Water-wise Gardening with Landon's Drought Tolerant Perennials
NOTE: All perennials will need water the first season to get established.
All are forÂ sunny areas, except those coded SH.
Achillea: Known as yarrow. Grows 1-3â€™ depending on variety. Foliage has fine fern-likeÂ appearance, and is either green or gray-green. Flowers are yellow, white, or pink. Native.
â€œMoonshineâ€–deep lemon-yellow flowers w/attractive gray-green foliage. Mounding.
â€œTerra Cottaâ€â€”18â€, orange, red and yellow terra cotta colors.
â€œSummer Pastelsâ€â€”2â€™, flower first year, pink, rose, lavender, salmon & orange pastel mix.
â€œSerbian Yarrowâ€â€”18â€, yellow flowers.
Alcea: Hollyhock. Reseeding biennial. Seem to grow without care and are often found in theÂ most inhospitable places. Drought tolerant, but does like moisture and needs good airÂ circulation.
Amsonia: Blue Star Flower. A no-brainer plantâ€”plant and get out of the way! Grows on roadÂ sides in Kansas. Sky blue flowers. Up to 3â€™, may need to be staked if not planted in full sun.
Anaphalus: Called Pearly Everlasting. To 2â€™. Masses of small white flowers, but gray-whiteÂ foliage is the real plus, creating a cooling effect in a border and toning down other bright colors.Â Tough and can stand abuse.
Antennaria: Pussytoes. Ground cover to 4â€. Tolerates poor infertile soil and hot, dry locations.Â Tough and neat plant suited for front of garden or rock gardens. Gray-green or silver leafedÂ native. Flowers in spring. GC
Artemesia: Wormwood. Suitable for dry, sunny areas with few soil demands. Useful in bordersÂ and rock gardens. Do not overwater or overfertilize. Common varieties have silvery foliage thatÂ forms mounds. Tarragon (herb) and silvermound are in this genus.
Asclepias: Butterfly Weed. 2-3â€™ tall. Vibrant orange flowers in spring. Good cut flower.Â Extremely drought tolerant. Attracts butterflies.
Aurinia: Basket of Gold Alyssum. Fast growing border plant that thrives in full sun. Mounds ofÂ yellow flowers in early spring. Silvery-gray foliage.
Baptisia: False Indigo. To 3â€™. An early garden performer, new shoots have a black-purple tint,Â leaves are gray-green, and flowers are violet-blue. Pods form attractive dried ornaments.
Calamintha: Catmint or Beautiful Mint. Low growing aromatic mint. Likes cool conditions.Â Will use less water in part shade. Will not survive a severe drought. Good filler and beeÂ attractant. Grows 12â€ with light blue flowers. SH
Callirhoe: Poppy Mallow. Great groundcover, easy to grow, to 1â€™. Leaves are hairy and palmate, stems are rough and hairy, flowers are showy, purple/magenta. Will flower from June to frost.Â Spreads readily. Why isnâ€™t this more popular? Itâ€™s a great one!
Centaurea: Cornflower, Mountain Bluet. Likes alkaline soils. Grows well in hot, dry locations.Â May roam. Good cutflower. 2â€™ tall, blue flowers.
Centranthus: Jupiterâ€™s Beard, Red Valerian. Grows 2-3â€™. Good border plants, thriving onÂ infertile, limey (alkaline) soils in full sun, there are few stone/brick walls this plant doesnâ€™t like.Â Long blue-green leaves, and small but numerous pinkish-red flowers at the top of the flowerÂ stems.
Cerastium: Snow in Summer. Silvery leaves and bright white flowers appear early. Good forÂ rock gardens or around dwarf conifers. Do not keep too moist. Grows 6-8â€. GC
Coreopsis: Tickseed. â€œMoonbeamâ€ was 1992 Perennial Plant of the Year. Grows 18â€-24â€ andÂ bears soft muted yellow flowers from late June to frost. Goes well with plants with purpleÂ foliage/flowers. â€œZagrebâ€ has deeper yellow flowers, grows 8-12â€ tall, remains compact andÂ bushy.
