May 24, 2017
Drought-Tolerant PerennialsBy Jasmina Dolce

As temperatures warm up and summer begins, watering and maintaining plants become a daily chore for gardeners and homeowners. I’m not going to lie … I take my garden maintenance extremely seriously in the spring, but I start to get lazy as the season goes on. And sadly, some of my plants suffer. I know I’m not alone!

Perennials continue to trend among gardeners, especially when it comes to landscapes. So as water use continues to be a concern across the industry, gardeners are asking which perennials will survive and thrive in dry spells.

In the May 2017 issue of GPN, industry consultant Paul Pilon of Perennial Solutions Consulting authored an article “Drought-Tolerant Perennials,” which gives a great list of perennials that withstand drier conditions.

He states, “For many people, the first plants that come to mind when considering drought-tolerant plants are succulents and cacti. However, the plant palette of drought-tolerant plants is much broader than this and includes many colorful and beautiful options. That’s right, there are quite a few perennials that are perfect for low maintenance, water conserving landscapes.”

Pilon created a table of 100 perennial plants to consider for drought tolerance, which can be found here. “As you’ll see, many of them are familiar household names such as echinacea or gaillardia, while others such as pterocephalus are a little more obscure. Many of these perennials have colorful flowers and can be used to brighten up a dry landscape,” he says.

To read the full article and learn more about drought-tolerant perennials, click here.

Here are some crops Pilon recommends for drought tolerance:


Echinops is a wonderful and interesting plant to use in dry landscapes.


Sedum is used in landscapes across the country. In addition to its great landscape presence, sedum is also a great option to grow in locations with dry conditions.


Eryngium is drought tolerant and provides an interesting texture to the landscape.


Verbascum can tolerate dry conditions and, with its height, offers a great splash of color for the back of the landscape.


Santolina’s silvery foliage provides a nice contrast with other green tones in the garden.


Once established, echinacea can be quite resilient during dry spells.

Have you seen an increase in requests for drought-tolerant options from your customers? Do you dedicate retail space or educational literature to this category? Shoot me an email at [email protected], and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

— Jasmina

Jasmina Dolce

Jasmina Dolce is managing editor of GPN magazine. She can be reached at [email protected]


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