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Top 5 Drought-Tolerant Plants

As the world continues to break heat records, and we experience increasingly dry conditions in the U.S., consider drought-tolerant plants for your landscape.

Most of the Great Plains and Midwest regions are experiencing moderate to extreme droughts this year, which can have lasting impacts for years. The shortage of rain can wreak havoc on your garden and landscape plants, which is why opting for drought-tolerant plants can be beneficial. Even if you live in an area with plenty of rain, but lack the time to pamper your plants, it could prove a smart choice to invest in these plants.

The words “drought tolerant” may conjure images of cactus and tumbleweed, sedum and succulents, but we can assure you a drought tolerant garden can still be lush, lovely, and the envy of your neighborhood. Below we dig into five of our favorites and tell you a little more about them.

The fine print: although the plants listed here are drought tolerant, all plants require a bit of extra care and water as they establish themselves.

The rugosa rose is one of the hardiest roses, is a vigorous grower, and is pest-free. It will grow up to 2.5’ tall as long as it’s pruned back each spring. Rugosa will help attract pollinators such as bees, birds, and butterflies. It has a wonderful smell and is resistant to deer. The rugosa rose also has fall interest as showy rose hips appear after the flowers are spent. This drought-tolerant rose is a top choice for gardeners.

While most creeping phlox are drought-tolerant, the violet pinwheels creeping phlox is a springtime show-stopper, and we would be remiss if we left it off this list. With striking violet flowers that bloom in the early spring, it might be one of the first bloomers in your yard. It performs an encore in late summer, with a lighter rebloom between August and October. It’s a native plant, so naturally disease-resistant and attracts all kinds of pollinators. It’s considered a groundcover, so it only grows 4-6” tall and 2-3’ wide. The best thing about this plant is that there’s no pruning required, talk about low maintenance!

This classic hosta is a staple for shade gardens and also happens to be tolerant to drought. It is wonderfully low maintenance and grows to about 24” wide x 36” tall. It has lavender flowers in the summer, and the heart-shaped leaves have a yellow to creamy white margin that will capture your heart.

With blooms in spring and late summer, and a myriad of colors in fall, this spirea is an attractive shrub. It can be planted as a foundation plant for mixed borders or small hedges. ‘Tor’ attracts pollinators with its lively white blooms, and its flowers make an attractive addition to an indoor display.

While all three of our yarrow varieties are drought-tolerant, this one stands out with its bright yellow flowers. Little Moonshine is not only a drought-tolerant plant, but it loves the heat! This wonderful low-maintenance perennial thrives in full sun, and blooms in the summer. It may also rebloom later in the season as long as there’s a cutback. This yarrow does is a great fit for small garden spaces or along borders. It attracts pollinators but is deer and rabbit resistant.

Whether your goal is to conserve water, or have relatively low-maintenance plants in your yard, these drought-tolerant plants are sure to meet your expectations. If you have any questions about which plants would thrive in your yard, make sure to ask!

If you’re unsure if you live in an area that’s impacted by drought, visit the U.S. Drought Monitor, which updates every Thursday.

Contact Story Landscaping, LLC for all your planting needs and landscaping designs,


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