Plants That Tolerate Heat and Drought

June 8, 2021

While we had a wet start to the year, residents in the Denver/Aurora area have seen only about 10 inches of precipitation in the last six months. How dry is it? As summer approaches, 39 states are experiencing moderate to severe drought conditions, but so far Colorado is not among them; with the exception of a couple of counties in the Western part of the state. 

But we do have an entire summer for plants to survive, and if the early June weather forecast is any indication, we’re in for some hot dry days – which is why stocking up on heat and drought-tolerant plants is never a bad idea!

No Need to Sacrifice Beauty/Color

Drought-resistant plants require less water but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style, color, fragrance or drama in your flower garden. One brightly-colored plant with either red, orange, yellow or pink blooms is the Yarrow. Not only does it tolerate heat and drought, but pests like deer and rabbits won’t touch it. It likes full sun and well-drained soil – because even drought-resistant plants need water to get established.

The Blanket Flower is a tough prairie plant that blooms all summer into fall. Its flowers are marked with bright shades of red and yellow and it is both hardy and attractive to pollinators. 

Russian Sage is another drought-tolerant plant that produces fragrant silvery foliage and plumes of violet-purple flowers. These can grow up to six feet tall which makes them great for background and borders. This is another variety of drought-tolerant perennial that most pest steer clear of.

Another favorite of pollinators is a variety of salvia – Meadow Sage – which bursts into violet-purple flowers from mid-summer to fall. This drought-resistant perennial plant will grow to 28 inches and can be delivered from Home Depot to your front door.

If parts of your yard don’t get much sunshine, Hosta is a drought-tolerant plant for shady areas, and so is Heuchera, Deadnettle and Acanthus.

Unusual Plant Options

The semi-evergreen Penstemon explodes with bright red flowers (or electric blue ones) every summer, with a mass of blooms that butterflies and hummingbirds love. If you have a sunny spot in your yard or garden, these are easy to grow and look great in bouquets and cut-flower arrangements.

Cardinal Climbers are an annual climbing plant with small but beautiful star-shaped flowers of red and white, and for a truly unusual option, check out Crown of Thorns — one of the more interesting drought-tolerant flowers. This very pretty succulent at can bloom almost year-round – even indoors.

The Crown of Thorn flowers are small and green, surrounded by showy bracts in red, orange, pink, yellow or white and can grow to six feet outdoors. It needs full or partial sun but should be brought indoors when temperatures start dropping below 50 degrees.

The Kaiser’s Crown blooms from a bulb and might be a little more costly, but it’s an amazing plant that adds a lot of visual interest to your garden – rain and shine. For more plant ideas (31 in this collection) check out Home for the Harvest. You’ll find gorgeous options from low-growing creepers, to vertical ascenders.  

So Many Choices, At Southshore!

Oh, the greenery and color and fragrance of summer! Check out the green-thumbed residents’ works of art driving the master-planned community of Southshore. Then tour the brand new homes from Taylor Morrison, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers (and coming soon – Century Communities!). Life at the Lake can be enjoyed with a variety of home designs – both ranch and two-story – from the $400s to the $700s.