When it comes to decorating our homes with plants, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, not all plants are suitable for every environment, especially during the hot and dry summer months. That’s where drought-tolerant plants come in. These plants have adapted to survive in arid conditions and require minimal water and maintenance. They are the perfect choice for those who want to add some greenery to their homes without the worry of overwatering or constant care.
With a wide range of colors, textures, and sizes, drought-tolerant plants can add a bright and vibrant touch to any space. Whether you have a small balcony, a sunny deck, or a spacious backyard, there are plenty of options to choose from. In this article, we will take a look at some easy-care choices for stunning summer containers that will thrive during the hot summer months.
One of the most popular choices for drought-tolerant plants is lavender. Known for its beautiful purple hues and calming scent, lavender is a versatile plant that can be used in containers or in the ground. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate hot and dry conditions, making it ideal for the summer months.
Another neat option is bearded grass. These grasses offer a lot of texture and can give your containers a stylish and modern look. They are tough, easy to care for, and can thrive in full sun or partial shade. Plus, they come in a variety of colors, from blue to green to gold, so you can choose the one that best suits your taste.
10 drought-tolerant container plants that will brighten your backyard
Published by John O’Neill
If you have a sunny backyard and are looking for some inspirational plants to add a pop of color and nature to your space, then this is the article for you. In this article, we will explore 10 drought-tolerant container plants that are perfect for adding beauty to your backyard.
- Shrubs: Drought-tolerant shrubs are a great choice for container planting. They offer privacy and can thrive with less water. Some popular choices include Bearded Negus and Winter Hills.
- Foliage plants: Choose plants with interesting foliage to add texture and visual interest to your containers. Yarrow and Masses of Hues are great options that require less water.
- Full sun plants: For a sunny spot, choose plants that can tolerate direct sunlight. White Flowers and Bright Foliage are perfect for adding brightness and color to your containers.
- Drought-tolerant flowers: Many flowers are naturally drought-tolerant and can thrive with less water. Some popular choices include Overwatering Myths and Regular Advice.
- Tough plants: If you live in a hotter climate, choose plants that can withstand the heat and require less water. Neat Growth and Plenty of Sun are good options.
- Organically grown: Look for plants that have been organically grown, as they are often more resilient and require fewer resources. Look for the organic label when choosing your plants.
- Low-maintenance: If you prefer plants that require minimal care, opt for low-maintenance options such as Everlasting Gardens and Easy-care Choices.
- Cooler zones: If you live in a cooler climate, choose plants that can thrive in lower temperatures. Cool Hues and Thriving Winter are excellent choices.
- Privacy: If you want to create a private space in your backyard, choose tall plants that can provide a natural barrier. Green Screens and Privacy Shrubs are perfect for this purpose.
- Latest information: Stay up to date with the latest information on drought-tolerant plants by following gardening experts and reading reliable sources. This will help you make informed choices when planting your container garden.
Now that you have a list of 10 drought-tolerant container plants, it’s time to get out there and start planting. Choose the plants that suit your backyard and enjoy a beautiful and vibrant outdoor space even during dry spells.
Succulents are a popular choice for drought-tolerant plants in pots due to their ability to store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. These bright and vibrant plants can add a touch of nature to your indoor or outdoor space, while also being easy to care for.
One of the latest trends in succulent planting is the use of “crested” or “bearded” varieties, which have unique and unusual growth patterns. Tony Avent, the founder of Plant Delights Nursery, is well-known for his love of these quirky succulents.
When planting succulents in containers, it’s important to choose a well-draining potting mix to prevent waterlogging. Succulents don’t like to be overwatered, so it’s best to water them sparingly, especially during the winter months.
There are many options to choose from when it comes to succulents for pots. Some popular choices include aloe vera, echeveria, sedum, and yucca. These plants have a wide range of colors and foliage, from the bright blue hues of the yucca to the yellow and green leaves of the echeveria.
If you’re looking for some inspirational ideas, Tony Avent suggests planting succulents in containers with other tough plants like pelargoniums, yarrow, and shrubs. This not only adds variety and interest to your pots, but also helps to create a more balanced and diverse ecosystem.
