5 Flowering Garden Plants That Scoff at Drought

By Ramon Gonzalez, TreeHugger

I have mentioned before, in the post on converting lawns to gardens, that my garden survives on rainfall. The only time I supplement watering is when I am trying to establish a new plant. Annuals, perennials, spring-blooming, and fall-blooming bulbs all get the same treatment. If they cannot live on rainfall, they cannot grow in my garden.

Most years this is not a problem, but this year’s drought really tested the toughest of plants in my garden. These five plants performed particularly well, and they seemed to scoff at the drought while other plants around them wilted.


1. Rudbeckia — above

The Rudbeckia genus is perfectly suited for drought-tolerant garden plantings and is commonly available at garden centers. Black-eyed Susan, R. hirta, is so frequently used in landscaping projects that a lot of home gardeners may turn their noses up at them, but give them a shot too.

2. Celosia

Cockscomb’s crested form makes it my favorite in this genus, but the feather/flame-shaped blooms are just as drought tolerant.

Photo Credit: Digigalos (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Coneflower

There are a lot of coneflower cultivars available, but none of them seem to hold up as well to drought in my garden as the common purple coneflower.

4. Nicotiana

Several species of Nicotiana are grown as ornamental plants, and their sweet-smelling flowers will have you walking through the garden in the evening to inhale their wonderful aroma.

Photo Credit: Swaminathan from Gurgaon, India (Flowers in the WildUploaded by Epibase) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

5. Zinnia

There are lots of cultivars available for the garden, ranging in color, height and flower size. For my money, there is no other annual that is able to withstand the heat and drought and still produce beautiful blooms.

What plants endured in your garden this year despite the dry weather? Did the drought make you consider replacing your lawn?

Check out our slideshow on summer-blooming bulbs you can plant this fall, plus 10 Gardens Prettier Than a Lawn for some lawn-to-garden transformations, and tips for a drought-tolerant veggie garden.



5 Tips For a Water-Saving Veggie Garden
4 Simple Ways To Help Hummingbirds
3 Houseplants for Water Conservationists


Emma L
Emma L1 months ago


Jetana A
Jetana A1 months ago

I'm all for zinnias, but have to water them daily here in the hot desert.

Glennis W
Glennis W1 months ago

Very informative Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis W
Glennis W1 months ago

Great information and advice Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis W
Glennis W1 months ago

Beautiful plants Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis W
Glennis W1 months ago

Very interesting article Thank you for caring and sharing

Lesa D
Lesa D1 months ago

so there!!!

thank you Molly...

Hannah K
Hannah K2 months ago

thank you

Marija M
Marija M2 months ago

Interesting, tks.

Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago