The ATP Top 50 Xeriscapic Plants

Posted by @dave on
Does xeriscapic mean boring and dry looking? Absolutely not! You'll never believe what beautiful blooms are available for the non-irrigated landscape. Come in and see.

#1: Stonecrop (Hylotelephium spectabile 'Autumn Joy')

@valleylynn says, "I just don't know how any plant can be easier than Sedum Autumn Joy. It is not bothered by deer, rabbits, bugs, or insects, and difficult weather seems to have no effect on it. It is a prolific grower."

@Sharon added, "In September and October, this sedum is usually the only bloom I can always count on. Our recent summers have been hot and dry here in western KY, but that doesn't seem to bother this sedum at all."
#2: Stonecrop (Petrosedum rupestre subsp. rupestre 'Angelina')

@goldfinch4 says, "'Angelina' always attracts attention in the garden. No matter what time of year it is, the colors always stand out. It's an easy plant to root and spreads nicely, but it's also easy to remove because of its shallow root system. Looks nice planted under dark-leaved companion plants."
#3: Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

@Sharon says, "This is a lovely early spring bloom in Kentucky. They dot the hillsides with their deep rosy color. The black seedpods of fall create quite a show too, and you'll need to watch out for multiple seedlings if the pods are left where they fall.

Cercis species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species."
#4: Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)

@SongofJoy says, "When re-potting, put this in a pot just slightly larger than its root system. Pot-bound plants can be watered frequently in hot weather. Otherwise, be careful about the watering regimen as these plants cannot tolerate sitting in water, especially in cool weather. Many of these plants lend themselves to "root spreading" at re-potting time. Whether the idea is to try to develop large roots or not, spreading the roots out during potting is recommended."
#5: Lambs' Ears (Stachys byzantina)

@Bonehead says, "I find that if I snip out about 2/3 of the flower stalks, I end up with a fuller plant and still plenty of bloom. I also cut old flowered stalks back to ground level as soon as they look ratty."

@Sharon added, "Lamb's ear has been used medicinally for centuries. It isn't edible, but it is medicinal. During the Civil War its soft absorbent leaves were used as bandages to bind war wounds. It has astringent properties and slows blood flow. Additionally it has mild antibacterial properties and helps prevent infection. It's also helpful in easing pain and swelling of a bee sting."
#6: Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera)

@SongofJoy says, "Very easy to grow. In a home wildflower or perennial garden, it is a plant that will bloom freely over a long period, makes a good and interesting long-stemmed cut flower, and does well in hot, dry, poor soil. It is a perennial member of the Aster family, and its close relatives include sunflowers, black-eyed Susans, shasta daisies, and purple coneflower."
#7: Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica)

@valleylynn says, "In 2005, based on molecular DNA sequence evidence, Belamcanda chinensis, the sole species in the genus Belamcanda, was transferred to the genus Iris and renamed Iris domestica."

@flaflwrgrl added, "I had these in my garden in zone 10. They bloomed much of the year there. Lovely, striking blooms! And the fruit makes its own striking statement. They do self-sow freely, but the seedlings are easy to pull up if you don't want them. They are great to give away to others & readily transplant. These wonderful plants have beautiful foliage too. They are drought tolerant & can take full sun & a decent amount of salt air. A good plant for a xeri garden.

They are quite easy to grow from seed also. I have read all these particulars about growing them from seed, but from my personal experiences they don't require any particular planting depth, or cold stratification, or to be kept constantly moist, or anything special. I planted a bunch of seeds in 2 containers on 4/30/13 @ various depths, from surface sown to 1" deep, they have been at times kept consistently moist & alternately moist to allowed to dry out. These little babies don't care. They actually seem to like some neglect. I have had seeds germinating from 10 days after planting right up until yesterday (9/15/13) & have no doubt that more will yet germinate in days or weeks to come."
#8: Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata)

@SongofJoy says, "Triploid. Zones 6-10. The red spider lily can be planted late spring through fall. It sends up winter foliage that dies back into dormancy during the summer and suddenly blooms in the fall. Red Spider Lily foliage needs at least a half-day of full winter sun to thrive.

