groundcover, or rock garden feature.
20. Hens and Chicks
The low-growing, ground-hugging rosettes that fill up every open space in rock gardens, borders, walk cervices, stone pathways, and rock walls with time to spare have a certain romantic appeal. Hen and chicks prefer full sunlight and nutrient-poor soils with good drainage. It’s also among the best colorful drought tolerant plants you’ll see around.
21. Living Stones
During periods of low water, this amazing little plant sinks back into the ground. Talk about drought tolerance! These water-saving plants look stunning in small succulent arrangements. Living stones can be cultivated in containers and brought indoors during cold weather.
22. Moss Rose
This is also among colorful drought tolerant plants. Portulaca is a popular bedding plant for hot, dry, full-sun locations because of its gorgeous, almost fluorescent blooms.
This little beauty can survive where most other bedding plants would all but wither away, thanks to its thick succulent leaves. The moss rose will readily reproduce by seeding itself in perfect conditions, allowing it to bloom during subsequent hot, dry seasons.
23. Prickly Pear
This odd-looking cactus produces lovely white, yellow, or red flowers in the spring that gives way to unique fruits in the fall. Also, you can eat both their leaves and fruit.
The succulent water storage capacity and waxy sun protection skin of the prickly pear make it remarkably well suited to dry environments. Zones 4 to 9 are suitable for this beautiful desert cactus.
Agave plants, sometimes called the Century Plant, serve other purposes besides producing tequila. Their species, which are native to the Americas, can be found in both dry and tropical climates.
Surprisingly, agave, which is hardy in zones 9 to 11, has shallow rhizomatous roots that can absorb all the rain, mist, and dew that falls on them.
They develop into massive, spiky, robust rosettes with uncommon, gigantic flower spikes that may only appear once every 60 years.
25. Adam’s Needle
This is also among colorful drought tolerant plants. They can withstand the harshest droughts in zones 4-5 to 10, thanks to their extensive tap roots, but they must never be allowed to sit in thick, poorly drained soil, particularly in locations that are cold and damp.
This drought-tolerant cactus stands out in any dry-land garden setting thanks to its intriguing, spiky foliage and magnificent enormous blossom stalk.
26. Black-eyed Susans
Black-eyed Susans are your go-to plants for a flower garden running wild in your dehydrated garden if you want a cottage flower garden in your dry landscape. This plant is hardy in zones 3 to 10.
27. Blazing Stars
It’s incredible how these blooms can survive in both extremes of weather. Your garden will blossom with dazzling stars through a drought period and a harsh winter. Also, it’s hardy in zones 3 and 9.
This is also among colorful drought tolerant plants. Drought-tolerant flowers like cleome, which give any flower garden character, can be used to create an English cottage flower garden in arid landscapes. In addition to being attractive in pastel, it also has an intriguing wispy form. Cleome is hardy in zones 10 and 11.
29. Crown of Thorns
You might feel intimidated by the thorns, but the blossoms will undoubtedly win you over. The crown of thorns is among the fascinating drought-resistant plants. The range of colors, sizes, and forms will spark your attention more. They’re hardy in zones 9 to 11.
There you have it – 29 colorful drought tolerant plants. Finding ways to keep our blooming backyards beautiful even during drought is one way we can help keep everything healthy. Thanks for reading!