54 Best Drought Tolerant Plants that Grow In Lack of Water

Sheri Dorn is a versatile homesteader and culinary artist with a strong focus on organic and heirloom gardening. Holding a Master's degree in Culinary Arts, she combines her love for cooking and gardening in a unique way. Sheri is an active contributor to online gardening communities and enjoys quality outdoor time with her family and pets.
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All plants need water to survive, but some can also do well without frequent irrigation! Here are some of the Best Drought Tolerant Plants!

Planting drought-tolerant plants is an excellent idea if you live in an area with unfavorable weather and water scarcity. They become less thirsty, stay resilient, and can survive in dry soil. If you like the idea, here are some of the Best Drought Tolerant Plants you can easily grow!

Here are Beautiful Drought Tolerant Houseplants

Best Drought Tolerant Plants

By “Drought Tolerant,” we mean these plants may not require as frequent watering as the other ones. However, you will have to eventually water them once in 4-7 days, depending on the climate.

1. Agave

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Botanical Name: Agave

USDA Zones: 5-11

Agaves store water in their thick foliage, making them live without it for long. Landscapers often grow them due to the low-maintenance nature and unusual foliage shape, too!

2. Lithops

Botanical Name: Lithops

USDA Zones: 9-12

Lithops are unique, stone-like succulent plants with a low-watering requirement. This attribute makes them one of the best plants to grow in small succulent displays.

3. Sedum

Botanical Name: Sedum

USDA Zones: 7-11

Popular for their resistance to drought and low-maintenance nature, all sedum genus plants grow in all soil types and prefer plenty of light.

4. Desert Rose

Botanical Name: Adenium obesum

USDA Zones: 9-12

Also known as “Desert Rose,” Adenium is a tropical succulent that requires occasional watering. It does well in full sun and can also be grown as a houseplant in colder climates.

5. Jade Plant

drought tolerant plants 5

Botanical Name: Crassula ovata

USDA Zones: 9-12

Jade is a popular succulent with fleshy, paddle-shaped leaves. It is also believed to bring good luck to its owner.

6. Cacti


USDA Zones: 6-12

Cacti come in many shapes and sizes and do remarkably well in low water. They are perfect plants for desert conditions and can also be grown in pots.

7. Bougainvillea

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Botanical Name: Bougainvillea

USDA Zones: 9-11

Bougainvillea is a champion in tolerating drought phases. It’s one of the toughest shrubs that thrive on neglect in extreme and intense conditions.

8. Moss Rose


Botanical Name: Portulaca grandiflora

USDA Zones: 3-11

Moss rose is a drought-tolerant flowering plant that thrives in dry, poor soil. Due to its thick succulent leaves, it can survive for a long time without water. It can’t tolerate frost, and you can only grow it as an annual unless you live in warm climates.

9. Blanket Flower

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Botanical Name: Gaillardia

USDA Zones: 3-10

The blanket flower has no special needs. Anyone without a green thumb can make it bloom prolifically. All it really wants is a sunny spot and occasional watering spells.

10. Verbena

Botanical Name: Verbena officinalis

USDA Zones: 9-11

Verbena is an excellent ground cover that spreads rapidly and thrives in high heat and infrequent little water. It does well in full sun and well-drained soil.

11. Lantana

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Botanical Name: Lantana camara

USDA Zones: 9-11

Lantana is a tropical plant grown for its fragrant, colorful flowers. The plant loves heat and drought and is known for its less demanding nature. Because it’s invasive, it’s better to grow it in pots.

Here is all you need to know about growing lantana

12. Wallflower

Botanical Name: Erysimum

USDA Zones: 6-9

Known for their beautiful colors and sweet fragrance, wallflowers are short-lived perennials and require occasional watering. Flowers appear in spring and summer in clusters.

13. Oleander

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Botanical Name: Nerium oleander

USDA Zones: 5-9

Oleander is a tropical shrub that blooms prolifically and is the top one on the list of the best drought-tolerant plants for pots. It produces beautiful, fragrant flowers of different colors, like yellow, pink, red, white, and purple. All parts of it are toxic!