Whether you have a small deck, a patio, or a large yard, succulents can offer a touch of beauty and greenery to your space. They’re easy to care for, require less water than many other plants, and can survive in sunny and dry conditions.
So, if you’re a busy gardener or just looking for some low-maintenance plants, succulents are a great choice. They’re tough, adaptable, and can suit a wide range of garden zones and climates.
When planting succulents in pots, make sure to follow the advice of experts like Tony Avent and choose a well-draining potting mix. This will help prevent overwatering and create a healthier environment for your plants.
Remember, succulents are a type of plant that store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. They don’t like to be waterlogged, so it’s important to water them sparingly. Aim to give them a good soak when the top inch of soil is dry, and then allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
If you’re unsure about how often to water your succulents, it’s always better to underwater than to overwater. Succulents can survive for long periods of time without water, but they can quickly rot if they’re sitting in wet soil.
If you’re looking to add some succulents to your summer containers, there are plenty of options to choose from. They come in a wide range of sizes, colors, and shapes, so you’re sure to find something that suits your style and preferences.
One popular option is the “No Water” succulent, which is the latest trend in water-wise gardening. These plants have been specially bred to survive with minimal water, making them perfect for low-maintenance gardens and container displays.
2 Mexican fleabane
Another great choice for drought-tolerant plants in pots is Mexican fleabane. This plant offers lots of options for the gardener looking for easy-care plants that can thrive even in tough conditions.
Mexican fleabane, also known as Erigeron karvinskianus, is a white-flowered plant that can tolerate direct sun and does well in both hot and dry climates. It is a practical choice for homes with limited space as it can be planted in a container and placed on a deck or small backyard.
One of the benefits of Mexican fleabane is its ability to provide privacy. The plant grows into a neat and attractive mound, creating a natural barrier between you and your neighbors.
This plant is a great choice for those who want an easy-care option for their containers. It requires very little water and can handle extended dry periods without wilting. As with all drought-tolerant plants, it is important not to overwater them. Mexican fleabane does well with minimal watering and can thrive even when it receives less than regular moisture.
If you choose to plant Mexican fleabane, you’ll have plenty of options for companion plants. It pairs well with other drought-tolerant plants like lavender, yarrow, and echinacea. The combination of white Mexican fleabane flowers with the purple hues of lavender and yarrow can create a stunning display in your yard or container.
Tony O’Neill, the founder of Mexican fleabane offers some practical advice for those who want to grow this plant. He explains that Mexican fleabane is a tough plant that can handle both hot and cool temperatures, making it a versatile option for gardens in various climates.
When it comes to caring for Mexican fleabane, the key is to choose a well-draining potting mix and to place the container in a spot that gets plenty of direct sunlight. This will ensure that the plant thrives in its container.
|Tough and easy-care||Mexican fleabane can handle both hot and cool temperatures and requires minimal watering.|
|Attractive foliage||The white flowers of Mexican fleabane create an eye-catching display when paired with other plants.|
|Privacy||The plant grows into a mound, creating a natural barrier between you and your neighbors.|
Mexican fleabane is a practical and beautiful choice for those looking for easy-care plants that can thrive in drought-tolerant conditions. Whether you have a small container or a large backyard, this plant offers plenty of options for creating stunning summer containers.
3 Bearded irises
Bearded irises are a popular choice for gardeners looking for drought-tolerant plants that offer lots of color and beauty. These stunning plants are known for their unique flowers and can be a great addition to any sunny garden, container, or landscape.
The bearded iris (Iris germanica) is a tall, elegant plant that can grow up to 3 feet in height. It has long, sword-like leaves and large, showy flowers that come in a wide range of hues, including purple, blue, yellow, white, and even black. The flowers have a distinctive “beard” on the lower petals, which adds to their beauty and allure.
Bearded irises are tough and can thrive in a variety of conditions. They prefer well-draining soil and full sun, but can tolerate some shade. They are also adaptable to different soil types, including clay and sandy soil. These plants are winter hardy and can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9.
Bearded irises are low-maintenance plants and require minimal care. They should be watered regularly during their growth period, but can tolerate drought once established. Overwatering can cause the rhizomes to rot, so it’s important to ensure they are not planted in waterlogged soil.
