10 drought-resistant plants

Plants that resist drought and can live with no water

Bone-dry soil? Worry not! There’s other options for you than that crisp-brown lawn for a garden. Shrubs, perennials, climbing plants… Take a look at our selection of drought-resistant plants!


Shrubs that can survive drought

Here are two shrubs that will do very good in a dry plot! Whether in a hedge, shrub bed or pots, they’ll provide resilient landmarks for your garden. The orange tree grows into a cute round shape, which is truly magnified in Spring when it’s covered with white flowers. And you’ll find the one-of-a-kind blooming of the Bougainvillea stunning!

Mexican orange:

  • Choisy ternata is a shrub that resists drought wellVariety: Choisya ternata
  • Blooming period: April to May
  • Features: grows into a nice mounding shrub with evergreen foliage, dotted with simple white flowers in Spring
  • Exposure: sun, part sun
  • Soil:dry to cool
  • Cherry on the top? Its fragrant flowers
  • Discover the Mexican orange


  • Bougainvillea shrubs bloom best during droughtsVariety: Bougainvillea spectabilis x glabra ‘Violet de Mèze’
  • Blooming period: May to September
  • Features: abundant blooming, we particularly love its bright violet bracts that cover the whole plant
  • Exposure: full sun
  • Soil: rich, dry, neutral to acidic
  • Cherry on the top? This variety is hardier than other, it can deal with temperatures as low as 20°F (-5°C)

Perennials that can live through drought

Even at the heart of a dry, rainless summer, these still pack an ornamental punch for the garden. Acanthus, so generous with its long flower panicles, and artemisia with its silvery foliage.


  • Acanthus is one of the flowers that resists droughtVariety: Acanthus mollis
  • Blooming period: June to August
  • Features: humungous towers of flowers hosting dozens of pinkish-white flowers. Even its giant fleshy leaves are amazing
  • Exposure: sun, part sun, shade
  • Soil:dry to cool, neutral to alkaline
  • Cherry on the top? Its two-foot height (60 cm) and the volume it brings to any flower bed

White wormwood:

  • The White artemisia will survive drought wellVariety: Artemisia alba ‘Canescens’
  • Blooming period: September to October
  • Features: frilled silver leafage that forms low-lying pillows in rock beds and growing beds
  • Exposure: full sun
  • Soil:dry to cool, neutral to alkaline
  • Cherry on the top? A medicinal plant that reinforces the immune system and helps fight against a great many diseases

Climbers that can grow in dry soil

To quickly cover a wall or trellis even in very dry soil, count on the trumpet (or hummingbird) vine. Its original flowers won’t fail to surprise you in Summer! To decorate a terrace or balcony without spending your day watering your plants, a great choice is the ‘Baby Star’ clematis.

Trumpet vine:

  • Hummingbird vine flowering in a droughtVariety: Campsis radicans ‘Atropurpurea’
  • Blooming period: July to September
  • Feature: its orange-red trumpet-shaped tubular flowers
  • Exposure: full sun
  • Soil: dry, light and loose
  • Cherry on the top? It grows really fast.


  • The 'Baby Star' clematis is a drought-loving vineVariety: Clematis ‘Baby Star’
  • Blooming period: May to June and then again from August to September
  • Features: simple, open flowers that are a luminous white with long stamens
  • Exposure: sun, part sun
  • Soil: rich and light, dry to cool (unlike most other Clematis varieties that require very cool soil)
  • Cherry on the top? Ideal for growing in pots thanks to its small size (5 feet or 1.5 m when mature)
  • Discover Clematis

Grasses that thrive in dry weather

Easy to care for, grasses excel at creating modern designer flower beds. Those that love blue hues will splurge for fescue, whereas people who prefer pink won’t be able to resist Muhlenbergia.

Blue fescue:

  • One of the types of drought-resisting grasses is blue fescueVariety: Festuca ‘Intense Blue’
  • Blooming period: June to July
  • Features: thin leaves gathered into wonderful metallic blue pillows
  • Exposure: full sun
  • Soil: dry and poor
  • Cherry on the top? Grows in any type of poor soil: rocky garden, dry, along edges, in a flower bed… you can even grow it instead of lawn grass

Muhlenbergia capillaris:

  • Hazy pink flower seeds for this special drought-loving grassVariety: Muhlenbergia capillaris
  • Blooming period: September to November
  • Interest: evergreen foliage atop which a light and vapor-like blooming appears, flowering into panicles of vintage pink colors
  • Exposure: full sun
  • Soil: neutral to chalky and dry
  • Cherry on the top? Decidedly graphic for a modern flower bed

Herbs that love dry substrates

Don’t forget those spices! In rocky terrain, in growing beds, or even in pots set right by the house, give thyme and rosemary a go: they both love dry soil.

Golden lemon thyme:

  • A favorite around the hot dry mediterranean is this lemon thymeVariety: Thymus citriodorus ‘Aureus’
  • Blooming period: July to August
  • Features: apart from its citrusy taste, this variety boasts cute little round yellow and green leaves
  • Exposure: full sun
  • Soil:dry, neutral to alkaline
  • Cherry on the top? Its medicinal benefits: thyme is an antiseptic, an antibiotic, anti-infectious and is also anti-bacterial
  • Discover lemon thyme


  • Another drought-resisting herb is rosemaryVariety: Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Blooming period: May to June
  • Features: small bushy shrub with evergreen leaves and blue flowers
  • Exposure: full sun
  • Soil: dry, poor
  • Cherry on the top? Rosemary very easily integrates into rock beds or shrub beds

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
Nature & Garden contributor: Marion Dujardin
Pixabay: Albert Dezetter, Ottó, Pictures4you, Hans Braxmeier, 지원 강, Jaqueline Henning
CC BY 2.0: RubyGoes, Andrea, Manuel Martin Vicente
CC BY-SA 2.0: Steve Law