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List of Drought Tolerant Perennials for a Stellar Yard

If you need ideas for plants that don’t need constant attention or watering and also return year after year, then check out this list of drought-tolerant perennials. Be sure to add a few of these to your landscaping plans for a stress-free and beautiful yard.

Drought tolerant perennials are plants that don’t require much water and they will grow, bloom or remain evergreen year after year. In other words, these are must-have plants for your low maintenance yard. A few examples include Liriope, Creeping Thyme, Sedum, and Salvia.

Every landscape needs a few plant varieties that don’t require a ton of babysitting. Those set it and forget it plants are my faves when it comes to my style of gardening. When you don’t have hours each week to tend to your plants, drought-tolerant flowers and shrubs will shine despite little water or attention.

Now, most of these will require initial attention and need water to get established but once established, you will enjoy colorful blooms, evergreen foliage, or a combo of both!

Check your planting zones and be sure you’re planting in the quality of the soil the plants require for optimum growth. Well-drained soil is generally a must for these flowers and plants.

Drought Tolerant Perennials


Liriope -  a drought tolerant perennial
  • Zones 6-11
  • Also known as “monkey grass”
  • Some varieties have purple-hued blooms
  • Grows 12-18 inches tall
  • Perfect for borders and walkways
  • Mounding grass-like plant that requires little water once established
  • Can easily be divided, but it also won’t go crazy on you and invade all your areas. It’s a nice, well-contained border plant.

Creeping Thyme

Creeping Thyme
  • Creeping thyme is suitable for Zones 4-9
  • low growing perennial
  • deer resistant
  • does not like soggy soil
  • grows 3-12 inches tall
  • excellent ground cover option
  • prefers full sun


Sedum - a drought tolerant low-maintenance perennial
  • Sedum refers to a group of plants with several varieties
  • A group of plants with succulent characteristics including water-storing leaves and stems
  • There is a variety suitable for every growing zone and also in varying heights
  • Best for full to part sun
  • Can tolerate minimal care once established


  • Salvia plants are available in a variety of colors from purple to red
  • Members of the mint family and also include the herb sage (commonly used in cooking)
  • Drought tolerant
  • Hundreds of varieties and there is one for every growing zone, although the perennial varieties tend to favor the warmer zones
  • Deer resistant
  • Can get between 18 inches and 5 feet tall making them perfect for any type of flower garden


Catmints blooming
  • Drought and disease-resistant plants
  • Flowers in the summer with bluish-purple blooms most commonly
  • Suitable for Zones 3-11
  • Prefers full sun
  • Grows between 1-3 feet wide and 1-3 feet tall
  • Can be divided every two or three years to produce more plants
  • Cut back halfway after blooming to encourage later blooms

Lunarias (Money Plant)

Collage of 2 pictures of Lunaria
  • Zones 4-8
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Biennial (this means you won’t get flowers until the 2nd year, but it’s worth the wait)
  • Called “Money Plant” due to the look of the iridescent seed pods
  • Grows 2-3 feet tall
  • Very easy to grow – they will drop seeds and grow new plants year after year
  • Grown from seeds
  • Seed pods can be dried for indoor decorations



What drought tolerant perennial list would be complete without Cacti?

  • Members of the succulent family
  • Drought tolerant and heat tolerant
  • Some varieties are cold hardy to Zone 4
  • Prefers full sun
  • Hundreds of varieties including ones suitable for indoor and outdoor

Thrift (aka Sea Pinks)

Thrift flower
  • Zones 3-8
  • Prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade in hotter climates
  • Grow in well-drained sandy soil
  • Good as a mounding plant for borders, walkways, and front low lying plants in flower gardens
  • Evergreen
  • Available in hues of red, white and pink flowers

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bush blooming with a butterfly on it
  • Zones 5-10
  • Can reach mature heights of 6-12 feet in just a few years
  • Fast-growing and evergreen
  • Drought tolerant, prefers full sun
  • Attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies
  • Can tolerate neglect once established


Lantana - a drought tolerant perennial
  • Lantana are suitable for Zones 3-11 but only perennial in 8-11
  • Available in pink, yellow, purple, red, orange, and mixtures
  • They will spread several feet so give them room
  • Evergreen in hotter climates, otherwise they die out in the winter and return in the spring
  • Drought, disease, and deer resistant
  • Dense and continuously flowering shrub
  • Can tolerate full sun to partial shade


  • Drought tolerant
  • Coneflowers are suitable for Zones 4-9
  • Once established, requires little care other than dividing every few years
  • Full sun
  • Long blooming flowers that bees and butterflies love
  • Available in a variety of colors from red, white, yellow, purple, and green
  • Deadheading the flowers encourages new blooms
  • Can grow from 12-36 inches tall so it makes a great backdrop for a low lying flower garden
  • Excellent cutting flowers

Red Hot Fire Poker

Red hot fire poker plant
  • Drought and disease resistant
  • Once established, prefers dry conditions – soggy soil will contribute to root rot
  • Can get up to 5 feet tall
  • Prefers full sun
  • Suitable for Zones 5-9
  • Several varieties are late bloomers to add to autumn color

So hopefully you’ve found a few drought-tolerant perennial plants that are suitable for your area. As always, I love to know your favorites! Email me at melissa @ createandfind dot com with your top choices for perennial plants that don’t require a lot of water.

And I’d love to feature your flower gardens – send me a pic and I’ll include it in the newsletter!

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