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Drought-Tolerant Perennials for Summer Color

Fill your yard with a variety of drought-tolerant perennials and you won’t need to worry about thirsty, wilted plants whenever a dry spell comes your way. As long as you can produce plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil, you won’t have trouble growing a garden full of these vibrant perennial plants. If you’re concerned that drought-tolerant perennials won’t be as pretty or as colorful as water-loving plants, think again; these hardy perennials will delight the landscape with their beauty and resilience.

 

Wayside Gardens [1] is a great place to find low maintenance plants for creating colorful, yet low maintenance, summertime gardens. Here are a few of the most popular drought-tolerant perennials for summer color:

 

Yarrow

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – This tough plant is super easy to grow and blooms all summer long. The flowers, in shades of pink, yellow, orange, red or white, make fantastic cut flowers. As an added bonus, deer and rabbits don’t care for it. Zones 3-9

 

Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – This old-fashioned favorite is pretty but tough, producing silvery, needle-like leaves and spikes of purple-lavender flowers that appear all summer long. Zones 5-8

 

Red Hot Poker

Red hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria) – Also known as torch lily or poker plant, this is a distinctive perennial with dagger-like leaves and spiky, poker-like blooms of red, orange, yellow, cream and coral. Not surprisingly, hummingbirds love the tube-shaped florets. Look for red hot poker to keep shining when most other flowers begin to wilt. Zones 5-9

 

Blanket Flower

Blanket flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora) – This drought-tolerant sunflower cousin produces masses of intensely colored flowers from early summer to mid-fall. Butterflies and hummingbirds love the bright blooms, available in shades of orange, rust, red, yellow, apricot, peach and wine red. Zones 3-8

 

African Lily

African lily (Agapanthus) – From mid- to late summer, African lily displays clumps of long, strappy leaves and big clumps of trumpet-shaped blooms in shades of purple, white or blue. Zones 8-10

 

Penstemon

Penstemon (Penstemon) – An absolute cinch to grow, this large genus of flowering perennials produces bright blooms from mid-summer to mid-fall. Butterflies and hummingbirds will be delighted. Zones 4-8

 

Agastache

Agastache (Hyssop) – This tough, deer-resistant plant produces masses of fragrant flowers in shades ranging from white to pink, blue, purple or yellow all summer long. Agastache is a hummingbird magnet, but there are plenty to share, so be sure to bring some indoors for cut flowers. Zones 3-9

 

Coneflower

Coneflower (Echinacea) – This gardener’s favorite tolerates extreme conditions, displaying daisy-like blooms from early summer to mid-fall. The variety of enchanting colors includes purple, cherry red, tangerine orange, coral, gold, rose pink and more. Zones 3-10

 

Sedum

Sedum (Sedum) – Famous for their ability to put up with just about anything, sedums (stonecrop) are the perfect solution for dry or rocky areas. Resistant to drought, heat, humidity, and poor soil, they store moisture in their thick, colorful, succulent leaves, resulting in long-lasting color and a strong tolerance for almost any weather conditions. The flower clusters (good for everlastings), which range in color from sunny yellows, oranges, and golds to pinks, deep reds, purples, and soft white, draw in butterflies, birds, and beneficial insects too! Zones 3-9


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[1] Wayside Gardens: https://www.waysidegardens.com/

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