When planting bearded irises, it’s important to choose a location that allows for good air circulation, as this can help prevent fungal diseases. They can be planted in borders, beds, or containers, and look particularly stunning when planted in mass. They also make great cut flowers, adding a touch of elegance to any floral arrangement.
To keep your bearded irises looking their best, it’s important to divide them every 3 to 5 years. Dividing the rhizomes will help promote new growth and ensure that the plants continue to thrive. It’s best to do this in late summer or early fall, after the flowering period has ended.
Bearded irises are beloved by gardeners for their bright and bold colors, as well as their neat and organized growth habit. These plants can add a touch of beauty and elegance to any garden or container, and are sure to impress with their unique and showy flowers.
Lavender is one of the most well-suited plants for drought-tolerant containers. It is known for its tough and easy-care nature, making it a favorite among gardeners looking for low-maintenance options.
There are many varieties of lavender to choose from, including English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and French lavender (Lavandula stoechas). They all have beautiful and aromatic leaves and flowers that range from white to purple.
Lavender likes to be planted in a sunny location with well-draining soil. It thrives in full sun and can tolerate dry periods with little watering.
When planting lavender in a container, choose a pot with plenty of drainage holes and use well-draining potting mix. Lavender does not tolerate soggy soil, so it’s important to ensure good drainage.
Founder of the Negus policy advises planting lavender with other drought-tolerant plants like grasses and yucca. This combination creates a stunning display of contrasting foliage and flowers that can withstand the heat and drought.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to incorporate lavender into your container garden, Tony O’Neill, the founder of Negus policy. suggests planting it with other sun-loving plants like echinacea and tomato.
Lavender is also a favorite of bees and butterflies, making it a beneficial addition to any garden. Its fragrant flowers attract pollinators and bring a touch of beauty to summer containers.
Yucca plants are a great choice for drought-tolerant containers. They have long, sword-like foliage that adds a dramatic and architectural element to any garden or patio. Yuccas are very easy to care for and can thrive in containers or in the ground.
One of the main advantages of yucca plants is their ability to tolerate drought. They have thick, fleshy leaves that store water, allowing them to survive during dry periods with minimal watering. This makes them an ideal choice for gardens in areas with limited water resources or for busy homeowners who may not have time to water their plants regularly.
Yucca plants also offer a lot of privacy when planted in containers or along the edge of a yard. Their tall, spiky foliage can create a natural barrier between you and your neighbors, giving you a sense of seclusion and peace.
There are many different varieties of yucca plants to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics. Some varieties, like the Yucca filamentosa, feature bright flowers that bloom in the summer months, while others, like the Yucca aloifolia, have blue-green leaves that add a cool and refreshing touch to your garden.
When planting yucca in containers, it’s important to choose a pot that is large enough to accommodate the plant’s roots and provide enough space for growth. Yuccas have a long taproot system, so a deep container is preferable. Additionally, make sure the pot has drainage holes to prevent overwatering, as yuccas do not like to sit in waterlogged soil.
To keep your yuccas looking neat and tidy, you can remove any dead or damaged leaves by gently pulling them away from the plant. You can also prune the yucca if it becomes too tall or starts to spread out too much. Just make sure to wear protective gloves, as the leaves can be sharp.
Yuccas are hardy plants that can thrive in full sun or partial shade. They are typically suitable for USDA hardiness zones 5 to 11, so make sure to choose a variety that is appropriate for your region.
Overall, yucca plants are an excellent choice for anyone looking for easy-care, drought-tolerant plants for their containers or gardens. Their tough foliage and ability to thrive in dry conditions make them a practical and low-maintenance option. Whether you choose a variety with bright flowers or unique foliage hues, yuccas are sure to add a touch of beauty and elegance to your outdoor space.
Rosemary is a versatile and drought-tolerant herb that is well-suited for growing in pots. Its fragrant leaves and beautiful blooms add both aesthetic value and practical uses to any garden or container.
When it comes to growing rosemary in pots, Tony O'Neill, the founder of thegardeningtalk.com, offers some helpful advice. He suggests choosing a container that has good drainage and using a well-draining potting mix. Rosemary prefers full sun, so place the pot in a sunny spot in your yard or backyard where it will get direct sunlight for most of the day.
