Waterwise gardening is a technique that is used to conserve water and save money. It can be done by following some simple rules:

1) Use mulch - Mulch will help to retain moisture in the soil and cut down on the need for watering.

2) Plant drought-tolerant plants – Drought-tolerant plants have been specially bred to thrive in dry, hot conditions.

3) Water less often – It is important to understand the watering needs of your plants. Some plants only need watering every 10 days or so during the summer months, while others only need it twice a month.

4) Use rainwater - When you can, use rainwater for watering instead of tap water because it doesn't contain any chemicals that might harm your garden.

For this post, we are going to focus on drought-tolerant plants. There are many different types of drought-tolerant plants that can be used in different ways to help people who live in an area with a shortage of water. Some types of these drought-tolerant plants are trees, shrubs, vines, herbs, grasses, succulents, and cacti.

Drought tolerant plants come in many colors. They are not just green. These plants have a variety of colors, textures, and shapes to offer for any landscape or garden.

Some of our favorite colorful drought-tolerant plants include:

Blanket Flower – Botanical Name: Gaillardia

Blanket Flower is part of the Sunflower family. It is native to North America, where it is found throughout the United States and Canada, from Alaska to Newfoundland. The plant is named in honor of Jean-Baptiste Gaillard (1753-1833), a French physician and botanist. Blanket Flower gets its name because of the way the petals form a fuzzy, woolly layer on the blooms. They are found in prairies and open fields. The plant is fast-growing and low maintenance. The flowers are daisy-like and come in pretty colors of orange, red, yellow, and white. They grow around two feet tall and twenty inches wide. Hardiness zones 3-10 (vary by variety).

Blue Bedder – Botanical Name: Echium plantagineum

Blue Bedder is a flowering plant in the borage family, Boraginaceae. It is also known as Bluebells, Red Valerian, and Wild Bluebells. It is native to Europe and Western Asia, but it has been introduced to North America and Australia. It is an herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial plant growing to four feet tall. The leaves are lobed, up to six inches long with bristly hairs on the margins. The cup-shaped flowers are blue or violet, produced in panicles of up to thirty flowers each spring. It is resilient and easy to grow. Try it in a location where everything else dies. It also readily self-sows.

Globe Thistle – Botanical Name: Echinops ritro ruthenicus

Globe Thistle is a flowering plant in the Asteraceae family. It is a perennial plant that grows in the wild but can be used in your garden. They can grow to three feet tall and produce beautiful flowers. It is a great choice for a dry garden. The plant produces blue tennis ball-like blooms that measure three inches in diameter. The flowers bloom from mid-summer to fall and are loved by butterflies. They make a great addition to a floral arrangement fresh or dried. While the plant is drought tolerant it is much prettier in the summer with some water. The plant is deer resistant. Hardiness zones 3-10.

Firecracker Bush – Botanical Name: Bouvardia ternifolia

This pretty shrub is native to Central America and produces a beautiful show of flowers starting in the late spring and continuing throughout the fall. The flowers appear in clusters of bright red-orange. Hummingbirds love the trumpet-shaped flowers. The plant does not need much care just a little watering. It will benefit from occasional pruning and deadheading. Hardiness zones 8-11.

Golden Guinea Everlasting – Botanical Name: Helichrysum argyrophyllum

Golden Guinea Everlasting is a daisy that makes a great groundcover in open sunny spots. It will also look nice in a sunny rock garden. It is native to South Africa and has small silver/gray leaves with bright yellow daisies that bloom from summer into fall. It is a tough plant that can tolerate heat, drought, and even some frost. The plant is also deer resistant. Hardiness zones 9-11.

Ozark Sundrop – Botanical Name: Oenothera missouriensis

Ozark Sundrop is a perennial wildflower that was originally found in the Ozark Mountains. It is also known as Missouri Evening Primrose and Missouri Wildflowers. The flowers are three inches wide, canary yellow, and mildly fragrant. They are produced in great numbers from early to mid-summer. The foliage is dark green. The trailing habit and drought tolerance of this perennial makes it ideal for softening the edges of pathways or planting in rock gardens. Hardiness zones 3-10.

Pink Kaboom – Botanical Name: Lampranthus sp.

Pink Kaboom is a flowering succulent plant, known for its fabulous blooms, and it is low maintenance. This pink-flowered succulent plant is native to South Africa and Namibia, where it grows in the coastal scrub and grasslands of the Western Cape Province. The plant produces masses of bright pink daisy-like flowers that bloom in the spring. They thrive in poor soils and are suitable for sandy or rocky soils although they will grow in any soil type. These plants tolerate salt and coastal conditions. Hardiness zones 9-10.

Rock Purslane – Botanical Name: Calandrinia spectabilis

Calandrinia spectabilis is a flowering plant native to the Western United States and Northwestern Mexico. It is a member of the Portulacaceae family. The plant is also known as "candy flower" because of its sweet scent. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries by Native Americans for various purposes, such as treating sore throats, coughs, bronchitis, and stomach aches. This beautiful perennial is quite easy to grow, continuously blooming, and deer resistant. This plant is great for a dry garden. The plant has magenta, poppy-like flowers on top of two feet stems above succulent blue-gray foliage. The flowers start blooming in the summer and go through the fall. Hardiness zones 8-10.

Clary Sage - Botanical Name: Salvia sclarea

Clary Sage is a multi-branched biennial or short-lived perennial sage that typically grows to 3-4’ tall. It is native to the Mediterranean region (southern Europe, central Asia, and northern Africa), but has been introduced, and naturalized throughout the world. This plant is a cottage garden favorite. The flowers are two-toned lavender and white and bloom in the late spring through mid-summer. Bees and butterflies are fans of this plant. It self-sows and is deer resistant. Deadheading will encourage more blooms. Hardiness zones 7-10.

Let us know if you have any favorite colorful Waterwise plants!

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