The Best Drought-Tolerant Perennials

Drought-Tolerant Container Garden
When summer heat kicks in, rely on these drought-tolerant plants to hold their own -- and still look beautiful.

Yarrow

Not only does yarrow tolerate heat and drought like a champion, but this easy-growing perennial is also a great cut flower -- and deer, rabbits, and most other pests won't touch it. It comes in a number of varieties with blooms in shades of yellow, orange, red, pink, and white.

Name: Achillea varieties

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 4 feet tall

Zones: 3-9

Blanket Flower

A tough prairie plant, gaillardia blooms all summer and into fall. Its flamboyant flowers are usually marked with bright shades of red and yellow.

Name: Gaillardia 'Kobold'

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall

Zones: 3-8

Pine-Leaf Penstemon

This semi-evergreen penstemon bursts into bloom each summer producing masses of bright scarlet-red flowers that butterflies and hummingbirds will love as much as you do. It's a cinch to grow in any sunny spot.

Name: Penstemon pinifolius

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 18 inches tall

Zones: 4-10

Agastache

You can rely on agastache to cover itself in blooms throughout the summer and autumn. This variety, 'Desert Sunrise', offers orange blooms that feature pink and lavender tints. It attracts tons of hummingbirds and is a great cut flower, too.

Name: Agastache 'Desert Sunrise'

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 4 feet tall

Zones: 5-10

Add a profusion of colorful flowers that come back every year with these no-fuss plants.

Video: Easy-Care Perennials

Watch this quick video to learn more about some of the Better Homes and Gardens garden editors' favorite no-fuss perennial flowers.

Sedum

Hundreds of sedum varieties are available and almost every one is tough and drought resistant. While most are grown for their flowers, 'Frosty Morn' has wonderfully variegated leaves that look great from spring to fall. That said, its autumn clusters of pure-pink flowers are great, too.

Name: Sedum 'Frosty Morn'

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 18 inches tall

Zones: 3-9

Russian Sage

We can't help but love Russian sage. One of the toughest plants, it offers fragrant silvery foliage and plumes of violet-purple blooms. Taller varieties are great for the back of the border. Not only is it heat and drought resistant, but deer, rabbits, and most other pests steer clear of it.

Name: Perovskia atriplicifolia

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 6 feet tall

Zones: 5-9

Bush Sage

Salvia is an all-around great plant. It's very tough, grows well in a range of conditions, produces beautiful flowers, and attracts hummingbirds. What's not to love? 'Raspberry Delight' offers gorgeous raspberry-red flowers over a long season: From late spring to early fall.

Name: Salvia 'Raspberry Delight'

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall

Zones: 6-10

Meadow Sage

Meadow sage produces wonderful clusters of violet-blue flowers from midsummer to early fall. These flowers are loved by butterflies and hummingbirds and are great cut flowers.

Name: Salvia 'May Night'

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 28 inches tall

Zones: 5-9

Learn the best perennials for scorching summer days -- including colorful flowers that last into fall.

Summer Power Perennials

Plant one of these tough favorites for a sizzling summer garden.

Mojave Sage

Among the most beautiful of the sages, Mojave sage offers beautiful pink blooms that look good well into fall. Even when not in bloom, its gray-green foliage is lovely. Like other salvias, it's great for hummingbirds and butterflies. And it's a great cut flower.

Name: Salvia pachyphylla

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall

Zones: 5-9

Lavender

This plant has it all: It looks great, it smells wonderful, and it's as tough as nails (as long as it's not too wet). Enjoy the blue, lavender, purple, or white flowers in summer. They're great for drying and using in crafts -- and even cooking with.

Name: Lavandula angustifolia

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: 3 feet tall

Zones: 5-8

Lamb's Ears

An easy-to-grow ground cover, lamb's ears has soft, fuzzy leaves. Their silvery tone makes them a great foil for just about any plant in the garden. Note, though: Lamb's ear can spread aggressively in rich soil.

Name: Stachys byzantina

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 18 inches tall

Zones: 4-8

Sundrops

Enjoy the cheery yellow blooms of sundrops all the way from spring to early fall. This vigorous perennial takes heat and drought like a champion. Note, though: It can become aggressive in the garden, especially if you have rich soil.

Name: Oenothera macrocarpa

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall

Zones: 5-8

Globe Thistle

One of the best flowers many gardeners have never heard of, globe thistle produces round, metallic-blue flowers though the summer. These flowers are perfect for drying and using in dried-flower projects and other crafts. Plus, it's a cinch to grow!

Name: Echinops 'Blue Globe'

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 4 feet tall

Zones: 4-9

Purple Coneflower

It's hard not to love purple coneflower. This resilient perennial blooms much of the summer producing tons of mauve-purple blooms that hold up really well when cut. Or, if you leave them in the garden, they'll attract scores of butterflies.

Name: Echinacea purpurea

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 5 feet tall

Zones: 3-9

Amsonia

A tough, but sadly underused perennial, amsonia produces clusters of sky-blue flowers in late spring. It's not just a one-season wonder, though. In autumn, its foliage turns brilliant shades of gold -- enough to rival many of the trees when they put on their fall finery.

Name: Amsonia tabernaemontana

Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 2 feet tall

Zones: 3-9

Container gardens are often the first to fall victim to drought, hot temps, summer travels, or just plain forgetfulness. This easy drought-tolerant container garden is tougher than others and will stay strong through the heat of summer.

Drought-Tolerant Container Garden

Plant a container that will stand up to summer's heat.

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