Rosemary is known for its hardiness and can tolerate drought conditions, making it a low-maintenance plant. Its leaves are aromatic and can be used in many culinary dishes, which is an added benefit for those who love to cook.
This shrub has a neat and compact growth habit, with evergreen foliage that adds a splash of green to any container. Rosemary also produces beautiful flowers in shades of blue, purple, white, or yellow, depending on the variety you choose. These blooms attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, making your container garden a lively and vibrant space.
In addition to its practical uses, rosemary also offers plenty of design options for your containers. It can be used as a stand-alone plant or combined with other drought-tolerant plants, such as grasses or yarrow, to create interesting and visually appealing arrangements.
If you have plenty of space in your container garden, you can also plant rosemary along the edge of the pot to create a border. This will provide privacy and add a touch of greenery to your space. Rosemary also pairs well with other herbs and can be grown alongside them in the same container.
One of the most inspirational things about rosemary is that it does well even in challenging conditions. While it prefers well-drained soil, it can tolerate less than ideal conditions, including poor soil and overwatering. This makes it a perfect choice for those who may not have the time or expertise to care for finicky plants.
If you decide to grow rosemary organically, you don't need to worry about using pesticides or chemicals. This herb naturally repels many pests, making it a tough and reliable addition to your container garden.
|Hardy and drought-tolerant||Can become waterlogged in pots with inadequate drainage|
|Aromatic and versatile plant||May not survive in extremely cold climates|
|Attracts beneficial pollinators||Requires full sun to thrive|
|Low-maintenance and low water needs||Can become woody and leggy over time if not pruned regularly|
Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a novice, rosemary is a plant that anyone can successfully grow in pots. Its drought-tolerant and low-maintenance nature, coupled with its practical uses and beautiful foliage, make it a favorite choice for container gardens.
If you're looking for some creative ideas on how to incorporate rosemary into your container garden, check out www.thegardeningtalk.com for more inspiration and advice from gardening experts like Tony O'Neill and John Negus.
If you’re looking for vibrant and low-maintenance plants, Echinacea is a great choice. These drought-tolerant plants are well-suited for pots and containers, making them perfect for any garden. They can thrive in zones 3 to 9, which means they can be grown in a wide variety of climates.
Echinacea, also known as coneflower, is native to North America and is known for its stunning blooms. The flowers come in a variety of colors, including shades of pink, purple, yellow, and white, making them a beautiful addition to any garden.
According to Tony O’Neill, a gardener and the author of “The Backyard Gardener,” Echinacea plants are easy to care for and require little watering. They have deep taproots that allow them to tolerate periods of drought without any problems. This makes them an excellent choice for gardens with less frequent watering or for gardeners who prefer low-maintenance plants.
Echinacea plants have long-lasting blooms that attract butterflies and bees, adding life and nature to your garden. The leaves of Echinacea are also a beautiful green hue, providing a nice contrast to other plants in your garden.
You can use Echinacea in a variety of ways in your container gardens. They make great focal points when planted in the center of a container, surrounded by shorter plants or grasses. You can also use them as a border plant along the edge of a container garden to add visual interest.
One of the best things about Echinacea is that it is a perennial plant, meaning it will come back year after year. This makes it a practical choice for both time and money. Echinacea plants are also well-suited for winter planting, as they can tolerate cold temperatures and frost.
So, if you’re looking for low-maintenance and drought-tolerant plants for your pots or containers, Echinacea should be at the top of your list. They are not only easy-care and hardy, but their vibrant blooms and beautiful foliage will also give your garden a pop of color and life.
Published on thegardeningtalk.com
Yarrow (Achillea) is another tough plant that can thrive in dry conditions. It is known for its feathery leaves and clusters of small flowers that come in a wide range of colors, including white, yellow, pink, and red.
Yarrow is a popular choice for gardeners looking for low-maintenance and drought-tolerant options. It can be planted in containers or directly in the ground. Yarrow does well in full sun and well-draining soil.
