Plants that thrive in dry soil - Knowledgebase Question

Fredericksburg, Vi
Question by vlneulinger
June 30, 2010
Hello, my yard stays pretty dry..full sun and everything I plant seems to die. I live in Va and I'm looking for perennials that will do well in this condition. Anything special I can do to make sure the plants don't die? thanks.

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


Some outstanding drought tolerant plants include the following: Cosmos sulphureus (orange cosmos), Gaillardia pulchella (blanket flower), Gomphrena globosa (globe amaranth ), Leonotis nepetifolia (annual lion's) Phaseolus acutifolius (tepary bean), Portulaca grandiflora (moss rose), Zinnia elegans (zinnia) and Zinnia haageana (Mexican zinnia). Succulents include: Agave americana (agave ), Aloe saponaria (soap aloe), Aloe vera (medicinal aloe), Euphorbia tirucalli (pencil tree), Kalanchoe fedtschenkoi (South American air plant), Opuntia humifusa (hardy prickly pear), Stapelia spp. (carrion flower) and Tradescantia pallida (purple heart).

Some ornamental grasses to consider include: Festuca glauca (blue fescue), Imperata cylindrica (Japanese blood grass), Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhlygrass), Muhlenbergia lindheimeri (Lindheimer's muhlygrass), Nassella tenuissima (Mexican feather grass), Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), Pennisetum setaceum (African fountain grass), Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem), Sorghastrum nutans (indiangrass), Spartina bakeri (sand cordgrass), Uniola paniculata (sea oats).

Drought tolerant shrubs include:

Aralia spinosa (devil's walking stick), Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush), Caesalpinia pulcherrima (peacock flower(, Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry(, Calycanthus floridus (sweetshrub), Chaenomeles speciosa (Japanese quince), Choisya ternata (Mexican orange), Conocarpus erectus var.sericeus (silver buttonwood) Cyrilla racemiflora (titi), Elaeagnus pungens (thorny elaeagnus ), Euphorbia pulcherrima (poinsettia), Galphimia glauca (thryallis), Gaylussacia frondosa (blue huckleberry), Hamelia patens (firebush), Hibiscus mutabilis (confederate rose), Hypericum calycinum (Aaron's beard), Ilex glabra (gallberry), Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii' (Burford's holly), Ilex vomitoria (yaupon), Ilex x 'Nellie R. Stevens' (Nellie Stevens holly), Illicium parviflorum (yellow anise), Jatropha multifida (coral plant), Juniperus conferta (shore juniper), Juniperus davurica 'Parsonii' (Parson's juniper), Juniperus horizontalis (creeping juniper), Leonotus leonurus (lion's ear), Leucophyllum frutescens (purple sage), Ligustrum x vicaryi (golden vicary privet), Myrica cerifera (southern bayberry_ and Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian sage).

Hope you find just the right plants for your garden.

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