Drought-tolerant annual plants can stand up to dry conditions, meaning they require less water, saving you money, and reducing the environmental footprint of your garden.
We’ve complied a list of our top drought resistant annuals as well as some best practice tips and tricks to help your annuals survive and thrive in the heat and drought that comes most summers.
Tips for Growing in Dry Conditions
- Cover the soil to prevent water evaporation. Applying several inches of mulch can help create a barrier to keep the root zone protected and moist. It also helps reduce weed pressure.
- Choose plants that require less water or can survive in drier conditions (see list below).
- If planting in containers, choose a high quality, soil-less mix (not a top soil or garden soil) like our very own Country Basket potting soil. This will help create a mix that is easy to grow in and that will hold moisture longer.
- If your garden beds are sandy, consider adding a triple mix soil (compost, black earth, peat moss) or black earth. This will add organic material to your soil and increase its moisture-holding capacity.
- Water your plants well for at least four weeks after planting to establish a strong root zone that will help your plant thrive in the drier summer months.
Best Annuals for Dry Locations
- Succulents – A waxy-leaved plant made for hot and dry conditions. Much like a cactus, it stores water in its leaves and needs little water to survive.
- Purslane - Similar looking to portulaca, we keep purslane in the hottest spot in our greenhouse! It loves the heat and will forgive you if you don't water as often as you should.
- Strawflower – The flowers feel dry and stiff but look pretty and this plant is great for conserving moisture. Thrives in hot conditions. Great as a dried flower.
- Gazania – One of the best garden annuals for a dry location. The unreal, vividly coloured flowers of this South African plant bring a touch of the exotic to the garden. Excellent for sun-baked, hot garden sites that have dry soil. Very low maintenance.
- Portulaca – This is a plant that adds colour to dry, barren locations. It comes in large, stunning pink or white blossoms. Succulent-like leaves help hold moisture and make this plant very drought resistant.
- Cosmos – One of the fastest growing annuals, with lacy leaves and bright pink, white or red daisy-like flowers. Grows best in full sun, but can handle partial shade.
- Zinnia – Zinnias thrive in full sun. One of our most drought resistant plants. Available in a range of colours.
- Statice – Thrives in hot conditions. A classic flower for drying. Cut flowers, and hang to dry to enjoy for months.
- Dusty Miller – Silvery leaves make it a great texture plant, and it is lovely in planter combinations or in gardens.
- Sunflower – A natural for hot conditions. Beautiful yellow flowers are a favourite with nearly every gardener.
- Browalia – This plant has a rare sapphire coloured flower, and is an even rarer shade plant that can handle dry conditions. Popular with gardeners with many trees or poor sun conditions. Blooms heavily.
Still have questions about what which plants do best in dry conditions? Give us a call or contact us via our website, we'd be happy to help.