Delosperma: Hardy Ice Plant. Ground cover, forming 2-3â€ tall tight mats of succulent foliageÂ and bright, daisy-like orange/yellow flowers. Likes well drained soils. GC
Echinacea: Coneflower. One of the finest species for todayâ€™s garden, with long leaves and 3-4â€Â diameter flowers, grows to 2-3â€™. â€œMagnusâ€ has rose colored flowers, â€œWhite Swanâ€ has whiteÂ drooping ray flowers. â€œRuby Giantâ€ has large, burgundy blooms. Tolerates poor soils and hot,Â dry, windy conditions. Native.
Erigonum: Sulphur Flower. A ground cover 6-12â€, with dark green foliage covering whiteÂ rosettes. Umbrella-like clusters of ting sulfur-yellow flowers form on thin stems June and July.Â Once established needs very little water.
Eryngium: Sea Holly. Blue-gray plants with steely blue flowers. Will tolerate poor, dryÂ conditions and high salt levels. Slow grower, low maintenance. 18-24â€.
Euphorbia: Cushion Spurge. Donâ€™t let the name be off-putting; this is NOT the noxious leafyÂ spurge! Brilliant mound of yellow in early spring. Tolerates dry soils but likes some shade inÂ the afternoon. 12-18â€
Gallardia: Blanket Flower. Drought tolerant native, you can see these on walks up TongueÂ Canyon or Primrose Trail. Long blooming and easy to grow, with 3-4â€ flower heads which areÂ usually yellow with various amounts of maroon at the base. Will get 2-3â€™ tall.
Galium: Sweet Woodruff. Marginally drought tolerant. Will look better if kept moist, but willÂ survive dry conditions, particularly in shade. SH
Grasses: Depending on variety, some are drought tolerant and can live in poor soils. Most likeÂ full sun. Drought tolerant varieties that we carry are: â€˜Festucaâ€™ (Fescue), â€˜Panicumâ€™ (DallasÂ Blues, Switch Grass), â€˜Hierochloeâ€™ (Sweetgrass, native to Great Plains, plant in sunken pot as itÂ can be invasive).
Gypsophila: Babyâ€™s Breath. Prefers alkaline soils. Seen growing wild in open, dry, hot areasÂ but likes some moisture. Indispensable to florists, these graceful plants are covered with wasplikeÂ blooms in shades of white, pink and dark pink. Over 1000 flowers can be produced in aÂ single flower cluster! Grows 18â€ to 3â€™ tall. Only moderately drought tolerant.
Hemerocallis: Daylily. Colors of cream, red, orange, yellow and pink, these floweringÂ workhorses are often the backbone of many perennial plantings. Characterized by toughness andÂ long-lasting color, there are over 20,000 different hybrids! Grow 18-30â€ tall. Divide every 5Â years of so. Spread. Edible flowers. Moderately drought tolerant. Extra water prevents leafÂ scorch.
Iris: A familiar, beloved plant, also called â€œFlagsâ€. Many clump-forming varieties. Need to beÂ divided every 3-4 years. Will not bloom if planted too deeply. Will endure drought conditions.
Lavandula: Munstead Lavender. A tough lavender that can take several seasons here inÂ Wyoming. Dwarf and compact plant has large, sweet scented, deep lavender-blue flowers thatÂ bloom early and in abundance over green leaves. Grows 12â€-18â€.
Leontopodium: Edelweiss. Gray-leaved alpine plant for dry rocky areas. Does well in alkalineÂ soils that are gritty and porous. Forms a mat. Does not like excess moisture.
Linum: Flax. Azure blue flowers on top of slender, open stems. Grows to 12â€ tall in the mostÂ unlikely areas and for the longest time. Absolutely does not like wet feet. Self-sowing.
Liatris: Gayfeather. Narrow, long leaves get progressively smaller up the stem. Mauve flowersÂ attach to 6-15â€ stems and are excellent in the garden or as a cut flower. Gets tall 3-4â€™.
Malva: Mallow. Similar to hollyhock, prefers dry, alkaline soils and full sun. Grow to 36â€ andÂ self sows.
Monarda: Bergemot. â€˜Fistulosaâ€™, or Wild Bergemot, has rose colored flowers in late summer.Â Grows to 4â€™. Likes dry conditions. Used to treat headaches and fevers.
