Drought Tolerant Flower Seeds, Annuals, Perennials - Diane's Flower Seeds

Drought-Tolerant Flowers
by Diane Linsley

What are the best drought-tolerant flower seeds?

Growing drought-tolerant flowers is the responsible thing to do in a world with an ever-increasing population and declining natural resources. Unfortunately, it hasn't caught on yet in many places.

Looking around my neighborhood, you'd never know that we live in a desert. Nearly every house is surrounded by a sea of lush, green grass. Bluegrass is a terribly impractical thing to grow in a place where the summer temperatures often exceed 100 degrees, and it rarely rains in June, July or August.

Growing Drought-Tolerant Flower Seeds

Annual and perennial flowers don’t need to be watered every day like bluegrass does. But even drought-tolerant flowers need regular water to get established. Water usage can be reduced by using mulch (wood chips, grass clippings, etc.) and by planting densely. Closely spaced plants shade the soil, keeping it cool and reducing evaporation. Watering at night or in the early morning or late evening also helps to reduce evaporation.

When you grow your own drought-tolerant flowers from seed, the plants have a better chance of acclimatizing and putting down a good root system before the hot weather strikes. Transplants from the nursery often suffer more from heat and drought, and they need to be watered more often until they are established.

Here's a list of our best drought-tolerant flower seeds.

Drought-Tolerant Annual Seeds

African Daisy -- Colorful flowers in shades of orange, apricot, yellow and white.

Alyssum -- Masses of tiny white, pink or purple flowers. Easy to grow from seed.

California Bluebell -- Native wildflower with cobalt-blue flowers from seed.

California Poppy -- Drought-tolerant flowers in a wide range of colors.

Chinese Forget-Me-Not -- Small, indigo-blue flowers. Makes a nice filler.

Coreopsis -- Native wildflower with yellow, gold or mahogany-red flowers.

Cosmos -- Late summer flowers in a variety of colors, heights and styles.

German Chamomile -- Small, daisy-like flowers make a great filler. Tea herb.

Gilia tricolor -- Native wildflower with delicate lilac and white flowers. Fragrant.

Helichrysum bracteatum (Strawflower) -- Popular dried flower in several colors.

Linum grandiflorum -- Scarlet-red, salmon or white flowers with a silky sheen.

Marigold -- Popular annual with yellow, gold, orange and red flowers from seed.

Mirabilis jalapa -- Fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers that attract hummingbirds.

Tithonia rotundifolia -- Fast-growing annual with orange-red, daisy-like flowers.

Zinnia -- Brightly colored, drought-tolerant flowers for the late summer garden.

Drought-Tolerant Perennial Seeds

Aethionema schistosum -- Rock garden perennial. Fragrant, pale pink flowers.

Agastache (Hyssop) -- Fragrant foliage and colorful flowers for hummingbirds.

Alyssum (Aurinia) -- Yellow-flowered, compact perennial for the rock garden.

Aquilegia (Columbine) -- Early spring-blooming flowers in a variety of colors.

Asclepias tuberosa -- Native perennial for butterflies and hummingbirds.

Aster alpinus -- Spring-blooming perennial with pink, blue or white flowers.

Baptisia australis -- Native perennial. Bushy plant with blue, pea-like flowers.

Campanula rotundifolia -- Short, spreading plant with violet-blue bellflowers.

Centranthus ruber -- First-year-flowering perennial with reddish-pink flowers.

Dalea purpurea -- Native wildflower. Magenta-purple flowers for butterflies.

Dianthus -- Drought-tolerant perennials and biennials with fragrant flowers.

Digitalis obscura -- Sunset-red and gold flowers. Drought-tolerant foxglove.

Echinacea -- Long-blooming perennial with mauve or white flowers.

Gaillardia -- Wine-red or scarlet-red flowers edged in yellow. Native wildflower.

Gaura lindheimeri -- Native perennial with pink-tinged, white flowers.

Hollyhock -- Tall biennial with single or double flowers in a range of colors.

Iberis gibraltarica -- Evergreen perennial with lavender-pink flowers. Rare.

Lavandula angustifolia -- Shrubby perennial with fragrant flowers and foliage.

Liatris -- Tall spikes of fluffy, purple flowers in late summer to fall. Native.

Linum narbonense 'Heavenly Blue' (Flax) -- Sky-blue flowers.

Oenothera (Evening Primrose) -- Fragrant, yellow to orange-red flowers.

Penstemon (Beardtongue) -- Drought-tolerant perennial with tubular flowers.

Perovskia atriplicifolia -- Large, bushy perennial with lavender-blue flowers.

Platycodon grandiflorus -- Long-lived, drought-tolerant perennial. Lovely.

Ratibida -- Native wildflower with drooping, red or yellow or petals.

Rudbeckia triloba -- Native perennial. Small, yellow daisies with black centers.

Ruta graveolens (Rue) -- Blue-green foliage and greenish-yellow flowers.

Salvia -- Perennials with tubular flowers for hummingbirds and butterflies.

Saponaria ocymoides -- Bright pink flowers. For rockeries or groundcover.

Scutellaria resinosa -- Deep purple-blue flowers. Rock garden perennial.

Shasta Daisy -- Single or double, pure white flowers with yellow centers.

Thymus serpyllum -- Drought-tolerant groundcover for pathways and rockeries.

Verbascum phoeniceum -- Tall spikes of flowers in pink, purple and white.

Verbena bonariensis -- First-year flowering perennial with rosy-purple flowers.

Related Articles

Rock Garden Perennials -- Rock garden plants to grow from seed.

First-Year Flowering Perennials -- Plants that bloom the first year from seed.

Deer-Resistant Flowers -- Annuals & perennials. Tips for deterring deer.

Recommended Books

Designing with Plants by Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury

Perennial All-Stars: The 150 Best Perennials for Great-Looking, Trouble-Free Gardens by Jeff Cox


Annual Flower Seeds

Perennial Flower Seeds

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drought tolerant flowers
drought tolerant flower seeds