Drought Tolerant Plants That Don’t Need Water (Or Very Little Water)

Even in dry, arid climates, drought tolerant plants are ideal for keeping your yard lush and colorful. Several plants flourish on neglect and don’t need a lot of water. Low-water plants are suitable for ornamental gardens, rock gardens, and as flowering borders or landscapes, and they may be found beauty. Indoor plants that need little water and care are a good option if you’re forgetful.

What are the best types of drought-tolerant plants?

Without much water, these outdoor plants can survive for a long period (even in arid settings):

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Verbena
  • Lavender plant
  • Cosmos plants
  • Coneflowers
  • Stonecrops
  • Blanket flowers
  • Flowering globe thistles
  • Bougainvillea shrub
  • Yarrow

Sansevieria (snake plant), spider plant, ZZ plant, and any succulent are all good choices if you’re looking for a houseplant that requires little care. The best outdoor plants that can live in high heat and little water are discussed in this article. Low-water indoor plants that need little care may be found at the conclusion of the article.

Types of Drought Tolerant Plants

In order to minimize water loss and maximize moisture absorption, low-water garden and indoor plants have certain features:

  • To conserve leaf area, certain plants have large leaves with substantial lobes around the margins.
  • Succulents and desert plants with thick waxy leaves store water within their bodies.
  • Some drought-tolerant plants with hairy leaves may be seen trapping moisture.
  • Since they have deep roots that absorb moisture, other low-maintenance aesthetic plants thrive in hot, arid landscapes.

The Best Drought Tolerant Plants (With Pictures)

Drought-tolerant plants have a variety of benefits for your yard. To save water and save money, you might look for “thrifty” plants. Even if the ground is dry and inhospitable, drought-tolerant perennials keep your garden looking beautiful. Alternatively, without the burden of watering your yard every day, you may want to have a lot of green foliage and flashy flowers.

You will find a plant on this list that meets your needs, whether it is for low water requirements or otherwise.


Bougainvillea is a flowering plant that thrives in low-water environments and is one of the best drought tolerant plants. In hot regions like Florida, Texas, California, and the Mediterranean, low-maintenance decorative perennial shrubs are popular. The shrub seems to be covered in flowers from bougainvillea plants, which range in color.

Bright pink, deep magenta, purple, red, white, or golden yellow papery blooms may be found. Even in the harshest of circumstances, gorgeous flowers can brighten up a desolate, parched landscape. Nothing else may survive in such conditions.

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

When it comes to water, black-eyed susans have very few demands, and their bright yellow flowers will fill your garden with sun. Drought-tolerant perennials or annuals, black-eyed Susans may be grown.

They’re called ‘black-eyed Susan’ because of their yellow daisy-like blooms with a black center.Even in drought conditions, the green leaves are covered in coarse hairs that help retain moisture.

Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)

Blanket blooms can withstand dryness and heat, so long as they get watered on occasion. When planted in well-drained soil, these low-maintenance aesthetic perennials flourish in full sun. The vivid red, orange, and yellow hues of blanket flowers resemble those of traditional Native American blankets, giving them the name. In hot countries, the blanket flower plant is a perennial that blooms yearly; in temperate countries, it is a blooming annual.


Verbena is an excellent option if you’re looking for drought-tolerant ground cover plants that thrive in full sun. The lovely clusters of pink, white, and purple flowers are set against the dark green leaves. Verbena continues to bloom right up until late fall, even in a drought-stricken garden and scorching heat.

Verbena is a superb low-water plant for hanging baskets because of its trailing stems. Just water these blooming plants occasionally and they’ll thrive on a sunny balcony, porch, or deck.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow has very low watering needs and is tolerant of heat and drought. The herbaceous plant thrives in arid as well as damp places, with its clusters of dazzling white or reddish-orange blossoms.

To succeed in situations when there hasn’t been much rain, these perennials have spreading roots and hairy stems. Yarrow will not wither or perish despite some neglect, but will continue to bloom throughout hot summers.


Despite drought and high heat, Lantana thrives in hot countries like India and Australia. Lantana blooms may be placed in your yard and just watered on a regular basis. These flowers bloom year-round in warm climates. Orange, yellow, red, purple, and white blossoms may be found in this attractive mix. If your land has dry, sandy soil, you may grow lantana there.

