26 Full Sun Drought Tolerant Plants That Will Add Color To Your GardenPublished: 06/02/2023 | Updated: 10/09/2023
The heat and drought of the summer can be brutal, especially when you’re trying to keep your plants alive. It’s easy to lose your entire garden in one hot spell.
Thankfully, if you live in a hot place where most plants don't survive the heat, you can still grow as many drought-tolerant plants as you want.
These plants are also known as xerophytes, and they have evolved to survive without much water. They thrive in dry climates and will add color to your garden while also providing a habitat for beneficial insects.
For this reason, we've gathered a list of 26 full-sun drought-tolerant plants that will add color to your garden even when water is hard to come by.
1. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
The black-eyed Susan is a bright, bold flower that's easy to grow and maintain. It thrives in full sun and can tolerate prolonged dry spells, making it an excellent choice for the back of your garden or along the border.
The flowers are long blooming, with bright yellow petals surrounding dark centers--you'll have plenty of time to enjoy them before they fade away!
If you love butterflies as much as we do, then this drought-tolerant plant will be right up your alley. Black-eyed Susans attract butterflies by offering nectar-rich blooms throughout much of summertime; they're also known to attract hummingbirds too!
2. Blanket Flowers (Gaillardia)
Blanket flower, also known as Gaillardia, is a native of the western U.S. It produces pink flowers in early summer that grow up to 4 feet tall and tolerate poor soil, drought, and heat. It grows well in both full sun and partial shade.
In the full sun, Blanket Flower is an excellent choice for a drought-tolerant perennial. It tolerates poor soil, so you don't have to worry about fertilizing it or adding compost.
The flowers' gray-green leaves are attractive year-round and make this plant a great option for rock gardens or ornamental grasses.
In early summer, blank flowers bloom with bright pink flowers that attract butterflies and bees.
The plant is best for borders, rock gardens, or, mass plantings.
3. Lavender Cotton (Santolina)
These plants, which are native to Europe, have an interesting history.
Lavender Cottons were first introduced as an ornamental plant in the 17th century and became popular due to their drought-tolerant nature and ability to thrive in poor soil conditions.
The plant itself has a low-growing habit and produces small pink flowers that bloom throughout most of the summer months.
It's also known for its long blooming period--from May through September!
4. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) is a perennial that thrives in full sun and well-drained soil.
Native to the Mediterranean region, this drought-tolerant plant has deep green foliage and blooms with pink flowers in late summer.
It makes an excellent addition to rock gardens, borders, and mass plantings.
5. Globe Thistle (Echinops bannaticus)
If you're looking for a drought-tolerant plant that is also colorful, then globe thistle might be the one for you.
The Globe thistle is a perennial flower that blooms in the summer. It can grow up to 4 feet tall and has purple-blue flowers with yellow centers.
The great thing about globe thistle is that it doesn't need much care or watering at all!
The only thing this plant needs is full sun exposure, which means it should get six hours of sunlight each day (but don't worry if your area gets less than six hours--it will still survive).
6. Lamb's Ears (Stachys)
Lamb's ears plant is a perennial that grows in full sun to partial shade and has gray-green leaves with pink flowers.
Lamb's ear is drought tolerant and can be planted in any soil condition, making it an excellent choice for gardens where soil conditions are less than ideal.
7. Tickseed (Coreopsis)
Tickseed is a native annual that grows to about 2 feet tall and produces clusters of small flowers in shades of yellow, pink, and orange. It blooms in early summer, which makes it a great choice for attracting butterflies to your garden.
It can be grown in full sun or partial shade and will thrive under various conditions, including dry soil conditions as well as wet soil conditions.
This plant makes an excellent addition to rock gardens or naturalized areas because it thrives in both rich soil and poor soil, which means that no matter what kind of yard you have, there's probably somewhere you could put this drought-tolerant beauty!
If you don't want it taking over too much space though, you might want to consider using Tickseed as a border instead!