The red spider lily foliage follows the flower, staying green well through the winter and into late spring. As a good "rule of thumb" for most bulbs, plant at a depth about three times the height of the bulb.

Performs well under deciduous trees."
#9: Moss Rose (Portulaca grandiflora)

@Boopaints says, "Portulacaceae includes plants commonly called Portulaca and Purslane, with many other nicknames, such as Moss Rose and Wingpod.

All over the country and perhaps the world there is mass confusion about the Latin names and I have found that even some nurseries are confused. I was given a lesson by a grower and this is my take on the purslane plants, which I adore.

P. oleracea = Wild plant with small yellow (usually) flowers; edible. (I have seen websites listing P. umbraticola incorrectly, so never trust what you read to be true. Except this post, of course. :)

P. grandiflora = Showy double blooms, many colors, with spiky leaves. Called Portulaca by most nurseries and growers. Some call it Moss Rose.

P. umbraticola = Showy, many colors, usually a single petal formation but there are more doubles showing up. The leaves are paddle shaped. Called Purslane by most nurseries and growers."
#10: Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

@plantladylin says, "Jade plant, a popular houseplant, is an evergreen succulent with thick branches and smooth rounded leaves that will attain red edges when grown in high light. New stem growth is green, turning to brown as the plant ages. The plant produces small pink or white blooms in early spring when grown well."
#11: Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)

@Bonehead says, "This is an escaped invasive in Washington, and is on the Class B noxious weed list. There are more and more sterile cultivars being offered, which would be a wiser choice where this plant has overstayed its welcome."

@plantladylin added, "Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii) is a deciduous, perennial shrub growing to 6' in height and to 15' wide, with arching branches and clusters of blooms that form a weeping habit when the bush is full. Buddleja is drought tolerant once established and prefers a full to partial sun location. Flowers come in various shades of red, pink, purple, and white and attract a wide range of butterflies to the garden."
#12: Sage (Salvia 'Indigo Spires')

@Marilyn says, "Love this Salvia, but I don't really have the space for it in the ground. I might plant it in an extra large container next year as it isn't hardy where I live.

It's really worth growing!

I also noticed that as the season progressed into the cooler fall days, the color of the flowers became more beautiful, richer, and darker."
#13: Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)

@Mindy03 says, "Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant."

@Skiekitty added, "Never trim this plant in the fall/winter. If you do, you will not get blooms the following year. Always, if you need to trim, do so right after it blooms in late spring/early summer. This plant blooms ONLY on old-wood, never new growth.

If you're lacking in blooms, make sure that this plant gets a lot of moisture in the winter. Dry climates can prevent lilacs from blooming if they don't get a lot of moisture in the winter. The more snow/water they get in the winter, the more blooms you'll see. If we don't get snow, I always winter water my lilacs just like the trees. My neighbor has a lilac the same age/size and about 5 feet away from my lilac and you can tell that I winter water & they don't.. the blooms on their lilacs are very stingy whereas mine will be covered in blooms."
#14: Indian Pink (Spigelia marilandica)

@Marilyn says, "Taken from wikipedia's page at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

"Spigelia marilandica (Indian pink or Woodland pinkroot) is a perennial wildflower in the Loganiaceae family that is used as ornamental plant. It flowers in June and tends to be found low moist woods, ravines, or streambanks in partial or full shade. It will grow to 1 to 2 feet high with a spread of 0.5 to 1.5 feet.""
#15: Blackcurrant Sage (Salvia x jamensis 'Hot Lips')

@bonitin says, "This is an amazing plant. When I bought it the flowers were bicolor: red and white. The same plant later on produced entirely white flowers, and now the first blooms in late May-June are entirely red. It proved to be very tough too, having gone through a very severe winter with long periods of hard frosts without damage. It is very drought resistant too."
#16: Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm')

@Newyorkrita says, "The most common form of Black Eyed Susan and usually available in any local nursery. Goldfinches will eat the dried seeds from the seedheads if you do not cut them."