14. Rock Soapwort

Botanical Name: Saponaria ocymoides

USDA Zones: 3-8

Grow this plant if you’re searching for one that thrives on neglect, requires no fertilizers, and performs well in poor soil and drought-like conditions.

15. Sage

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Botanical Name: Salvia officinalis

USDA Zones: 5-10

This drought-resistant herb is famous for its aromatic flavor and is cherished among the best drought tolerant potted plants. Sage has low watering requirements, and overwatering can kill the plant quickly.

16. Poppy

Botanical Name: Papaver

USDA Zones: 3-8

Thanks to the vibrant colors, poppies are the biggest attraction anywhere when in bloom. To grow poppies, all you need is sufficient exposure to the sun and low to moderate watering.

17. Lavender Cotton

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Botanical Name: Santolina chamaecyparissus

USDA Zones: 6-9

This mound-forming shrub has gray-green foliage and pretty button-like flowers that appear in summer. It does well in low water and thrives in full sun.

18. Lavender

Botanical Name: Lavandula

USDA Zones: 5-9

Looking for the best drought-tolerant shade plants? This unmistakable flowering herb is easy to grow and is quite drought-tolerant. You can also plant it in the pot to enjoy its refreshing fragrance!

19. Rock Daisy

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Botanical Name: Perityle

USDA Zones: 5-11

It is most suitable for rock gardens. These flowering plants thrive well in neglect and lack of water and are the best drought-tolerant plants for planters.

20. Globe Thistle


Botanical Name: Echinops

USDA Zones: 3-9

Once established, globe thistles tolerate drought and are probably one of the easiest perennials you can have in your garden.

21. Rose Campion

Botanical Name: Silene coronaria

USDA Zones: 3-8

Rose Campion is admired for its silvery-green foliage. The plant requires only supplemental watering during prolonged dry periods.

22. Red Valerian

Botanical Name: Centranthus ruber

USDA Zones: 5-8

This drought-tolerant plant has fragrant round clusters of flowers that appear from late spring and complement its fleshy blue-green foliage.

Learn to grow Valerian

23. Crown of Thorns

Botanical Name: Euphorbia milii

USDA Zones: 5-11

Euphorbia milii tolerate the scarcity of water easily and don’t require special attention. It flowers almost year-round in a location that remains dry, warm, and frost-free.

24. Russian Sage

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Botanical Name: Perovskia atriplicifolia

USDA Zones: 5-9

This tough and drought-resistant shrub is truly an admirable plant, thanks to its silvery foliage and beautiful plumes of lavender color flowers.

25. Yarrow

Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium

USDA Zones: 3-9

Yarrows are low-maintenance plants with decorative foliage. They’re suitable for borders, wildflower meadows, and rock gardens and are the best drought-tolerant plants for full sun.

26. Pineleaf Penstemon

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Botanical Name: Pineleaf Penstemon

USDA Zones: 4-9

Pineleaf Penstemon is a herbaceous perennial and low-maintenance plant. It blooms wonderful scarlet-red flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies alike.

27. Giant Hyssops

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Botanical Name: Agastache

USDA Zones: 4-10

Boasting pink, blue, white, or orange flowers, Agastache is a drought-loving plant. It attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators!

28. Beardtongue

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Botanical Name: Penstemon

USDA Zones: 3-9

Beardtongue features clusters of tube-shaped flowers on rigid stems. These plants become drought-tolerant after maturity and require watering every couple of weeks.

29. Coneflower


Botanical Name: Echinacea

USDA Zones: 5-10

Coneflowers are quite drought-tolerant, but they need little maintenance from time to time. You can grow them in any soil type with good drainage.

30. California Poppy

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Botanical Name: Eschscholzia californica

USDA Zones: 7-11

The California poppy is a fast-growing, drought-tolerant annual that thrives well in full sun and can also handle partial shade. Grow this plant in well-draining, sandy-loamy soil.