Nonetheless, as long as it is well-draining, the plant thrives in most soil types. Honeybees and butterflies are drawn to the vivid blossoms.

Oleander (Nerium)

Oleander thrives in heat and drought, which is typical of a plant native to dry, tropical climates across the globe. These flowering shrubs don’t need a lot of water to thrive in low-water conditions. The flowers on this drought-tolerant plant range in color from white to pink to red.

On hot, sunny days, you can enjoy the flowery fragance. Poor soil and high temperatures are tolerated by Oleander. It may even endure a protracted bout of dryness. A word of caution, though: Oleander is poisonous to people, cats, dogs, and other species.

Sage (Salvia)

Even in dry, hot, waterless situations, sage is a flowering shrubby herb that thrives. This drought-tolerant annual or perennial plant thrives in the sun and can grow for several years. The fuzzy leaves help the herbaceous plant survive for weeks without water, which you’ll notice as well.

The unique fragrance of sage has made it famous. Sage species may also create flowers that look like long, colorful cones. White sage, red blooming sage, blue wine sage, and candelabrum sage with violet flowers are some of the most noteworthy varieties.

Lavender (Lavendula)

Another popular flowering herb that grows in drought-prone, arid environments is lavender. These tiny perennial plants thrive in high heat and are only occasionally watered. As a colorful border plant that releases calming lavender odors, you can add lavender to your sunny garden.

Longer than the shrub, the blue-purple blooms emerge at the end of towering stalks. These drought-tolerant plants may be planted, neglected, and will still bloom year after year.

Stonecrops (Sedum)

Hundreds of stonecrop blooming plants, including many that need little watering in hot summers, can be found. Because they store water, these sun-loving plants have leaves that aren’t too sensitive to watering once a week. When large clusters of flowers appear, the succulent leaves practically disappear. Stonecrops may be used as part of a rock garden or planted in your yard with well-draining soil.

Bugleweed (Ajuga)

Even when moisture is scarce and there is plenty of heat, bugleweed can survive. This mint-family herbaceous flowering plant makes an excellent full-sun drought-tolerant ground cover. Some gardeners choose this for a low-maintenance outdoor plant because of its attractive blue spiky flowers and interesting leaves. This plant, which bears the popular moniker of gkuncle, may grow invasive and takeover gardens if not kept in check.

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Tuberosa)

Butterfly weed thrives in drought and heat and grows as a perennial. Even though the ground is bone dry and it’s bright, Luscious green leaves and orange flowers don’t wilt. To survive, this plant requires full sunlight, and it may develop beside streams as nicely as in dry, sandy soil. If you want to attract pollinators, such as butterflies, honeybees, and other insects, plant butterfly weed.

Coneflowers (Echinacea)

Coneflowers grow in arid grasslands devoid of water and produce large, colorful blooms. These herbaceous perennials may grow up to 4 feet (1.4 meters) tall. Purple flowers in the form of a disc are placed on the long stems.

Even if you don’t water them regularly, they’ll do just fine in sandy soil. Coneflowers get their common name from the fact that their petals may droop downward from the center to form a cone shape.

Cosmos Plants

When Cosmos plants are deprived of moisture, they can survive in less-than-ideal conditions. When you ignore these perennial plants, they seem to produce more blooms. Cosmos plants have lovely and aesthetically pleasing flowers with petals arranged around a center disc, and they belong to the same family as coneflowers. You may water them occasionally to create a colorful garden, which thrives in dry sandy soil and full sun.

Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum)

Desert rose thrives in hot, dry conditions, as its common name suggests. A succulent shrub native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, the flowering tropical plant is a kind of succulent shrub. The robust green leaves contrast with the beautiful blossoms.

Pink or red blossoms with a white center are common. In your garden, don’t be concerned about watering a desert rose. Any that is in the ground will normally draw enough moisture. The blooming tree is deciduous in colder climes and evergreen in dry climes.