@kqcrna added, "Perennial plant of the year in 1999. If you can't grow anything else you can grow this plant. It provides bright sunny flowers for weeks in late summer. Its spread is relatively fast and the clump grows dense flowers within a few years. Divide and share with friends every 2 or 3 years.

Deer and rabbits have never eaten mine in the 5 years or so that I have gown this plant. It is also very drought tolerant. It attracts butterflies and birds enjoy the seeds. Wintersows well. It is a long-lived perennial which loves the heat here in my zone 6 yard.

Compared to rudbeckia hirta, blossoms of Goldsturm are smaller but more profuse and overall height is shorter. It is much longer-lived than the hirtas. Its stems are strong and they stand up well to heavy rain and wind."
#17: Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee')

@Skiekitty says, "Bought this plant about 5 years ago and planted it in an area that gets morning/noon sun. It was an absolutely beautiful golden color the first year. The following year, and every year thereafter, the leaves were the dark color seen in my photos. Not at all golden. Blooms the same color as always, however. Tolerates poor soil and my zone 5 winter well."
#18: Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

@SongofJoy says, "Russian Sage, the Perennial Plant Association's 1995 Perennial of the Year, is a semi-woody perennial that provides color, fragrance, and texture all summer. Plants grow to 4 feet and are covered with very pungent (when bruised) gray-green leaves. Flowering starts in mid to late summer and persists on into fall. The flowers themselves are small, tubular, and purple, but the effect is of a powdery purple airy haze. Full sun and good drainage are keys to survival. Wet feet during the winter not appreciated. These plants also benefit from a late spring pruning, down to several pairs of buds."
#19: Starfish Plant (Stapelia gigantea)

@SongofJoy says, "These plants need a cool, dry rest period in winter and are best managed in pots. Protect plants where frost can occur. They can tolerate extreme heat."

@Joy added, "Like Mums and other Fall blooming plants, this plant responds to the shortening daylight hours of the season by producing its buds. They don't like to be moved when they begin to set them. Any change in the angle that the sun strikes the plant may cause it to abort its buds and flowers."
#20: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Oddity')

@valleylynn says, "In the many years I've had Oddity, it has never bloomed. Many times it has produced normal looking, flat-leafed rosettes that seem to grow in a normal fashion for about a year. Then the leaves turn into the tube form of oddity."
#21: Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan')

@imabirdnut says, "I have been growing 'White Swan' for 3 years from seeds I harvest from my own plants & they have come true from seed every time!"
#22: Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)

@Lavanda says, "This is a plant that has been in my life for as long as I can remember.

It is a beloved wildflower in Texas, with a blooming season from March to June.

The color of the blooms, even within the same clump, ranges from pure white to a medium rosy-pink, including all shades in between.

Blooms consist of four petals with yellow anthers.

They grow as wild volunteers on our property, and the bloom season is much anticipated. When observed at night, when the blooms open, they seem to glow in the darkness, or semi-darkness. Day or night, pollinators LOVE them !

They also appear in drainage ditches, along the side of interstate highways and other roads. State road crews do not mow until the bloom season for these, bluebonnets, coreopsis, gaillardias, thistle and other wildflowers is finished for the season, in agreement with the Wildflower preservation originated by Lady Bird Johnson.

Ours grow in full sun as well as in partial, light shade under our trees.

It is very typical, when driving, to see gardens and yards where homeowners mow around these, leaving tall clumps of blooms. A breathtaking billowy moving cloud of beautiful pink and white !

At our ranchito, whoever is mowing receives threats of NO DINNER if they mow down my precious primroses before the end of the blooming season: they must be allowed to produce and drop seed for the future seasons ! Smiling (the plants, not the mowers)"
#23: Sage (Salvia x sylvestris 'Mainacht')

@Skiekitty says, "Cannot kill this plant! Tolerates high & low temperatures, drought, flooding. Cut it almost to the ground and it springs right back up with more blooms! Gets a bit bigger than some other salvias. Mine grows to about 1' across and the bloom stalks get to be about 12-14" tall. Beautiful blue-purple coloring. Smells good, too."
#24: American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

@plantladylin says, "American Beautyberry is an attractive deciduous shrub that attains heights to 6'. Tiny pink flowers appear in spring and early summer, followed by tight clusters of deep purple berries in the fall that are a food source to birds and other wildlife. American Beautyberry prefers a shady location and is very drought tolerant.

