Although Florida generally sees upwards of 50 inches of rain each year, the state isn’t immune to the problem of drought. With most of Florida’s rain falling between the months of May and October, landscapers and homeowners are faced with the difficult task of finding beautiful plants that will withstand the dry conditions through the remainder of the year. Fortunately, there are some plants that can thrive in extreme heat – even with a lack of water.
Known as “moss roses,” this colorful flowering plant has a built-in drought stress system, meaning it grows best during the hot, dry summer months. Portulaca blooms similarly to a cactus, with succulent leaves and ruffled petals in bright shades of red, pink, purple, orange, yellow, and white. This aggressive, self-seeding plant spreads quickly, and is perfectly suited to rock gardens with good drainage.
Another favorite of rock garden landscapers, Catmint provides beautiful grey-green foliage year-round and small lavender flowers throughout the summer months. This useful plant can grow up to four feet tall, making it a perfect option for landscapers looking to fill space or create edges and borders. Catmint is especially attractive to bees and butterflies, which are drawn to the plant’s pale flowers – traditionally in shades of purple and blue, but can also be pink or white.
Bees and hummingbirds love this plant’s tall “spikes” of flowers – and the aromatic scent of these spikes makes Agastache a popular choice of gardeners and landscapers looking for drought-resistant flowers. This showy plant blooms fragrantly throughout the season, filling the garden with color even in the driest of summers. Agastache, like Catmint, is a tall plant that grows best in well-drained soil, as a border or behind shorter plants.
The vibrant, beautiful blossoms that adorn this plant make it a great choice for a dry garden – bringing in some much-needed brightness and color. The aromatic blooms, which contrast nicely with the plant’s dark green foliage, can be yellow, orange, red, blue, or white, and tend to change color as they mature. Growing Lantana will not only bring variety and interest to your garden, it will also attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
With its bright columns of color, Salvia Splendens is an attention-grabbing feature for a dry garden. The plant’s flowers are generally deep, vibrant red, but newer varieties come in blue, purple, pink, salmon, and white. Salvia prefers to grow in well-drained soil, but this hardy plant prefers little water and bright sunlight. The versatility of this plant makes it a perfect filler for any yard, as it can be used in flower beds, containers, borders, or rock gardens.
- California Poppy
These delicate, silky flowers begin blooming as early as February, filling the garden with shades of red, yellow, and orange – but the petals close up each night, and sometimes remain closed on cool or cloudy days. The California Poppy’s long-lasting flowers will keep your yard looking colorful until the end of September, even with poor soil conditions, blazing sun, and a lack of water.
This robust plant fills garden spaces with mounds of slender, silvery leaves that provide a perfect backdrop to more brightly colored flowering flora. Artemisia is a fragrant shrub that is known for its culinary and medicinal uses, but the plant’s preference for dry soil makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking to keep their yard looking fresh and green through drought conditions.
- Licorice Plant
The silvery elegance of the Licorice Plant offers another great accent to add contrast to your garden. This plant’s long, trailing vines makes it the perfect choice for a rock garden or in a hanging container, but it will also grow out and fill any space. With a subtle green color and small, delicate leaves, the Licorice Plant is a beautiful choice for a drought-tolerant garden.
Featuring aromatic, feathery leaves and vibrant flowers, Yarrow is a favorite among gardeners and landscapers. This hardy plant is commonly used as a companion plant, meaning it repels pests and attracts predatory insects like ladybugs and hoverflies, but it is also a beautiful addition to the garden with its tightly-packed flower heads. Yarrow grows best in hot, dry conditions.
These trendy plants are perfect for dry climates – their stems and leaves are built to store water. Succulents boast subtle, cool shades of green, blue, and purple, and thick, architectural leaves, making them a unique addition to any garden. There are tons of varieties of succulents available, too – there’s a succulent to suit any style of landscaping.
Filling your yard with these hardy, drought-resistant plants means spending less time and money keeping your garden watered – and when water restrictions are in place, this can save your yard from looking dried out and brown. Instead, let your lush, green plants be the envy of your neighbors by planting appropriate flora for the Florida climate.