More Drought-Resistant Perennials
Save water year after year with these hardy beauties
"Where drinking water is scarce, it doesn't make sense to use so much of it on our lawns and flowers," says landscape designer Nicole Lopez, who works in drought-prone Santa Monica. "You need to match plants to the climate that you live in. It just doesn't work the other way around."
Stonecrop (Sedum 'Gold Dust')
Small perennial with clumped pink buds that bloom in summer; grows 2 to 4 inches; likes full sun; dry soil; hardy to -20 degrees F; zones 4 to 8.
Large shrub with willowlike bronzy-green leaves that turn deeper in winter; grows 12 to 15 feet high, great as a hedge or informal screen; attractive winged cream to pinkish seedpods in late summer; full sun to retain color; well-drained soil; hardy to +10 degrees F; zones 6 to 7.
Big, dramatic plant with many swordlike, stiffly vertical leaves in fan pattern. Clustered yellow flowers, 1 to 2 inches long, that reach high above leaves. Full sun to partial shade; zones 7 to 24. Phormium 'Jack Sprat,' a smaller, less hardy variety. Phormium 'Maori Maiden,' a variety with apricot edging; grows to 12 feet high; prefers moist and well-drained soil; hardy to 0 degrees F; zones 8 to 10.
Evergreen shrub grows 3 to 4 feet tall and half again as wide, with leaves that are slightly finer and filmier than rosemary leaves and with small white flowers. Full sun; zones 8, 9, and 14 to 24. Westringia 'Wynyabbie Gem' produces light purplish flowers; grows to 3 feet tall; prefers moist and well-drained soil; hardy to +10 degrees F; zones 9 to 10.
Shrub with roundish, silver-gray satiny leaves and light yellow, fluffy clustered blooms in fall/winter; grows 10 to 20 feet high; well-drained soil; hardy to +20 degrees F; zones 7 to 8.
Slender branches with narrow pinnate-shaped leaves and tiny flowers; fragrant when brushed; grows to 3 to 5 feet; sun to light shade; well-drained soil; hardy to +10 degrees F; zones 9 to 10.
Perennial succulent with small rosettes of large fleshy gray-green leaves sprouts clumps of mauve petals in mid-summer; prefers well-drained, humus-rich loam; full sun; grows to 5 feet; hardy to +20 degrees F; zones 7 to 8.
Evergreen perennial that grows in clumps of dark green, smooth, swordlike leaves to 5 feet tall. Tubular, curved, hairy flowers 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, yellow-green tinged with red for late spring to fall. Full sun; moist, well-drained loamy soil; hardy to +40 degrees F, zones 12 to 15.
Usually deciduous tree with a spreading, picturesque branch canopy and leaves composed of many tiny leaflets; grows to 25 to 50 feet high; full sun; sandy soil; hardy to +30 degrees F; zones 8 to 11.