One of my neighbors considers this plant a weed and has removed it from her yard, but I love the plant in my backyard. I think the little flowers are quite striking but I really love the look of the berries when they turn the deep purple color in the fall."
#25: Anise Hyssop (Agastache 'Blue Fortune')

@Newyorkrita says, "In my opinion the best of the blue Hyssops. Blooms on mine were always covered in yellow swallowtail butterflies. Long spikes of masses of tiny blue flowers appear to be one giant fuzzy bloom. Starts blooming in July. Unfortunately the one large plant I had for many years died out over one winter and I have never gotten around to replacing it."
#26: Spurge (Euphorbia x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow')

@valleylynn says, "Euphorbia x martinii 'Ascot Rainbow' (Euphorbia characias x Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Rubra') was discovered by David Glenn in Australia.

I have found that even the hybrid euphorbias are good at keeping gophers and other plant/bulb-eating critters out of the garden beds. The euphorbia does need to be planted close to the plants/bulbs you want to protect."
#27: Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria 'Variegatum')

@jmorth says, "Introduced to England by Roman invaders as an edible salad ingredient and pot herb. The young leaves are translucent and shiny green. Tender and aromatic, they are excellent additions to salads as are young stems. When older, stems cooked with cheese
Used as treatment for gout in Middle Ages and Renaissance. Saint Gerard's (1726-1755) gout was reportedly cured by the plant and is where one of its common names (Herb Gerard) originated.
Naturalized in many areas of North America, including most of Canada and the eastern United States
Can be invasive.
Mine usually are grown in dry shade. Sometimes summer heat would take its toll, leaving leaves in dire straits, but mowing once seemed to revitalize it."
#28: Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella)

@plantladylin says, "Gaillardia is a North America native found from Virginia to Florida and westward to Colorado and New Mexico. The plant forms 12"-24" tall clumps with soft hairy divided leaves. The flowers can be single, double or semidouble and appear on long stems held above the foliage. Blanket Flower is considered an annual but will readily reseed. It likes hot, sunny areas, is salt tolerant, and blooms throughout the summer. Deadheading will prolong flowering."
#29: Japanese Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

@Gymgirl says, "Careful when reaching in to harvest seeds from a female plant blossom, as some people can (unknowingly) have an allergic reaction to the blossom. Always wear long sleeves and gloves to avoid an itchy, burning, sensation along your arms. It's very similar to what you experience after laying fiberglass insulation!"
#30: Adam's Needle (Yucca filamentosa)

@threegardeners says, "Zone 5a

I grow these in full sun.
The bloom spikes are huge and very eye-catching. The blooms last a long time.
They enjoy my sandy soil and don't need any extra watering."

@SongofJoy added, "Adam's Needle occurs in much of the eastern third of the US, and when you see it, you know you are in a pretty dry place. A member of the Agave family, it thrives in full sun and dry, very well-drained soil. Adam's Needle forms 2.5-ft. evergreen clumps of sword-like, radiating, glaucous leaves that have thread-like fibers along their edges. In mid to late summer, large, showy, cream white flowers appear on 8' tall flower stalks. Not only is it bold and strong in texture, it is also a strong grower. Plant it where you want it because it is tough to kill. It would be very effective as a focal point, in groups, in an island planting, or in a rock garden where it is sunny and dry. It is also very urban tolerant and could be useful in blazing hot parking lot beds."
#31: Lantana (Lantana camara)

@plantladylin says, "Lantana camara is a lovely ornamental shrub that has become naturalized in some areas, especially the Atlantic coastal plains from Georgia to Florida. It colonizes when birds disperse seeds and it spreads quickly. It prefers warmth and humidity, will thrive in shade or full sun, is extremely drought tolerant and has no known pests or diseases. Lantana grows in a wide variety of areas here in Florida: forests, citrus groves, pastures, and along roadsides. It is listed as a Category 1 invasive in Florida. This plant is toxic to cattle and other grazing livestock."
#32: Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)

@Dutchlady1 says, "I am using these as underplanting for my plumeria since they keep their foliage and blooms throughout the winter in my area, whereas the plumeria are bare."

