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Water Wise

Drought-Tolerant Plants

Keeping up with watering can be a tough job in the summer heat. Use plants in your garden that can take a little dry spell.

Water Wise? Drought Tolerant?

For the purposes of our discussion, we’re broadly referring to plants that can handle our customers’ hot Pennsylvania summer without constant watering.

Technically, water wise refers to plants that evolved in places with low amounts of annual precipitation. The length of time they can go without water and grow as usual tends to be longer than most other plants.

The term drought tolerant refers to plants that can handle temporary periods of drought. They may go dormant or lose foliage during these times, but once normal moisture levels return, so do their usual growth habits.

While many use these terms interchangeably, some people are sticklers. Don’t worry, we won’t be testing you.

Annuals vs. Perennials

We all love annuals. They’re an ideal way to try new plants and colors from year to year. However, perennials (especially native perennials) tend to require less water than annuals. So if you can commit to at least some perennials in your garden, your water bill will thank you!

But don’t fret. Some annuals take the heat better than others. Read on for suggestions of drought-tolerant plants of all kinds.



Visit our Planting Tips page for more suggestions of drought-tolerant annuals, part of our informational sheet titled “Drought & Moisture-Tolerant Plants.”


Ice plant
Russian sage
Hens and chicks
Lamb’s ear

To see many more drought-tolerant perennials, visit our Planting Tips page. The “Drought & Moisture-Tolerant Plants” and “Landscaping with Native Plants” sheets should both be useful.


German chamomile
Summer savory

View our “Drought & Moisture-Tolerant Plants” sheet for more herbs that are drought tolerant.


Silver lace vine
English ivy
Trumpet honeysuckle

For more water-wise vines, view our “Drought & Moisture-Tolerant Plants” sheet on our Planting Tips page.


Butterfly bush
Scotch Broom
Blue spirea
Japanese laurel

See more shrubs that sip water on our “Drought & Moisture-Tolerant Plants” informational sheet.


Our team is ready quench your thirst for knowledge about water-wise gardening. Give us a call or visit our two locations.



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