Drought is a major concern for gardeners across much of the country. However, it’s very possible to grow a gorgeous, water-wise garden. You can find drought tolerant plants for nearly any situation, including heat-loving groundcover plants and groundcovers that withstand drought. Read on for tips and information about a few of the best drought tolerant groundcovers.
Selecting the Best Drought Tolerant Groundcovers
The best drought tolerant groundcovers share several common characteristics. For example, drought-tolerant plants often have small or narrow leaves with a smaller surface area and reduced moisture loss. Similarly, plants with leaves that are waxy, curled, or deeply veined retain moisture. Many drought tolerant plants are covered with fine grey or white hairs, which help the plant reflect heat.
Drought Tolerant Groundcovers for Shade
Keep in mind that even shade-loving plants need some sun. Usually, these tough plants do well in broken or filtered sunlight, or early morning sunlight. Here are some good choices for dry, shady areas:
- Periwinkle/creeping myrtle (Vinca minor) – Periwinkle/creeping myrtle have shiny green leaves covered with tiny, star-shaped indigo flowers in spring. USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9.
- Creeping mahonia/Oregon grape (Mahonia repens) – Creeping mahonia/Oregon grape feature evergreen leaves with fragrant yellow flowers that appear in late spring. Blooms are followed by clusters of attractive, purple berries. Zones 5 through 9.
- Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) – Sweet woodruff has soft green leaves and carpets of small white flowers in late spring and early summer. Zones 4 through 8.
- Creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum) – Creeping thyme leaves are small and dense, covered by mounds of blooms in lavender, rose, red, or white. Zones 3 through 9.
Drought Tolerant Groundcovers for Sun
Popular sun-loving groundcovers that tolerate drought include:
- Rockrose (Cistus spp.) – Rockrose has lush, gray-green foliage and colorful blooms of various shades of pink, purple, white, and rose. Zones 8 through 11.
- Snow in summer (Cerastium tomentosum) – The foliage of Snow in summer is silvery-grey with tiny white blooms that appear in late spring and last through early summer. Zones 3 through 7.
- Moss phlox (Phlox subulata) – Moss phlox have narrow leaves and masses of purple, pink, or white flowers that last all spring. Zones 2 through 9.
- Winecups (Callirhoe involucrata) – Winecups feature deeply cut leaves with bright magenta blooms that resemble tiny hibiscus flowers. Zones through 11.