Plants for Drought-Tolerant Displays

Plants for Drought-Tolerant Displays

Posted by Amber Williams on 28th Apr 2023

Summer gardening has become a challenge over recent years as temperatures begin to rise. So it’s no shock that drought-tolerant plants are becoming more sought-after. Luckily, there’s plenty of choice! From perfect perennials to bedding plants, here are our top picks for drought-tolerant displays. 

Lavender - Lavender is and always will be a staple for drought-friendly gardens. They need very little watering, are highly fragrant, and will attract pollinators with ease. A great choice for your flower beds and containers if you need some extra reassurance they won't perish. 

Image: Yarrow (Achillea) plants. 

Yarrow - Also known as Achillea, Yarrows are colourful and drought-resistant - the best of both worlds. They'll look at home in any wildflower display or border, and will flower for months on end. 

Coneflower - Otherwise known as Echinacea, Coneflowers are gorgeous and need very little maintenance throughout the summer months. Although they will need regular watering throughout their first year as they establish, the following years will require a lighter touch and won't need as much water. 

Verbena - Baring clusters of fragrant purple flowers from summer into autumn, Verbena is another great option for your drought-resistant garden. They’ll obviously prefer regular watering but can survive on just an inch or so a week.

Stonecrop - Sedum, or 'Stonecrop' is a low-growing perennial that is often grown in rockeries or areas of the garden that get direct sunlight. They're a wonderful choice for your displays, and will provide excellent ground cover to your borders. 

Image: Purple Stonecrop plants.

Russian sage - Similar in shape and colour to Lavender, Russian Sage is yet another purple sun-loving plant. Perovskia is a drought-tolerant, pollinator-friendly pick for your garden. They are a great partner for all kinds of grasses and perennials, and can grow quite tall - to around 1.2m. Many of its varieties are winners of the RHS Award of Garden Merit, so don’t underestimate the Russian Sage.

Daylilies - Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are adaptable plants that can survive in less-than-ideal conditions. From warm weather to poor soil, established plants will thrive almost anything the weather throws at them.

Grasses - Pampas grass, Festuca, Silver Grass, Fountain grasses, and Switchgrass are all great examples of drought-resistant grasses to pair with your blooms. There’s a wide selection to choose from, but make sure you do your research before planting a grass if you’re specifically growing drought-tolerant plants.

Drought-Tolerant Planting Tips

- Adding plenty of organic matter to the soil before planting will help aid in drainage and water absorption. Don’t add fertiliser though, as this can grow too much foliage which can flop and need extra watering.

- Add mulches around the bases of the plants to help retain extra moisture.

- Before planting your drought-tolerant plants, soak the roots on each plant. To do this, keep the plants in their pots and hold them in a bucket of water until the bubbles stop. Water new plants thoroughly, and keep them well-watered throughout their first season. After this first year, they will become more drought-tolerant, needing less attention the following years.