Selecting Drought-Tolerant Plants to Beautify Hot Gardens

Gardening in hot, dry climates can be challenging, but selecting the right plants can make all the difference. In this article, we will explore a variety of heat and drought-tolerant plants that not only survive but thrive in such conditions. These plants are not only resilient but also add beauty and interest to any garden.

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

One of the standout plants for heat and drought tolerance is Sedum 'Autumn Joy'. This perennial is incredibly easy to grow, requiring minimal care. It thrives in full sun and can handle high temperatures, making it ideal for hot climates. The plant blooms in late summer to fall, with flowers that attract pollinators. Additionally, 'Autumn Joy' is easy to propagate—simply stick a stem in the ground, and it will grow.

Sedum 'Pure Joy'

Another excellent sedum variety is 'Pure Joy'. This plant is slightly more compact than 'Autumn Joy' and is perfect for container gardening. It has a lovely blue-green color and produces pretty pink flowers. 'Pure Joy' is also heat and drought-tolerant, making it another great choice for challenging climates.

Daisy Varieties: 'Real Charmer' and 'Real Glory'

Daisies are a classic garden flower, and the varieties 'Real Charmer' and 'Real Glory' from Southern Living are exceptional. These daisies perform well in hot conditions and have long-lasting blooms. They are slightly shorter and sturdier than older varieties, making them less likely to require pinching back. They are also excellent cut flowers.

Penstemon and Tall Phlox

Penstemon and tall phlox are both beautiful and resilient perennials. Penstemon, with its dramatic foliage and purple stems, adds visual interest to the garden. Tall phlox, which comes in various colors including the lovely 'Kapow' variety, blooms later in the season and complements other plants like zinnias and penstemon. Both plants are heat-tolerant and look stunning in garden arrangements.

Veronica and Salvia

Veronica and salvia are indispensable for gardens in hot climates. Veronica, with its lavender blooms, and salvia, known for its continuous flowering from spring to first frost, are both hardy and low-maintenance. These plants add vibrant color and are perfect for sunny spots in the garden.

Purple Coneflower

The purple coneflower is a native plant that is well-suited to prairie gardens. It has a distinctive appearance with its pale pink petals and orange seed head. This plant is not only beautiful but also attracts pollinators. It's a reliable and tough perennial that can handle the heat and drought conditions typical of Oklahoma and similar regions.

Catmint and Scabiosa

Catmint and scabiosa are two more plants that thrive in hot, dry conditions. Catmint has delicate lavender flowers and blue-green foliage, making it a lovely front-of-border plant. Scabiosa, or pincushion flower, is also easy to grow and provides continuous blooms if kept deadheaded. Both plants are low-maintenance and add a touch of elegance to any garden.


Gardening in hot and dry climates requires choosing plants that can withstand these challenging conditions. The plants discussed in this article—Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Sedum 'Pure Joy', daisy varieties 'Real Charmer' and 'Real Glory', penstemon, tall phlox, veronica, salvia, purple coneflower, catmint, and scabiosa—are all excellent choices. They not only survive but also add beauty and interest to the garden, making them perfect for any gardener looking to create a vibrant, resilient landscape.