Like other drought-tolerant plants, yarrow is tough and can handle long periods without water. However, it is important to avoid overwatering, as yarrow prefers dry conditions and can become waterlogged if given too much water. Regular watering is only necessary during periods of prolonged dryness.
Yarrow can be planted in gardens and containers, making it a practical choice for any yard or deck. Its neat growth habit and low maintenance make it an attractive option for those looking for easy-care flowers.
Yarrow also attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies, making it a great addition to any nature-friendly garden. Its flowers can be cut and used in floral arrangements or dried for decorative purposes.
There are many varieties of yarrow to choose from, including the popular ‘Moonshine’ and ‘Paprika’ varieties. Each variety has its own unique characteristics and growth habits, so be sure to read the plant label or do some research to find the yarrow that will best suit your needs.
Yarrow is hardy in zones 3-9, so it is well-suited for a wide range of climates. Whether you live in the hills or on the plains, yarrow is a tough plant that can thrive in many different environments.
So if you’re a busy gardener looking for low-maintenance plants that can withstand dry conditions, yarrow is definitely worth considering. Its tough nature and beautiful flowers make it a great addition to any garden or container.
Pelargoniums, also known as geraniums, are tough and drought-tolerant plants that offer stunning flowers and foliage. They are perfect for pots and containers, making them an easy-care choice for summer gardens.
1. Yellow Pelargoniums: These bright yellow flowers are a beautiful addition to any garden. They bloom from June to July and can attract pollinators to your backyard.
2. Bearded Pelargoniums: These unique pelargoniums have bearded flowers in shades of blue and purple. They add a touch of elegance to your garden.
3. Organically Grown Pelargoniums: If you prefer organic gardening, opt for organically grown pelargoniums. They are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
4. Yarrow Pelargoniums: These pelargoniums have feathery leaves and pink flowers. They are a great choice for rock gardens or as a border in your garden.
5. Variegated Pelargoniums: If you’re looking for a unique option, go for variegated pelargoniums. They have leaves with multiple colors, adding a pop of color to your garden.
6. White Pelargoniums: White pelargoniums are known for their pure white flowers. They are perfect for creating a serene and tranquil atmosphere in your garden.
7. Drought-Tolerant Pelargoniums: Oneill explains that these pelargoniums are the most drought-tolerant options. They can survive in dry conditions and require less regular watering.
8. Cooler Pelargoniums: Cooler pelargoniums are a great choice for areas with hot summers. They can withstand higher temperatures and do well in well-draining soil.
9. Drought-Tolerant Shrubs: While not technically pelargoniums, yucca is a popular shrub for drought-tolerant gardens. Its architectural leaves add texture and interest to your garden.
When planting pelargoniums, make sure to choose a pot or container with good drainage. They prefer well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged roots. Pelargoniums can be planted in zones where the temperature doesn’t drop below freezing.
For more information on drought-tolerant plants, visit thegardeningtalk.com.
10 Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental grasses are a great addition to any container garden. They add texture, movement, and a touch of elegance to your outdoor space. Here are 10 easy-care ornamental grasses that you can plant in pots:
- Bearded grass: This grass, with its bright yellow foliage, is a stunning addition to any container. It grows best in full sun and well-drained soil.
- Yucca: Yucca is a drought-tolerant plant that thrives in sunny areas. Its spiky foliage adds an interesting texture to any container, and it requires minimal watering.
- Echinacea: These beautiful flowers offer stunning hues of red, pink, and purple. They are well-suited for containers and bloom from July until the first frost.
- Yarrow: Yarrow is a great choice for containers as it attracts butterflies and offers long-lasting blooms. Its neat foliage requires minimal maintenance.
- Ornamental grass: With its graceful growth habit, ornamental grass adds a touch of elegance to any container garden. It is drought-tolerant and offers privacy between homes or on hills.
- Pelargoniums: These colorful plants are known for their vibrant flowers and aromatic leaves. They’re easy to grow and require less water compared to other flowering plants.
- Tomato: While not typically considered an ornamental grass, tomato plants can be a great addition to containers. They offer bright foliage and delicious fruits.
- Shrubs: Some shrubs, like the yellow foliage shrub, are drought-tolerant and can be planted in containers. They offer privacy and add a pop of color to your outdoor space.