Check out Common California Native Plants 

31. Purple Fountain Grass

Botanical Name: Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’

USDA Zones: 9-11

This is a famous ornamental, clump-forming grass with purple-red narrow leaves. This drought-tolerant specimen can be managed for some days without water.

32. Kangaroo Paw

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Botanical Name: Anigozanthos spp.

USDA Zones: 9-12

Native to Australia, it grows in dry, sandy regions and can withstand long dry spells due to the sap conserved in the roots.

33. New Zealand Tea Tree


Botanical Name: Leptospermum scoparium

USDA Zones: 8-10

Also popular as Manuka. This evergreen shrub has fragrant, prickly, small foliage and ornamental pink, white, or red blooms. Once established, they are the best drought-tolerant hanging basket plants.

34. Twinberry Honeysuckle

Botanical Name: Lonicera involucrata

USDA Zones: 4-8

This deciduous shrub flowers in orange-red blooms have trichomes (tiny hairs) that catch water and hold onto it, making the plant drought-tolerant.

35. Pride of Madeira

Botanical Name: Echium candicans

USDA Zones: 9-10

This evergreen plant, with stunning blue flowers, has a mounding growth habit. It grows naturally on rocky cliffs and tolerates dry soil very well.

36. Trumpet Vine

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Botanical Name: Campsis radicans

USDA Zones: 4-11

This flowering vine is quite drought-tolerant and can be grown in a range of conditions. It grows fast with bright green leaves and ornamental red-orange flowers during summer.

37. Catmint

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Botanical Name: Nepeta x faassenii

USDA Zones: Zones 3 to 8

Grow this drought-tolerant plant on borders, in rock gardens, and in pots. It produces fragrant blooms that lure bees and butterflies.

38. Artemisia


Botanical Name: Artemisia spp.

USDA Zones: 3-8

Artemisia is admired for pretty, slender, gray to silver foliage on tall arching stems that grow up to 1-5 feet tall and wide. It’s a popular choice for drought-tolerant gardens.

39. Licorice Plant

Botanical Name: Helichrysum petiolare

USDA Zones: 9-11

This tropical perennial is loved by gardeners for its spreading growth pattern and fuzzy, silver leaves. It thrives well in partial shade to full sun.

Note: Keep in mind that it is not edible and not used for making licorice. Also, listed as an invasive plant where it is considered perennial.

40. Veronica

Botanical Name: Veronica spp.

USDA Zones: 3-9

Also known as speedwell, this drought-resistant plant features purple, white, pink, or blue spikes. It grows up to 1-2 feet tall and grows best in well-draining soil and full sun.

41. Aloe 

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Botanical Name: Aloe spp.

USDA Zones: 10-12

Aloe species can grow in drought-like conditions easily. The best ones for landscaping are Coral, Tiger, Soap, and Jewel Aloe. 

42. Artichoke

Botanical Name: Cynara cardunculus

USDA Zones: 7-11

The beautiful, drought-tolerant ornamental plant also bears edible artichokes from autumn to spring. It is also quite easy to maintain.

43. Palo Verde

Botanical Name: Parkinsonia spp.

USDA Zones: 8-10

Palo Verde is native to semi-deserts of Africa and America and is an excellent drought-tolerant plant. Pruneit to maintain the shape of a canopy whenever necessary.

44. Geraniums

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Botanical Name: Pelargonium spp.

USDA Zones: 9-11

Most varieties of Geraniums are tolerant of drought and heat. Once you establish the plant, it thrives well without water for a long duration.

Learn How to Grow Geranium Indoors Year Round 

45. Wild Lilac


Botanical Name: Ceanothus

USDA Zones: 8-11

Wild lilacs are colorful and fragrant shrubs that are evergreen and are considered one of the best drought tolerant flowering plants. You can grow them in the landscape as hedges, ground covers, borders, and more.

46. Rosemary

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Botanical Name: Rosmarinus officinalis

USDA Zones: 8-10

A woody perennial herb with needle-like leaves and a pungent fragrance, Rosemary is drought-tolerant due to its ability to store water in its foliage and roots.