@plantladylin added, "Native to Madagascar, Euphorbia milii is a woody, succulent shrub with dense, spiny stems that scramble and climb and can reach to 6'. Blooms appear all year round but especially during the winter months. The flowers are tiny and inconspicuous but the bracts appear in colors from red, pink, yellow and white. The plant exudes a latex sap that can cause severe dermatitis in some individuals."
#33: Stonecrop (Hylotelephium spectabile 'Matrona')

@Newyorkrita says, "The tallest of the tall type sedums that grow in my garden and my personal favorite sedum. I find it frustrating that the local garden centers do not ever carry Matrona instead going with rows of the much more common Autumn Joy. Matrona is taller and has larger leaves than Autumn Joy. In my opinion the plant is much prettier while the flowers are a slightly different color. Attracts bees and other pollinating insects in droves, just as all the upright sedums do."
#34: (Sedum tetractinum 'Coral Reef')

@valleylynn says, "Coral Reef needs very good drainage to keep it healthy and growing well. Extremely beautiful coral color when weather turns cold. I give it a 3 for growing in the PNW because of our wet season. Will look at my rating after another season with improved mix giving it better drainage."
#35: Pony Tail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

@SongofJoy says, "Best as a house plant in most zones. Bright light. Water every 7-14 days during the growing season. During the winter, cut back watering to monthly. Prefers temperatures above 60ยบ and dry indoor conditions. Use rich, organic, fast-draining potting soil."

@plantladylin added, "Native to Eastern Mexico, the Pony Tail Palm is not a true palm but more closely related to Yucca. It is a slow growing palm-like succulent that can attain heights to 30 feet when grown outdoors in temperate climates, and it can reach heights of 6 to 8 feet when container grown as a houseplant. The Pony Tail Palm has a single trunk with a swollen caudex that stores water for use during drought conditions. The long straplike arching and drooping leaves give this plant the appearance of a palm tree. Mature plants produce racemes of pretty cream to whitish blooms that seem to shoot out from the top of the foliage. This plant prefers a sandy well draining soil, is extremely drought tolerant, and does well in rock gardens.

The Pony Tail palm is an easy houseplant as long as it's given a lot of sun and isn't over-watered."
#36: Ice Plant (Delosperma cooperi)

@valleylynn says, "I have had this plant for 1-1/2 years now. It started out as a plant in a 3" pot, summer of 2012.


A year and half later this is what it looks like. Notice the shadows, the sun is going down, so the blooms start closing for the night. When the blooms are fully open the plant is covered in beautiful purple blooms.


There is another 4 foot long wall filled with D. cooperi. Both walls of cooperi go all the way to the ground. I have lost count of the times this summer that I have pruned them way back, so they won't overtake the rest of the beds, and I have given many starts to other gardeners.
This plant starts easily from cuttings, blooms heavily until winter freeze (here in my zone 8 PNW), and is evergreen for me. After two hard freezes it is still blooming.

This is a wonderful plant for using as a ground cover. It makes a dense carpet that seems to repel weeds. I do find a rare bindweed which has been very easy to remove. In a day or two you can't even tell where you disturbed the D. cooperi.

This has provided food for the bees from late spring until November."
#37: Florist Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

@gardengus says, "This plant is a houseplant in my zone 5. I have found the best success of getting it to rebloom is to take a cutting and grow it under lights. The mother plant grows but is reluctant to put forth flowers."

