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


Glennis W
Glennis Wyesterday

Very informative Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis W
Glennis Wyesterday

Great information and advice Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis W
Glennis Wyesterday

Beautiful plants Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis W
Glennis Wyesterday

Very interesting article Thank you for caring and sharing

Lesa D
Lesa D1 days ago

so there!!!

thank you Molly...

Hannah K
Hannah K3 days ago

thank you

Marija M
Marija M4 days ago

Interesting, tks.

Peggy B
Peggy B5 days ago


hELEN h5 days ago


Karen Martinez
Karen Martinez6 days ago

This past summer we had flooding in June, then drought in July and August, and rainfall in September. Need something that will survive this crazy climate change! Thank you for the article.