8. Sea Thrift
Sea thrift is a perennial that blooms in late summer. It's known for its pretty pink flowers that attract butterflies and bees, but it can also be used as a border plant or in a rock garden.
Sea thrift tolerates poor soil and drought conditions well, making it ideal for planting alongside other drought-tolerant plants like lavender or sedum.
The best part? You don't need an ocean view to enjoy them--sea thrift will do just fine in containers on your patio!
9. Coreopsis Auriculata 'Nana'
Coreopsis is a small, low-growing plant that has bright yellow flowers. It's great for the front of a border or in a rock garden and can be grown in full sun or partial shade.
The drought-tolerant coreopsis will tolerate poor soils and drought conditions as well. Sea hibiscus is another tropical plant that can be grown indoors.
It has small white flowers that look like little bells and can be used to decorate pots or even hanging baskets.
They're also very easy to care for and will thrive in bright light with regular water.
10. Speedwell (Veronica)
Veronica is a hardy, low-growing perennial that can tolerate poor soil conditions and drought. It's perfect for rock gardens, as well as borders and beds.
This plant has gray-green foliage with pink flowers in early summer. It attracts butterflies to your garden!
Veronica is easy to grow from seed, but you'll need to plant it in early spring. The seeds should be covered with soil and kept moist until they germinate and begin growing.
You can also purchase Veronica plants at your local nursery or garden center.
11. Salvia greggii
Salvia greggii is a perennial shrub that grows up to 6 feet tall and produces blue flowers in mid-summer.
It's hardy in USDA zones 8 through 11, so it can tolerate both hot and cold weather. Salvia greggii has fragrant leaves that attract bees and butterflies to your garden.
The plant is drought-tolerant and works well in containers or as a ground cover. It's easy to grow from seed, and you'll need to sow the seeds in early spring. The seeds should be covered with soil and kept moist until they germinate.
12. Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)
Rosemary is a perennial herb that can grow to 3 feet tall. It has fragrant leaves and small blue flowers, which can be used in cooking or grown indoors.
Rosemary does well in containers or the ground, but it needs well-drained soil with plenty of sun exposure (full sun).
Rosemary is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10, so you can grow it outdoors year-round in warmer climates.
You can propagate rosemary by division or cuttings (stems), but it may take several months for new plants to establish themselves in your garden.
13. Red Hot Poker
The red hot poker plant is a perennial that can grow up to 6 feet tall. It has green and red foliage and requires full sun for optimal growth.
This drought-tolerant beauty is easy to grow, making it an excellent choice for any garden! Red hot pokers attract butterflies with their bright colors and nectar-rich flowers.
14. Feather Reed Grass
Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora) is a perennial that grows up to 3 feet tall, with yellow flowers and green leaves.
It's native to Europe and Asia but will thrive in your garden if you give it full sun and well-drained soil.
Feather Reed Grass is also known as 'Feathery Reed Grass' or 'Millet Grass.'
15. Creeping Thyme (Thymus serpyllum coccineus)
Creeping thyme is a low-growing plant that spreads by runners. The flowers are small pink blooms in summer and it prefers dry soil.
Creeping thyme is native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. It can be grown as an annual or perennial depending on your climate zone (zones 4-9).
16. Blue Fescue Grass (Festuca glauca)
Blue fescue grass is a drought-tolerant plant with blue-green foliage that grows in clumps.
It's a low-maintenance plant, making it ideal for rock gardens or other areas where you want something that will thrive without much attention.
17. Sea Holly Plant (Eryngium spp.)
The sea holly plant (Eryngium spp.) is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It's a drought-tolerant perennial that grows in the sun or partial shade in well-drained soil.
The gray-green foliage has spiky tips that look like they've been dipped in white paint, which can make them hard to spot among other plants until they bloom in late summer with flower spikes of pink flowers on tall stalks above the foliage.
Coneflowers are perennial, drought-tolerant plants that bloom from midsummer to frost. They have large, daisy-like flowers with purple centers and petals ranging in color from pink to yellow.
