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Top 10 Drought-Tolerant Perennials

Replacing your garden plants with drought-tolerant perennials is the smart choice for a low-maintenance garden that conserves water.The top 10 drough-tolerant perennials to grow in your garden (and save water!)

The climate is changing and what we used to be able to count on for garden micro-climates is now all over the map. By now you may know that I live in Vancouver, BC. Vancouver is a rainforest, specifically a temperate rainforest, considered part of the rainy Pacific Northwest. It’s green and lush and mossy. Well, it was green and lush and mossy. Now we are facing drought conditions in the summer from too little rainfall and not enough snow over winter. Drought! The forest fires that ensue from crispy plant material are horrendous, they spread like (I won’t say it but you know!). All the water we have goes to fighting these fires and that leaves us with watering restrictions for gardens.

As I pray for rain and water my plants with the little rainwater we have, I can’t help but think that it’s time to look into what plants can survive well, and even strive in drought conditions. There are some cool varieties here that won’t even make you think twice about those water-sucking perennials you used to have!

If you want to read more about water-wise garden practices, then head on over to this article on xeriscaping.

Top 10 Drought-Tolerant Perennials

Yarrow – Red Velvet Yarrow 

red velvet yarrow

Sedum – Corican Stonecrop 

Sedum Corican Stonecrop

Coneflower – PowWow White 

Coneflower PowWow White

False Indigo – Decadence ‘Blueberry Sundae’baptisa blueberry sundae


Rosemary – Huntington Carpet 

Rosemary rosmarinus officinalis Huntington Carpet

Hens & chicks – Krebs Desert Rose Krebs desert rose hens and chicks

Penstemon – FirecrackerFirecracker penstemon

Lavender – Sweet Romance

sweet romance Lavender

Thyme – Hi Ho Silverhi-ho silver thyme

Iris – Katrina African IrisKatrina African IrisA special thank you to Monrovia and Proven Winners for providing the photos for this article.

Be sure to read through the Xeriscaping Principles: Water Conservation in the Garden for more ideas of water-wise gardening and even more plants you can choose!

Xeriscaping Garden Design


  1. Hi, thanks for sharing these beautiful flowers. The garden in my soil is sandy and I have trouble growing pretty blooms. I tried to improve the conditions with different methods but nothing works. I was looking for ideas how to deal with this problem when I stumbled upon your post. I’ll try growing these lovely drought resistant plants. I feel like there is hope for my garden now. It’s a good thing that I already grow thyme, lavender and rosemary in my kitchen herb garden. I’ll just transplant some plants in the garden.
    Thank you again!

  2. I highly recommend daylilies for drought-tolerant perennials. There are over 60,000 colors, low maintenance, blooms start early to late Sept., hardy, bloom year after year.

  3. There are also varieties of lamb’s ears that work well to cool down colour pallets.
    I use mine as a “hedge” border along a long perennial bed … it works well and they are very drought tolerant. Almost all herbs are drought tolerant and bring so much to the garden, I can’t imagine my gardens without them !
    The weather trends now are so unpredictable .. drought tolerant plants are indispensable.

  4. Perhaps you could add the zones that these plants do best in. I have a perennial garden in cottage country and wonder if these will do well.


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