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Great Flowering Plants for Dry Climates

Del Mar Community, News | 23rd Jul 2012

If you garden in a dry climate, it doesn’t mean your doomed to have a yard full of cactus, aloe and yucca.  In face, there are many drought resistant plants that produce beautiful, colorful blooms that will spice up your dry climate garden.  If you are craving color in your garden, consider planting one of more of the options below.  The best news is that all these options are perennial, so once they’ve established you’ll enjoy them year after year.

African Lily

Agapanthus Africanus, or African Lily, is typically a moist soil plant, but once they are established they can withstand periods of dryness without stress.  Agapanthus has thick clumps of long, strappy leaves with flowers that shoot up on stalks about 12 inches high.  The blooms are round clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers that come in white, purple or blue and last up to eight weeks in optimal conditions.

Blanket Flower

Gaillardia, or Blanket Flower, is a vibrant colored daisy.  It is one of the most cheerful flowers you can plant.  Gaillardia prefer well-drained soil, so dry conditions mean nothing to them.  Keep them in full sun or they become a little top heavy.  Gaillardia come in a variety of colors including rust, yellow and red.  A bonus – butterflies love gaillardia, so planting it will attract them to your yard.

False Sunflowers

False Sunflowers, Or Heliopsis Helianthoides, is an incredibly self sufficient plant.  Originating in the dry prairie, Heliopsis has golden flowers atop stiff stems that can climb up to six feet.  Cut them back in spring to create a bushier plant or to extend the blooming season.  Heliopsis is quite fertile and will easily spread.

Dead Nettle

Lamium, or Dead Nettle, is a great choice if you are looking for a dry climate flowering plant that can survive in the shade under a tree.  It makes a pretty ground cover with silvery white streaks down the center of its leaves.   Be sure to give Dead Nettle plenty of room as it likes to spread.


Thyme doesn’t have to be confined to your herb garden.  It thrives in dry heat, and is a great choice for growing between pavers.  Not typically thought of as a flower, it nonetheless does produce a profusion of little flowers in lavender, white, pink or red.  Thyme will quickly spread to form a carpet, and it can even be used in high traffic areas where it will be walked on.


Dianthus is a huge genus and new varieties are introduced every year.  The flowers come in a variety of hues including pink, white, red and peach.  Although often thought of as delicate, this is one tough flower that is almost impossible to kill.


This is another delicate seeming plant that thrives in the heat.  Drought and poor soil will not deter Gaura from flowering.  Gaura has minimal foliage and blooms in pink or white all summer long.  Remove the entire spent flower stalk and it will revive during dry spells.

As you can see, even if you garden in a dry climate your color palette doesn’t have to be limited.  Try any of the varieties above and you’ll have a vibrant, colorful garden that you’ll enjoy all year long!





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