Myosotis: Forget-me-Not. Miniature, sky blue blossoms with distinctive yellow eye. The alpineÂ form grows wild in the Bighorns. Will tolerate dry conditions if grown in shade in the garden.Â Can be grown in sun, but will need moisture. SH
Nepeta: Catmint. Gray, hairy, heart-shaped leaves about 1â€ long are highly scented. NumerousÂ pale blue flowers are spaced loosely along the stems over the short, prostrate foliage. Grows 8-Â 16â€ tall. Does well in dry, somewhat shaded areas. Plant grows more erect with less water.
Oenothera: Evening Primrose, Missouri Primrose. Useful groundcovers for poor soils and fullÂ sun. Spreading, often shrubby plant. Yellow or white flowers.
Penstemon: Beardtongue. The tougher the better for these guys! Some are native. They areÂ drought tolerant and grow in rocky soils. Deer resistant. Does best in light shade. Flowers canÂ be red, pink, lavender or white and can be tubular or in clusters. Most varieties grow 18-36â€.
Perovskia: Russian Sage. Silver foliage deeply cut, with a sagey fragrance when bruised and canÂ be used in cooking. Tubular light blue flowers in whorls on 12-15â€ stems. Fast growing to 2-3â€™.Â One of our all-time favorites, this plant really puts on a show in late summer and fallâ€”up to 15Â weeks. Flowers great for drying. Too much water causes plant to become floppy. Very droughtÂ tolerant.
Rudbeckia: Coneflower. Yellow to gold ray flowers with brown to black centers. â€œGoldsturmâ€Â gets about 2â€™ tall, makes a good cut flowers, and is moderately drought tolerant.
Saponaria: Soapwort. Spreading green foliage suitable for rock gardens or borders, with mass ofÂ pink blooms in early spring. Works will for walls or raised stonework as the plant will climb andÂ clamber over obstructions. Grows 6-10â€. GC
Scabiosa: Pincushion Flower. The warm blue shades of scabiosa can complement yellowÂ daisies. Most grow to 2â€™ and are good cut flowers. Flowers late summer.
Sedum: Primarily low growing and extremely drought tolerant, with succulent foliage of variedÂ colors and structures. Great ground covers, growing 2-6â€. â€˜Autumn Joyâ€™ gets taller, to 12â€, andÂ has pink flowers. Generally do not like a lot of water. GC
Sempervivum: Hens and Chicks. Easy to grow and adaptable to any and all conditions, its nameÂ comes from Latin semper, always, and vivo, to live, and it certainly does live forever. Thick,Â fleshy, alternate leaves and flowers rise from rosettes, called â€˜hensâ€™. It can flower in colors ofÂ red, rose, white, green, yellow or purple. GC
Stachys: Lambâ€™s Ear. This plant can take some shade. Gray-green and very hairy leaves formÂ mats that are velvety white and wool-like. Useful in edging and borders, the foliage is the mainÂ attractant to the perennial gardener, as the lavender-blue flowers are unremarkable. Grows 8-Â 12â€. Water in the morning so the foliage can dry out. Refrain from overhead watering. SH
Tanacetum: Snowy Tansy. Lacy, silver, fragrant foliage is covered with a mass of snowy whiteÂ flowers creating a beautiful mound in late spring and early summer. Performs well in clay soils,Â will grow 18-24â€
Thymus: Wooly Thyme. Well-known ground cover, with small leaved fuzzy gray foliage thatÂ forms a creeping mat. Needs exceptional drainage. Mother of Thyme is prostrate, with pink toÂ purple flowers. Both do well in rock gardens or as fillers in flagstone. â€˜Pink Chintzâ€™ canÂ substitute for a lawn and will take moderate foot traffic. GC
Veronica: Turkish Speedwell. Wooly, silver-green leaves on prostrate plant with stunning, veryÂ showy, iridescent purple blooms in early spring. One of our most popular varieties. LawnÂ substitute and can take light foot traffic. GC
Vinca: Periwinkle. Vigorously vining groundcover with blue blossoms in early spring. WillÂ survive dry conditions if planted in shade, but performs better with moisture. Marginally droughtÂ tolerant. GC, SH