Zone 9 Drought Tolerant Plants: Growing Low Water Plants In Zone 9

Flowering Low Water Plant
zone 9 drought
(Image credit: m-kojot)

Are you in the market for zone 9 drought tolerant plants? By definition, the term “drought tolerant” refers to any plant that has relatively low water requirements, including those that have adapted to arid climates. Selecting and growing low water plants in zone 9 isn’t difficult; the hard part is choosing from so many delightful options. (Keep in mind that even drought-tolerant plants need regular water until the roots are well established.) Read on to learn about a few annuals and perennials for arid zone 9 gardens.

Drought Tolerant Plants for Zone 9

There are a number of plants that can tolerate drought in zone 9. Below are some of the more common annuals and perennials suitable to growing in these gardens (note in zone 9 many “annuals” may be considered perennial, coming back each year).


Dusty miller is appreciated for its silvery gray foliage. This hardy annual prefers rich, well-drained soil and full sunlight. Cosmos produces feathery foliage and daisy-like blooms of pink, white, and maroon with yellow or reddish brown eyes. Zinnias are cheery plants that brighten up any spot in the garden. Look for this annual in a virtual rainbow of bold and pastel colors. Marigolds are popular, low-maintenance sun lovers available in several sizes and sunny shades of red, yellow, gold, and mahogany. Also known as moss rose, portulaca loves intense heat and bright sunlight. Look for this ground-hugging plant in a rainbow of intense colors.


Echinacea, commonly known as coneflower, is a vibrant native plant that thrives in nearly any well-drained soil. Salvia is a real attention getter with vibrant blooms appearing throughout most of summer and fall. This plant is available in a variety of colors, including blue, red, and purple. Yarrow is an easy-to-grow, low-maintenance prairie plant available in yellow, orange, red, pink, and white. Lantana is an annual in cooler climates but is considered perennial in the warmer climates of zone 9. Lantana produces blooms of orange, pink, red, yellow, purple, white, and several pastel shades, depending on the variety. Native to the Mediterranean, lavender is a sweet-smelling, drought-tolerant plant that stands out in arid zone 9 gardens. Russian sage is a shrubby perennial with silvery gray foliage and bluish purple blooms. This plant grows in nearly any sunny spot, as long as the soil drains well. Veronica is a long-blooming plant with tall spikes of purple, blue, pink, or white blooms. Locate this plant in bright sunlight and well-drained soil. Penstemon, with masses of bright red blooms, draws hordes of butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Agastache is a tall, sun-loving plant that produces tall spikes of purple or white blooms throughout summer and autumn. Yucca is a perennial evergreen shrub with several species available that not only tolerate drought in zone 9 but have attractive sword-like foliage and many produce nice looking flower spikes.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.