- Neat grass: Neat grass is a low-maintenance option for containers. It adds texture and movement to your garden while requiring minimal water.
- John Negus: This grass is well-suited for containers as it can tolerate periods of drought. Its lush foliage adds a touch of green to your garden.
These 10 ornamental grasses are excellent choices for summer container gardens. They require less water, are low-maintenance, and offer plenty of beauty and texture to your yard. Choose the ones that best fit your needs and enjoy a stunning container garden all summer long!
What are the best drought-tolerant shrubs to plant in pots
If you’re looking for drought-tolerant shrubs to add to your container garden, there are plenty of options that can thrive with less water. These plants are perfect if you live in an area with water restrictions or if you simply want a low-maintenance garden. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Yucca: Yucca plants are known for their stunning architectural form and their ability to withstand drought. They have long, sword-like leaves that can add a dramatic touch to your container garden.
- Bearded iris: These flowers come in a range of colors, from vibrant purple to white, and they are incredibly hardy. They can tolerate dry periods, and their rhizomatous growth habit makes them ideal for container planting.
- Pelargoniums: Also known as geraniums, these plants are popular for their colorful blooms and their ability to survive in dry conditions. They come in a variety of colors and are perfect for adding a splash of color to your containers.
- Yarrow: Yarrow is a tough perennial plant that can tolerate drought and poor soil conditions. It has delicate flowers that come in shades of pink, yellow, and white, and its feathery foliage adds an interesting texture to your containers.
- Grasses: Ornamental grasses like blue fescue and dwarf fountain grass are excellent choices for drought-tolerant container gardens. These grasses have a neat, compact growth habit and can add a touch of elegance to your pots.
According to Tony O’Neill, author of The Container Gardener’s Bible, it’s important to choose the right container for your drought-tolerant shrubs. He advises using containers with good drainage and planting your shrubs in a well-draining potting mix to prevent waterlogged roots. O’Neill also recommends watering your plants regularly during hot weather and reducing watering during cooler periods to mimic natural conditions.
Whether you have a small balcony or a spacious backyard, these drought-tolerant shrubs can add beauty and interest to your outdoor space. With their ability to thrive with less water, you can enjoy a vibrant container garden all summer long.
What drought-tolerant container plants are suited to shade
If you have a shady backyard or live in the hills where direct sunlight is limited, you may think that growing plants in containers is not an option. However, there are still plenty of drought-tolerant plants that can thrive in shade, making them a practical choice for your outdoor space.
When choosing plants for shady areas, it’s important to consider their water requirements. Plants that are adapted to shade often have lower water needs, as they’re not exposed to direct sunlight and won’t dry out as quickly. This means they’re less likely to become waterlogged or suffer from overwatering.
Some shade-tolerant plants that can be grown in containers include:
- Blue fescue grass: This ornamental grass is known for its blue-green foliage and compact size. It’s a tough plant that can thrive in shade and requires little water.
- Hostas: These leafy perennials are perfect for shady spots in containers. They come in a range of leaf colors and textures, from bright greens to deep blues.
- Heuchera: Also known as coral bells, these plants offer a pop of color with their vibrant leaves. They do well in containers and can tolerate shade.
- Sempervivum: These succulents, also known as hens and chicks, are perfect for shady containers. They’re extremely drought-tolerant and can survive with little water.
- Begonias: Begonias are popular shade plants that come in a variety of flower colors, including shades of red, pink, and yellow. They’re easy-care options for shady containers.
- Ferns: Ferns are classic shade plants that can add a touch of elegance to your containers. They thrive in cool, shady areas and require less water than many other plants.
When planting in containers, make sure to use well-draining soil to prevent water from pooling at the root level. This will help ensure that your plants stay healthy and avoid root rot.
Remember, not all shade-tolerant plants are created equal. Some may require more water than others, so it’s important to choose plants that match your specific shade conditions and water availability.
By selecting the right plants and providing the proper care, you can create stunning containers even in shady areas of your yard. Whether you’re looking for foliage or flowers, there are plenty of drought-tolerant options that will thrive in the shade.