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  • Writer's pictureAfton Krentz

Thriving in Dry Heat: 10 Drought Tolerant Plants for your Desert Garden




Transforming your yard into a vibrant oasis in dryer climates comes with its challenges, particularly when water is scarce, and the heat can be relentless. However, fear not! We've compiled a list of 10 hardy and budget-friendly plants that can withstand the arid conditions of the West, bringing life and color to your outdoor space. Understanding your local weather is the first step to creating a unique and beautiful landscape that thrives in the face of drought.



  1. Bougainvillea:

  • Native to South America, bougainvillea is adaptable to various climates.

  • Thrives in full sun and offers a burst of color, though the vibrant hues are actually bracts surrounding tiny white flowers.

  • Blooms primarily in spring and summer, adding a lively touch to your landscape.

  • Salvia:

  • A diverse genus in the mint family with square stems and a spectrum of colors.

  • From yellow and white to scarlet red and deepest purple, salvia is both resilient and visually striking.

  • Ideal for those seeking a plant with a variety of shades to complement their garden.

  1. Yarrow (Achillea):

  • A carefree plant that blooms in summer and early fall, suitable for cut flowers or herbal gardens.

  • Boasts tiny clusters of flowers in a range of colors, adding a touch of elegance to your landscape.




  1. Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus):

  • A well-known herb with fragrant leaves, perfect for culinary use.

  • Drought-tolerant once established, producing small flowers in spring and summer.





  1. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia):

  • Prefers well-draining soils and exhibits heat and drought resistance.

  • Features aromatic grayish-green leaves and small lavender-blue flowers, creating an airy aesthetic.





  1. Agave:

  • A succulent with rosette-forming fleshy leaves and distinctive spikes.

  • Drought-resistant, although it may shrivel during dry spells, it rebounds with water.




  1. Lantana:

  • A fast-growing ground cover, shrub, or container plant thriving in warmer climates.

  • Comes in various colors and two-tone varieties, providing a burst of energy to your landscape.



  1. Lavender (Lavendula):

  • Known for its aromatic flowers, lavender comes in shades of purple, pink, or white.

  • Bees may be attracted, so caution is advised, but the delightful scent makes it a perfect addition to any garden.



  1. Coneflower (Echinacea):

  • Colorful perennials with a large, long-lasting brownish-orange daisy-like center.

  • Blooms from spring to frost, providing continuous texture and making them an excellent cut flower.

  1. Sedum:

  • Primarily a ground cover plant thriving in small spaces and handling both full and partial shade.

  • Withstand colder climates and, depending on the species, can be easily propagated for a fuller landscape.


Choosing the right plants for your yard can make all the difference in creating a lush and thriving landscape in dry, hot climates. With these 10 drought-resistant options, you can add a variety of colors, textures, and fragrances to your garden, turning it into a haven that not only survives but flourishes in the face of challenging weather conditions. Say goodbye to the barren look of a desert landscape and welcome the beauty of resilient, water-wise plants to your outdoor space.


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