When designing planting areas, focus on drought tolerant plants that won’t guzzle water to look their best. Purple Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) and burgundy tinted purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) provide a long season of color and don’t need heavy amounts of water.
This 10-year-old garden belongs to a home in Utah. It features a lovely mixture of drought-tolerant perennials, ornamental grasses and native plants for an overall look that complements its high desert setting.
Arrange plantings in zones based on water use. Group thirsty plants together, including things like bedding plants and lawn. Keep lower water use plants like shrubs and drought tolerant perennials in a separate area. Install an irrigation system controller that supports zone watering to enjoy state-of-the-art water savings.
Also known as torch lily, this drought tolerant perennial sends up flaming flower torches in shades of coral and yellow from early to late summer. A hummingbird favorite, ‘Fire Dance’ fits easily into small gardens, growing to 20 inches high and wide. This is also the hardiest red hot poker. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Botanical name: Kniphofia hirsuta ‘Fire Dance’
Modern Prairie Style Home With Cedar Fence
A stained cedar fence guarantees privacy in this home's side yard, where a mix of pine and oak trees, ornamental grasses and drought-tolerant perennials comprise the landscape design. The home's eco-friendly, exterior building materials include both smooth and scraped synthetic limestone blocks and fiber-cement siding, a product composed of 50-percent recycled content (fly ash) and wood fiber pulp supplied from sustainably managed forests.
Classic sedum good looks and low maintenance abound in this newcomer to the perennial garden. Burgundy tinted leaves decorate stems topped with reddish pink blooms. Count on ‘Oriental Dancer’ to give plantings a drought tolerant color splash. Hardy in Zones 5-9. Botanical name: Sedum ‘Oriental Dancer’
‘Pink Truffles’ Decadence False Indigo
Dress up your spring landscape with the soft pink blooms of this pretty perennial. False indigo is a long-lived, drought tolerant plant, sinking deep roots that seek out moisture. It’s also deer resistant and low maintenance. A shorter height requires no staking; plants grow to 3 feet tall. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Botanical name: Baptisia ‘Pink Truffles’
‘Denim ‘n Lace’ Russian Sage
Drought tolerant and low maintenance, Russian sage is a no-fuss perennial that brings on the color all season long. ‘Denim ‘n Lace’ tames the tall and floppy growth of traditional Russian sage with a compact 28- to 32-inch height. Plants resemble lavender when in full color. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Botanical name: Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Denim ‘n Lace’
‘Sweetie Pie’ Fruit Punch Dianthus
This low growing perennial delivers a punch of perfectly pink, semi-double blossoms that make a fragrant edging in planting beds. Drought tolerant and low maintenance, this beauty is also deer resistant. What’s not to love? Shear plants after flowering to encourage a second flush of blooms in early fall. Hardy in Zones 4-8. Botanical name: Dianthus ‘Sweetie Pie’
When it comes to violets, opinions are divided. To some, it’s a weed of the vilest kind; to others, it’s a dainty wildflower. No matter which camp you support, it’s vital to know that while violets have a literary reputation of being shy, in the landscape, they are anything but that. This perennial bloomer boasts a prolific personality, spreading easily by underground stems and seeds. In the lawn, it adapts quickly to lowered mower heights, growing shorter as needed to dodge the blade. Violets thrive in moist, shady sites, but mature plants are drought tolerant. The solution to eliminating violets? Vigilant hand-weeding (be sure to remove all the rhizome) and targeted herbicide use.
‘Duchess of Albany’ Clematis
Clematis flowers come in many shapes and sizes. Clematis texensis is known as a small-flowered clematis because it opens little blooms. ‘Duchess of Albany’ features bell-shaped pink flowers with deeper pink stripes down the center of petals. This kind of clematis is also referred to as a late-flowering type, because its first flowers start appearing in midsummer and keep opening through September in most regions. Once vines are established, they’re drought tolerant. Small-flowered clematis work well as a vine that weaves through other plantings, such as shrub roses, perennials or other shrubs. For best flowering, cut back in early spring to 6 inches tall. Vines grow 8 to 20 feet tall by 2 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.