Great Drought Tolerant Plants for Container Gardens

by Fern on April 6, 2009

in Low Water Containers

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Many of us live in an area that faces constant water restrictions or droughts. And even if you’re not living in such an area, it’s still a good idea to consider drought tolerant plants. For starters, water is a precious natural resource, just like anything else. Just because you live in an area without droughts doesn’t mean you should waste water. And second, drought tolerant plants mean that keeping up with your watering responsibilities is less of a hassle. It’s not often that doing right by the planet is actually easier on us humans, so jump on such opportunities when you come across them!

Pictured above, from top left to bottom right: Lavender, Yarrow, Anise Hyssop (try ‘Apricot Sprite’), Evening Primrose, Russian Sage, Lambs Ear, Gaillardia, Coneflower, and Sedum (check out ‘Frosty Morn’ for refreshing variegated foliage).

It should be noted that “drought tolerant” doesn’t mean “never water.” This is especially true with container grown plants, because it’s not like any of these plants can keep on sending their roots deeper and deeper in search of water. However, these are all definitely plants that will tolerate completely drying out in between waterings. And if you’re getting a consistent amount of rain during a certain time of year, you certainly wouldn’t need to water then.

The nice thing about drought tolerant plants is that they also tolerate a fair amount of extreme heat. So, these would also be great plants to consider if you live in say, the San Fernando Valley or Las Vegas or Tucson or Dallas.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Beth April 6, 2009 at 5:56 pm

YOu missed my favorite low water beauty – Desert Rose! (Adenium obesum) glossy green leaves, structural shape and beautiful trumpet shaped flowers. It’s got it all!


Julie April 6, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Or if you live in south Florida!!! Nice post.


Fern April 6, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Mary Beth — We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. :-) I think the flowers are pretty, but I don’t like how the “trunks” bulge out.

Julie — I would have never guessed that South Florida suffers from droughts. When I was there last, it rained all the time!


Genevieve April 12, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Fern, what a great idea to highlight this issue with some nice plant suggestions. I was just thinking about low-maintenance gardening and drought-tolerant certainly fits into it.

I like the Lavender and Sedum best for lasting well in my climate. Nepeta’s another good one.


Michael May 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Fern, you’re spot on when you say “drought tolerant” doesn’t mean “never water”.

I live in Melbourne Australia and we’ve been in drought for about the last 10 years. My garden is full of drought tolerant plants, mostly Australian Native Plants.

Although I don’t grow many plants in containers I do know that there are lots of Aust Natives that do grow well in pots such as Banksia Birthday Candles.

Some are also great to bonsai. I’ve got a Banksia Integrifolia that I’ve been bonsaiing for about the last 6 years that is coming along just nicely.

Have you ever tried growing any Australian Native Plants?


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