Native plants typically require less water than others, however, these native wildflowers are not only drought tolerant but hardy in those conditions.
Drought tolerant plants and native wildflowers means having plants that can live without supplemental waterings between rainfalls. Drought tolerant gardening plants work well when xeriscaping or when just wanting plants that require less water than others. These plants, all native wildflowers to the United States, are great selections and are all drought tolerant.
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Iris cristata Ait. (Dwarf Crested Iris)
Growing four to 16 inches high with a spread of three to six inches, these will have violet, blue or white blooms. The flowers are short-lived; appearing March to May. Leaves are pointed and in clusters.
It is drought tolerant and prefers light shade and moist well-drained acidic soil. Propagate by root division or by seed. Seedlings need 2 to 3 years for flowering. It attracts hummingbirds and bees.
Lilium michauxii Poir. (Carolina Lily)
The Carolina lily grows one to four feet high and is a perennial. Leaves are simple and whorled. The flowers are spotted, nodding, and red-yellow in color, blooming May through August.
Carolina lily prefers partial shade and moist acidic sandy soil. It is drought tolerant. Propagate by division of the bulb or by seed. Seed should be stored in a moist refrigerated container.
Read also: Types of lilies
Penstemon australis Small (Eustis Lake Beardtongue)
This flower gets up to 15 inches tall and prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. There is dense basal lance-like foliage that is quite beautiful in its own part.
There are deep rose flowers that are white on the inside from April through July. There may be smooth or hairy stalks. It is also drought tolerant. Propagate by seed using cold moist stratification.
Phlox stolonifera Sims (Creeping Phlox)
This perennial only gets to six inches tall with an 18-inch spread. This can be a great ground cover by not pulling up the fine hair-like roots. Its blooms range from violet to lavender in mid-spring. It is an evergreen and drought tolerant. You may propagate it by stem cuttings.
Ruellia caroliniensis (J. F. Gmel.) Steud. (Carolina Wild Petunia)
This is not a true petunia at all. Its blue or purple blooms reach up to three feet in height and have smooth leaves. Bloom season is May to July. This is drought tolerant and prefers partial shade. Wild petunia is a good border plant.
Drought tolerant gardening is a way to save precious resources and to live a little greener, leaving behind a lower carbon footprint.