If you’re ready to save money and water, learn about specific drought-tolerant perennials for your landscape and a proven 4-step system for planting them successfully.


You’re sick of wasting valuable resources with your garden plants or lawn (or both) and it is time to put an end to it. The solution is to add drought-tolerant perennials to your landscape. Sounds easy, right?

The problem is you are unsure how to begin, what to plant, or how to design this new low-water landscape because you’re not a landscape designer and you want to get it right. On our previous podcast, you learned about the benefits of drought-tolerant plants to help you begin your journey of creating a water-wise garden.

In this podcast (and on the page below), you’ll learn about specific drought-tolerant perennials you could plant, where to buy them, and important drought-tolerant landscape supplies you should add to your wishlist.

Save water (and money) using our 4-step landscape design system.

Rosemary is a drought-tolerant plant


In “Drought-Tolerant Perennials” – Ep. 38 – learn plant ideas and a 4-step system for planting drought-tolerant plants in your landscape. This episode is meant for any gardener wanting to create or learn more about drought-tolerant gardening.   


Before we begin, if you’re looking for one way to start creating a more drought-tolerant landscape, there are several tools, supplies, and strategies that will work together to lower the overall water use in your yard. This could be added to your current landscape to help save precious resources.

For example, this specific water conservation tool by Orbit would be a great start for your drought-tolerant garden! It’ll help you monitor the time your water is running and therefore lessen the amount of water that is used. Plus, you can set the timer for when it goes off! 


Our water timer has been a huge benefit in our yard and we couldn’t imagine life without it (yes, we’re a tad bit dramatic but we really love it)! Pick up your own today!


Next, read on to learn about the benefits of drought-tolerant plants or jump to the section you need:


Drought-Tolerant Landscaping

drought-tolerant landscape

Drought-tolerant landscaping

Congratulations to you on your decision to create a more water-wise landscape!

As our climate continues to change and get warmer, it’ll be more important than ever to maintain a garden with plants that are designed to use fewer resources overall. Of course, all perennials need to be well-established for a year or two before they can be considered drought-tolerant. Luckily, there are so many ways to alter your landscape in order to use less water as well as less of other resources.

First, you need to begin your journey with a basic definition of drought-tolerance. Drought-tolerance relates to certain plants, including shrubs, trees, or herbs, that have the ability to survive (and even thrive) under very low levels of available water, for up to a week or two. On the other hand, drought-resistant plants have the ability to sustain low water levels for months at a time and is often confused with drought-tolerance. Either type of landscape is beneficial to the environment, it just depends on your preference. 


Next, you need to choose your plants based on your needs. There are several beautiful drought-tolerant perennials, shrubs, grasses, groundcovers, and trees that can sustain low levels of water for many weeks at a time.

Examples of drought-tolerant plants:

  • Purple Coneflower
  • Blanket Flower
  • Rhododendron
  • Vinca
  • Salal

Check out our more extensive list of drought-tolerant perennials and drought-tolerant supplies below to help you along your journey to create a low-water landscape.


Finally, you need to add your plants to your landscape using our 4-step landscape design system. The podcast above will explain each step in a lot more detail but a quick summary is listed below.


4-step design system: 

1) Determine your climactic zone by finding out what USDA or Sunset climatic zone your garden is in. 

2) Research each drought-tolerant plant you are interested in according to what would grow well in your garden’s specific climatic zone. There are many plants suitable for each zone, so don’t even worry that there might not be enough plants to choose from.

3) Once you have figured out your drought-tolerant plant list, sort the plants into groups according to which plants will grow and thrive in the same conditions. For example, which plants from your list need full-sun, shade, partial shade, or fast or slow-draining soil? Also, what watering frequency does each plant prefer? 

4) Now, organize your plant groupings by the plants’ height at full maturity as well as width. This will help you determine what should be planted where.


And there you have it, a brief introduction to each of our 4 steps in our drought-tolerant landscape design system. Again, the podcast describes each of these steps in a lot more detail so don’t forget to listen and get ready to record some notes!



  • Drought-tolerance refers to plants that can sustain low levels of water for a couple of weeks at a time.
  • Research various types of drought-tolerant perennials you might like.
  • Design your landscape using our 4-step drought-tolerant design system: Determine your zone, research your plants, sort/group your plants, and then organize by mature growing needs.



Drought-Tolerant Perennial List

Lance-Leaf Coreopsis Seeds, Yellow Flowers...

Drought-tolerant plants are not unattractive or colorless. There are so many sizes, shapes, and colors available it really is just a matter of your preference.

Adding any one of these plants below to your landscape could beautify your yard while helping save precious water.

Here are a few of our favorites with links to buy them now:



Drought-Tolerant Landscape Supplies

Now that you have picked out your plants and learned how to properly design your landscape, you need the proper tools for caring for them. This is a crucial step along your journey to great plant care, almost as important as choosing the plants themselves. The question is do you have all the tools you need?

If not, below are some recommendations to specific tools we use that will support your new drought-tolerant landscape.

For example, this water timer is a great tool for your drought-tolerant landscape. By setting the timer to the length or frequency you want, you’ll save time and money. We love our Orbit water timer and we feel good knowing that we only use water as needed.



Other Recommended Supplies: 



Education for Drought-Tolerance

Further your education with these great book suggestions!


Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens: 200 Drought-Tolerant Choices For All Climates



Lawn Gone!: Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives For Your Yard



Videos for Drought-Tolerant Perennials

Further your education along your journey to save more water with these two videos! We hope they are helpful!



Plants for Drought-Tolerance Conclusion

Drought-tolerant perennials do not have to be boring, ugly, or colorless. You can add color, texture, and interest to your landscape by choosing tough plants that are environmentally-friendly and low maintenance.

By implementing our 4-step design system and using various tools like this water timer, you can save both water and money so that’s also a huge bonus!

Now we want to hear from you!

What new questions do you have about drought-tolerant perennials or landscape design? Let us know by leaving a quick comment below.




Drought-Tolerant Plant References:


That’s all for this episode!

You can find other topics on our podcast page at spokengarden.com/podcast.

Find us on Instagram or Pinterest to follow or leave us a comment. We would love to hear from you!

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And hey—before you head out—if you want to connect with us and subscribe to our newsletter go to Spoken Garden’s free resource page!

We have FREE garden content we are so excited to give to you, like cheat sheets, plant profile sheets, etc!

Thanks for Listening!!!


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If you’re ready to save money and water, learn about specific drought-tolerant perennials for your landscape and a 4-step system for planting them now.


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Today’s Topic: 

Drought-Tolerant Perennials for Landscaping

In this podcast, you will learn a 4-step system for planting drought-tolerant perennials and specific plants you may want to add to your water-wise garden.


Free Summer Gardening chapter from our newest ebook

What You’ll Learn:

  • Drought-tolerant perennial plant ideas.
  • 4-step system for landscaping your new plants.
  • Recommendations for landscape plants to purchase.
  • Links for further resources or education.


Some of the resources and products below may be affiliate links, meaning we might get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

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