47. Thyme

Botanical Name: Thymus vulgaris

USDA Zones: 5-9

With tiny, aromatic leaves and delicate flowers, Thyme is a Drought Tolerant Plant that Grows In a Lack of Water thanks to its deep roots and ability to store water in its leaves.

48. Yucca

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Botanical Name: Yucca

USDA Zones: 4-9

Known for its striking, sword-shaped leaves and tall spikes of white flowers, Yucca is a drought-tolerant plant that can thrive in hot, dry conditions as it has fleshy leaves that store water.

49. Black-eyed Susan

Botanical Name: Rudbeckia hirta

USDA Zones: 3-9

With bright yellow petals and a distinctive black center, Black-eyed Susans are drought-tolerant wildflowers that can survive in harsh conditions.

50. Butterfly Weed

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Botanical Name: Asclepias tuberosa

USDA Zones: 4-9

With clusters of bright orange or yellow flowers and narrow leaves, Butterfly Weed is another of the Drought Tolerant Plants that Grow In Lack of Water.

51. Coreopsis

Botanical Name: Coreopsis

USDA Zones: 4-9

Cheerful, low-maintenance plants with bright yellow or pink daisy-like flowers and fine, delicate foliage, Coreopsis are the best drought-tolerant container plants and do extremely well in arid areas.

52. Zinnia


Botanical Name: Zinnia elegans

USDA Zones: 3-10

Zinnias are native to dry, hot regions of Central America and Mexico and are adapted to survive periods of drought. The stunning flowers are an added bonus!

53. Hens-and-Chicks

Botanical Name: Sempervivum tectorum

USDA Zones: 3-11

A succulent with rosettes of fleshy leaves that resemble miniature cabbages, Hens-and-chicks are the definition of drought tolerance and can stay alive between long water spells.

54. Ice Plant

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Botanical Name: Delosperma cooperi

USDA Zones: 6-9

With succulent, finger-like leaves and vibrant, daisy-like flowers, Ice Plants are drought-tolerant due to their thick, fleshy leaves and stems that can store water for the plant.

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  1. Many of these are tropicals and will not grow well in zone 7 or lower. They cannot survive winter. Lantana is great, but doesn’t smell very nice.

    • Lantana, although an introduced species actually provides a safe home or hideaway from birds for our smaller native rodents and marsupials. It was first introduced by a wealthy English family at Daisy Hill in QLD. I learnt about it on a year 12 biology/ecology field trip to the nature reserve there.

    • Lantana is NOT poisonous. That is a myth perpetuated by a few folks. I have done a lot of research and the general consensus is that the plant is not poisonous. I have grown it for over 20 years and have never had a problem with it.

  2. Helpful, but not exactly what I’m looking for…I need to find plants that are good for Part shade/Part sun, and don’t need much watering, but most importantly, child friendly and pretty.

  3. Hi I have a caravan on solway firth, and have a few ceramic pots, which I would to put plants in but I am only there every 3 weeks. Is there any plants that would be suitable. In the winter I put pansies in and they were great. Thank you

  4. I have 2 large terracotta pots at my front door, I have one with impatiens in it. what other flowers can I plant in them, I know impatiens dont like sun so both pots are in shady areas, no sun at all so I kind of want something that will grow needing no sun but not too big wither.

  5. Wild lilac species are fragrant and colorful shrubs. They re evergreen and drought tolerant, and they can be used in the landscape as screens, hedges, ground covers, borders, and more. While most wild lilac species are native to California, some grow in the eastern U.S., the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, and Mexico. Some grow upright; some are compact and bushy; and some are low-growing and spreading.

  6. I have had Lantana in my butterfly garden for many years. Butterflies love lantana. The colorful, nectar-rich flowers that these plants and shrubs produce are called “butterfly magnets” by many garden centers and nurseries. Their bright colors, tight bunches of blossoms, and flat structure make lantana the perfect choice for any butterfly garden.


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