@SongofJoy added, "Extremely easy to root from stem or tip cuttings. Tolerant of dry indoor conditions. Available in several flower colors including yellow, red, pink, and white."
#38: Blue Sage (Salvia azurea)

@Danita says, "Salvia azurea is a lovely, easy-to-grow plant here. It blooms in late summer and fall with long wispy stems topped with sky blue flowers. The hummingbirds and butterflies use this plant some, but it's more of a bee plant. It's been very drought tolerant and has survived severe drought and watering bans.

My Climate: USDA Zone 7b, AHS Heat Zone 7/8, Humid"
#40: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Fuego')

@goldfinch4 says, "Beautiful colors on this one!"

@Cruddy added, "2 weeks ago this plant was mostly green with red tips!! Now it appears to be going the other way."
#41: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Blue Boy')

@valleylynn says, "I love this medium sized sempervivum. As it goes through the year it changes from a blueish/grey to a reddish/grey. There is not a time of the year that I don't find it beautiful."
#42: Sedum (Sedum acre)

@Mindy03 says, "Valuable source of nectar for honey bees."
#43: Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris subsp. grandis)

@okus says, "When they have flowered, do not deadhead; the seedheads are most attractive feathery concoctions that are as decorative, if not as colourful, as the flowers.

They do well in poor sandy/stoney soil."

@dorab added, "Grown from seed in its second year. There is a dark blue dot in the inside of the flower. As noted below this is typical of many dark colored pulsatilla flowers.

[edited November 24, 2012]"
#44: Penstemon (Penstemon digitalis 'Dark Towers')

@lovemyhouse says, "First year for this plant. Is said to do well in the area."

@Skiekitty added, "Gorgeous red foliage, but not very generous with blooms. Seems to survive zone 5 without protection. Pretty xeric."
#45: Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

@sheryl says, "Native to the Mediterranean. Loves sunshine and warmth, although some cold hardy strains (Arp, to zone 6) have been cultivated. Quite xeric.

One of my favorite plants. If I brush up against it while gardening I can smell the scent for hours on my clothing. One of my favorite herbs to cook with -sprinkle rosemary, garlic and salt on a lightly oiled salmon fillet - heaven!"
#46: Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis)

@wildflowers says, "This native wildflower is the state flower of Texas. I love seeing it along the roadsides in March, April and May when it blooms.
Bluebonnet will reseed itself --- the seed pods are ready when they turn from yellow to brown."

@piksihk added, "Lovely dark purple color"
#47: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Rubin')

@valleylynn says, "This is one of my favorite semps. Starting in the spring it puts on quite a show of lovely red color. By summer it looks like it is wearing a tan petticoat, even the offsets follow suit with greenish/tan petticoats. It is quite striking."
#48: Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Jade Rose')

@jojoe says, "It turns more & more rose colored in the winter, the entire leaf will turn the color of the tips in my photo."

@clintbrown added, "Sempervivum 'Jade Rose' has a nice two-toned look."
#49: Rocky Mountain Columbine (Aquilegia coerulea)

@Skiekitty says, "The two pictures here are from actually 2 different columbines. The purplish/white is the "Colorado Blue" columbine. The blue/yellow is a different columbine. Mine grew to only about 16" tall and about 12" this year. Xeric plants. They're in more full sun than my other columbines."

@jmorth added, "State flower of Colorado. If found picking or harming the flower there, you may be levied a stiff fine.
Flower is pollinated by hummingbirds, moths, and butterflies. Pollinators need a long tongue to reach the nectar."
#50: Echeveria (Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy')

@valleylynn says, "Echeveria runyonii 'Topsy Turvy' is one of the true monstrose forms of Echeveria that 'breeds true' and won't revert back to its natural form.

Echeveria runyonii is a Mexican native to rocky cliffs, discovered in the wild by Yucca Do Nursery in 1990. Named in honor of Dr. Runyon, who brought a Mexican garden specimen into the US in the early 1900s. Echeveria 'Topsy Turvy' is a unique form, named by former Huntington Gardens director Myron Kimnack.

Dry soils and good drainage in winter are keys to survival in cold climates."

 
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