Plants for Dry or Drought-Prone Climates

There are different types of climates that fall into the category of drought-prone climates. These include Mediterranean (which is present in the U.S., though it is thousands of miles from the Mediterranean Sea), arid, and semi-arid. Even though each of these classifications have different temperature ranges, and also have different precipitation rates, they do share some common characteristics: a propensity toward dryness and often toward heat, and the likelihood of a drought at sometime during a plant's lifecycle. That is why it is important to consider different types of plants that would do well in such areas.

All-around Plants

Note that there are very few plants that can survive in all climates. Many of the plants that would thrive in a semi-arid region would drown in tropical regions. Likewise, tropical and exotic plants would not do well in drier climates. However, many of the plants of the western states would do just fine in the eastern states, depending upon which were chosen.

Here is a list of a few plants that look attractive in most landscapes, and which would survive quite nicely in a fairly wide range of climates found in the United States.

Perennials are not only great to grow in a variety of climates, but because they come back year after year, they are easier on the budget over a long period of time. Some of these plants include shrub roses like the Fru Dagmar Hastrup, which is a beautiful rose that is not terribly time-consuming to grow. It does not require constant attention like some other rose varieties do.

The Black-eyed Susan, Butterfly weed, California poppy (will grow elsewhere), Portulaca. These are beautiful flowers that also require very little maintenance and can survive is climates from Florida to Nevada. Other flowers that look beautiful and thrive in many places include baby's breath, sunflowers, orange coneflower, goldenrod, pansies, and bulb flowers like tulips, iris, daylily and crocus.

The Lamb's Ear

One of the most attractive and fun plants that grow in a wide variety of places is the flowering plant known as lamb's ear. It attracts bees, helping your garden to better propagate and renew itself. Additionally, the soft leaves feel furry, much like lamb's ears, and they are pleasant to the touch.

The blooms on lamb's ear not only look beautiful as part of the landscape, but they make economical decorations for home interiors as well; they look excellent in dried flower arrangements.

Other plants that can take a variety of climates include evergreen boxwood and the oriental yew. The evergreen boxwood makes great hedges and fills in backgrounds nicely, and the oriental yew makes an excellent accent plant with an exotic look. Yuccas, though they may not survive so well in the wettest portions of the country, do remarkably well outside the Southwest. The opuntias is noted for its ability to withstand cold, as well as dry conditions.

Ground Cover

Finally, ground cover can prevent worries over weeds and caring for flowers. There are many different types of covers that are very attractive in a variety of landscapes, even though they may not all flower. Artemisia (also known as "silver king") is among the most attractive, as are herbs like rosemary and thyme. Lavender is also beautiful, adaptive, and it adds the extra benefit of an attractive smell.

Another herb that can serve as attractive groundcover with an excellent smell is Roman chamomile. These plants work to make the landscape pleasant for more than one of our human senses. Ornamental grasses can be planted in a variety of climates, as do the different types of lantana and salvia. Vines like honeysuckle and ivy grow in a variety of climates and can also be used as ground cover.

No matter where you live, it is possible to find plants that will enhance the beauty of your landscape. All it takes is a little looking around, and a knowledge of what grows well in your area. Luckily, there are a few plants, widely available and thus fairly inexpensive, that can be grown in almost any climate. And this can be a great addition to your property, refreshing the soul and beautifying the home within your budget and with very little need for continuous maintenance.

See Also:
Landscaping in a Drought