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The Best Drought Resistant Flowering Perennials To Plant – Grow Big Color Without Watering!

One of the best ways to create a low maintenance landscape is to plant drought resistant perennials in your flowerbeds – especially when you can fill your beds with perennials flowering in big, bright and beautiful colors!

When the summer sun starts burning, many annual and perennial flowers begin to struggle without water. With too much sun and not enough moisture, they start to wither and wilt. For many plants, it can even spell the end of the line. But that is where drought tolerant perennials come to the rescue.

Planting smart with perennial plants that can handle high heat and scorching sunlight can make life a lot easier on gardeners. Not only can it nearly eliminate watering chores, many drought resistant plants also have the advantage of being insect and animal resistant too. Talk about a win-win!

lavender - best drought resistant perennials
Just because a perennial is drought resistant, it doesn’t mean it can’t have big color. These lavender plants need little water but bloom big!

But just because a perennial plant is drought resistant, it doesn’t mean it can’t bloom big and beautiful. In fact, as you will see today, there are many drought resistant perennial choices that not only have incredibly attractive foliage, but intense and long lasting blooms as well!

With water-saving growing in mind, here is a look at some of the best perennials to grow that can handle the sizzling heat of summer – and even better – do it in style with beautiful flair.

The Best Drought Resistant Flowering Perennials To Plant For Big Color – And Little Watering!


Lavender is one an incredible example of the perfect drought and pest resistant perennial. Not only does it rarely ever need watered once it establishes, it also helps keep mosquitoes, moths, gnats, flies, fleas and even ticks far away. And even better, deer won’t touch it!

Lavender sends up long purple flowering spikes in early to mid summer that when cut back, can often bloom multiple times. The plant blooms so strongly that it brings in important pollinators like bees and butterflies in droves.

The flowers are wonderful for cutting and will fill your home with both color and a wondrous lasting fragrance. Lavender does not grow well from seed, so it’s far better to purchase as a plant or take a division from an existing plant. See: Why You Should Be Growing Lavender

Blanketflower – The Best Drought Resistant Flowering Perennials

If you want a big blooming perennial with all season flower power, Blanketflower is the plant for you! It starts to bloom in early summer and keeps right on flowering into late fall.

blanket flower
Blanketflower is a perennial that will keep on blooming all summer as long as it is deadheaded on a regular basis.

Blanketflower is a mounding plant that grows to near two feet in height when fully mature. The plant’s dense foliage begins to fill with gorgeous blooms in early summer. The blooms closely resemble that of a daisy, but with a reddish-orange hue that lights up flowerbeds in style.

Most varieties are hardy from growing zones 4 through 9, making them a good option for a wide range of climates. In addition to performing well in flowerbeds, they also are excellent for containers and pots.

Lupines – The Best Drought Resistant Flowering Perennials

When it comes to low maintenance powerhouse perennials, lupines are in a class all by themselves!

A member of the pea family, Lupines are a gorgeous blooming perennial that bring big, long-lasting flower power to your landscape. Unlike many perennials, lupines can bloom at a near constant pace for up to a month or more.

With their tall, cone-shaped flowers that tower upwards, they attract a whole host of pollinators, from birds and butterflies – to bees, wasps and more. Even better, the plant actually helps improve the soil where it grows by helping to fix nitrogen levels.

lupines - drought resistant
Lupines are not only drought resistant, but deer resistant as well. They also happen to be one of the most beautiful blooming perennials around!

The long tap-root of a lupine drives down deep in the soil, helping to break up dense soil structure. That long root also helps the plant draw moisture and nutrients from far below, allowing it to be highly drought tolerant.

Lupines perform well in zones 4 through 8. Not only can they handle full sun, they actually prefer it. In fact, for best blooming and performance, plant in a space that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.

Individual plants usually only last a few years, but the plant is a self-seeder and will usually continue to put forth plants in the same space year after year. Lupines are one of the few perennials that are actually easier to start from seed. Although they can take a full year to develop and fully bloom, the wait is certainly worth it. Affiliate Link: Lupine Seed Variety Mix

Coneflower – The Best Drought Resistant Flowering Perennials

One of the more unique flowering perennials, coneflowers are an excellent choice when looking for a plant that is both colorful and drought resistant – and one that brings in pollinators in late summer!

Coneflowers bloom with a flower that looks like an inverted daisy. The dark-seeded middle center protrudes up from the petals that form around it. They can handle full sun and heat like no other plant. They rarely if ever need watering.

Coneflowers also are an excellent choice to grow for those who love cut flowers. They can be found in a variety of colors – from purple, white and crimson, to a beautiful tangerine-orange. In addition to their drought resistance, they are deer resistant as well.

The dark seed heads of coneflowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies in droves making it an excellent pollinator plant. Coneflower is best grown via transplants or by dividing an existing plant. They are a self seeding plant and will continue to grow with ease once established. Affiliate Plant Link: Magnus’ (Purple Coneflower) Perennial, 1 Quart

Coreopsis – The Best Drought Resistant Flowering Perennials

Coreopsis is a sturdy grower known for long-lasting blooms that carry through all summer long, even in the hottest and driest of conditions. Native to the United States, the plant is a member of the sunflower family.

coreopsis - flowering drought resistant perennial
Coreopsis can light up flowerbeds when in full bloom. It also never needs watering once established.

Coreopsis is extremely drought resistant and able to handle long stretches without rain or watering. The moss-like foliage and its wispy blooms make quite a statement wherever they grow.

Coreopsis is one of the easiest perennials to grow. Much like coneflower, the plant is wonderful for attracting birds into the landscape. Once established in the soil, it really is a “plant it and forget it” perennial. In fact, it will rarely require any maintenance at all.

Black Eyed Susan – The Best Drought Resistant Flowering Perennials

Black-eyed Susan, like coreopsis, is a relative of the sunflower. It also happens to be highly drought and heat tolerant. They easily stand up to full sun locations and actually prefer it. Their yellow petals spread out from a dark center seed core, and look much like a miniature sunflower head.

Black-eyed Susan is wonderful for attracting birds, butterflies and many other beneficial insects into the landscape. Plants grow 24 to 36 inches high, and produce flowers from June to August.

black eyed Susan after they bloom
The seed heads of black eyed Susan and coneflower are a great source of food for birds in late fall and early winter.

Once established in the landscape, they rarely if ever need to be watered. Black eyed Susan will spread by seed or division. They transplant easily, making them great for filling in around the yard. Finally, they are also highly resistant to deer, making them excellent for planting in high traffic areas. Affiliate Seed Link: Black Eyed Susan Seeds

Here is to adding lasting big color without constant watering to your landscape this year with a few flowering drought resistant perennials!

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This Is My Garden is a garden website created by gardeners, for gardeners. Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books and speaking for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. They publish three articles every week, 52 weeks a year. Sign up today to follow via email, or follow along!