These tall plants can grow up to 3 feet tall and thrive in full sun or partial shade. The long blooming period attracts butterflies and bees while the cone shape of their flowers makes them great for attracting pollinators like hummingbirds!
Coneflowers are also easy to grow; they're hardy enough for poor soil conditions, which makes them perfect for areas where water tends not to drain well such as rock gardens or raised beds
The daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) is a long-blooming perennial that flowers from summer to fall.
It's a good choice for poor soil, as it tolerates drought and doesn't require much water once established.
Daylilies are also tolerant of rocky conditions, making them ideal for rock gardens or other areas where drainage is poor.
Delosperma is a succulent. It can be grown in containers or on the ground, and it uses little water. It grows best in full sun or partial shade, but it will survive even in dry conditions.
It’s often used as a low-maintenance ground cover, but it can also be grown in containers. Delosperma is hardy and easy to propagate, making it a good choice for beginners.
21. Foxglove Beardtongue
Foxglove beardtongue is a perennial plant that grows to be 24-36 inches tall. The flowers are pink, red, purple, and white in color and bloom from mid to late summer.
This drought-tolerant plant requires full sun for optimal growth but will tolerate part shade conditions as well.
Foxglove beardtongue prefers well-drained soil but will also tolerate poor soils if they are amended with compost or manure before planting time.
Watering should be kept to a minimum as this plant prefers dry conditions once established in your garden bed or container!
Foxglove beardtongue can grow successfully in zones 5-9 so it makes an excellent choice for any garden where the temperatures stay above freezing most days during winter months.
22. Fountain Grass
If you're looking for a drought-tolerant plant that will add color to your garden but doesn't need a lot of water, fountain grass is a perfect choice.
This native eastern United States perennial grows up to 5 feet tall and has an upright fountain shape that makes it ideal for attracting butterflies and bees.
It does well in full sun or partial shade, so you can plant this pretty flower almost anywhere!
23. Sneezeweed (Helenium )
The sneezeweed (Helenium ) is a perennial that grows to 2-4 feet tall and produces bright yellow, orange, and pink flowers in summer.
It should be planted in full sun with well-drained soil. The plant will die back in winter but come back again each spring when temperatures warm up.
The sneezeweed is easy to grow and can tolerate drought conditions. It’s also deer resistant, which makes it a great choice for home gardens or large landscapes.
24. Coral Bells (Heuchera)
Coral bells (Heuchera) are a great choice for a rock garden or border. They grow well in partial shade, and their bright red flowers bloom from mid-summer through fall.
They're easy to grow, drought tolerant, deer resistant, and low maintenance too!
The coral bells grow well in most soils, but they prefer moist, well-drained soil. They also need a little shade during the hottest parts of summer. In cooler climates, plant them in full sun for best results.
25. Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis)
If you're looking for a long-blooming perennial that can withstand sun or shade and poor soil conditions, this is the plant for you.
The Lenten Rose has pink flowers that appear in late winter and early spring. It's also known as "winter rose" or "oriental hellebore."
It's easy to grow from seed, but if you want instant gratification there are many different varieties available at garden centers.
They range from dwarf varieties that reach only 6 inches tall up to giant plants reaching 6 feet high! Some have white flowers while others have pink or purple ones--you can find one that fits your style perfectly!
26. Mexican Feather Grass
Mexican feather grass is a drought-tolerant perennial that grows in USDA zones 5 to 9. It grows to be about 8 inches tall, with a spread of about 10 inches.
The plant has small green leaves and red flowers, which makes it an attractive addition to any garden.
Mexican feather grass prefers full sun and can tolerate drought conditions well.
Save Your Garden With Some Drought Tolerant Plants!
This list of drought-tolerant plants is a great way to add color and texture to your garden. They are all easy to care for and will thrive in full sun or partial shade. With so many choices, you can find the perfect plant for any space or budget!
And if you're looking for more specific advice on planting long blooming perennials, or creating coastal gardens, then don't hesitate to contact us at shrubhub.com. You can also get a full garden 3D design for 30% of the price of local contractors!