Ornamental Onions (Allium caeruleum)

Ornamental onions thrive in arid, drought-stricken regions of Central Asia if you simply provide them water on a regular basis. These drought-tolerant globe-shaped purple flowers emerge from clusters of drought-tolerant bulbous plants. As pest deterrents against destructive fly and beetle species, you may place these in an organic vegetable garden.

Golden Marguerite (Cota tinctoria)

Golden Marguerite thrives in full sun and poor soil, as do other plants in the sunflower family. The plant will turn your garden into a sea of bright yellow colors once it is established and rarely needs watering. Boston daisy, yellow chamomile, and dyer’s chamomile are some of the other names for this sun-loving biennial.

Marigolds (Tagetes)

Marigolds continue to produce big, spectacular flowers despite receiving very little water and being exposed to a lot of heat. Their fibrous roots give them the ability to withstand dry conditions. These blooming, sun-loving annuals are highly drought-tolerant and thrive in a wide range of soils.

To keep insects at bay, plant marigolds as companion plants around veggies. Tagetes plants, as well as Calendula (desert marigold), are not to be confused with one another.

Hardy Iceplant (Delosperma)

The Trailing Iceplant, sometimes known as the Hardy Iceplant, is a low-maintenance plant with succulent leaves. Because of the abundance of tiny flowers that bloom from July to September, this perennial is also known as pink carpet. Dry, hot environments suit the drought-tolerant plant incredibly well. Wherever other plants cannot grow due to poor soil or full sun, plant a ground cover in your garden.

Pinks (Dianthus plumarius)

Pinks are a kind of flowering plant that blooms in the summer and produces a mound of pink or purple flowers. These plants flourish in full sun and can tolerate brief dry spells while requiring little water. From late spring until late summer, evergreen shrubs that grow to between 12″ and 24″ (30 – 60 cm) add a lot of color to your garden.

Globe Thistle (Echinops bannaticus)

One of the most interesting and distinct drought-tolerant plants for your garden is globe thistles. The end of long, straight stems are covered with blue globular blooms. Stems may reach up to four feet (1.2 meters) in height. These sun lovers thrive in poor, arid soil and can withstand hot, humid summers. During the growing season, only water is available on rare occasions.

The Best Drought Tolerant Plants for Indoors

Houseplants that are kept dry seem to thrive more when they’re ignored. In overly moist soil, several tropical houseplants struggle to thrive. To thrive, indoor plants that are simple to maintain may need just a little care. When it comes to watering, let’s take a look at five of the best indoor plants.

Sago Palm

When the soil dries out, sago palms are not thirsty plants and only need a little water. Their short stature and palm-like branches give your room a tropical aesthetic when grown in a pot. To ensure the plant thrives, place it in a sunny location and water it occasionally. Remember that cats, dogs, other pets, and children should be kept away from sago palms because they are poisonous.


Sansevieria, sometimes known as the snake plant, thrives when it is ignored. Being a desert plant, Sansevierias thrives on dry soil with long succulent leaves. If you have a sansevieria plant in a pot, you only need to water it on rare occasions since the succulent leaves store water. Sansevieria comes in a variety of species, each of which requires little attention.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Without watering them, spider plants may survive a week or more. Spider plants are especially tolerant of dry soil since they don’t receive enough water, so it’s not ideal to completely neglect them. With their variegated light green and white leaves, these cheerful plants brighten up the corner of any room. Perfect for hanging baskets or on shelves, the long, tapered leaves grow upwards and cascade over the side of the pot.

ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas)

Thanks to their massive roots and succulent leaves, ZTX plants are genuine survivors. They can endure lengthy droughts. You never have to water a ZZ plant, except for the odd occasion, since it is also known as Zanzibar gem or eternity plant.

They can withstand temperatures of up to 79°F (26°C) because of their glossy green leaves on thick stems. Even in poor growing conditions, these evergreen hardy houseplants seem to be imperishable.


In hot, dry, arid situations with the right amount of attention, most types of succulents can endure. Because they flourish in deserts with high temperatures and little rainfall, their thick juicy leaves, stems, and roots store water.

Of course, you can’t forget about them completely, but they just need a little bit of water on occasion. From huge aloe vera plants to rose-shaped echeverias and quirky tiny pebble plants (lithops), you may cultivate hundreds of types of succulents at home.

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