The term "drought tolerant plant" has different meanings to different people. Here in our Raleigh, North Carolina garden, what we call drought tolerant plants tolerate our frequent 3-6 week long summer dry-spells or thrive even if we fall short of our normal 43 inches of annual rain.

Read More about Drought Tolerant Plants

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More Information About Drought Tolerant Plants

The terms drought-resistant, drought-adapted, low-water-use, waterwise, or xeric plants are commonly applied to these plants, too.

A gardener from Texas or Los-Angeles would laugh at our definition of drought tolerant plants as they may receive 10 inches or less of rain per year and can sometimes go for 6 months without a drop. However, some of the plants in our list below can even tolerate these parched conditions.

We have assembled a list of drought tolerant plants and drought resistant flowers from our enormous on-line catalog that (once established and rooted in) can tolerate long periods of time between rain events and/or can tolerate low annual rain totals. Our list of drought tolerant plants and drought resistant flowers includes plenty of southwest garden plants, desert plants, prairie plants and chaparral plants from around the world as well as some North Carolina native plants.

Drought Tolerant Succulents

Succulents are some of the most notable drought tolerant perennials. Here is a list of our favorite genera of drought tolerant succulents.

  • Agapanthus
  • Agave
  • Aloe
  • Delosperma
  • Kniphofia
  • Opuntia
  • Sedum
  • Sempervivum
  • Yucca

Drought Tolerant Flowers

Drought tolerant definitely does not have to mean colorless. There are plenty of colorful flowering perennials that can handle climates that are a little on the dry side.

  • Achillea
  • Alstroemeria
  • Baptisia
  • Coreopsis
  • Echinacea
  • Euphorbia
  • Gaillardia
  • Lantana
  • Penstemon
  • Perovskia
  • Salvia

Drought Tolerant Bulbs

Several perennial bulbs make our list of drought tolerant plants.

  • Agapanthus
  • Allium
  • Anomatheca
  • Crinum
  • Crocosmia
  • Cyclamen
  • Iris

Drought Tolerant Herbs

Believe it or not, many of your favorite herbs are surprisingly tolerant to drought conditions.

  • Agastache
  • Calamintha
  • Lavandula
  • Origanum
  • Rosmarinus

Drought Tolerant Ornamental Grasses

Certain ornamental grasses have great drought resistance.

  • Arundo
  • Carex
  • Muhlenbergia
  • Stipa

Drought Tolerant Ferns

Many ferns are drought resistant.

  • Araiostegia
  • Cheilanthes
  • Cyrtonium
  • Thelypteris

Drought Tolerant Palms

Hardy palms often have amazing resistance to adverse conditions including drought.

  • Brahea
  • Butia
  • Chamaerops
  • Sabal
  • Trachycarpus

Drought Tolerant Conifers

  • Juniperus
  • Thuja

Here are some additional flowering perennials that may surprise you with their ability to withstand dry conditions:

  • Alcea
  • Antirrhinum
  • Arisaema
  • Aster
  • Asclepias
  • Caryopteris
  • Buddleia
  • Helianthus
  • Hemerocallis
  • Liriope
  • Trachelospermum
  • Vinca

These are just a few of the hundreds of waterwise gems in our on-line plant catalog.