Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

May 9
3 min read
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When it comes to growing plants, the most underrated material needed is the soil. Soil controls nutrient and water availability, ease of root development, and water drainage. When you are faced with a location that tends to naturally be dry, your best option is to grow flowers that enjoy that soil quality. Here we have compiled a list of flowers that like to keep their “feet” dry. While drought tolerance and dry soils are often associated together, this list only focuses on plants that like dry soils. Some flowers listed prefer cool mountain-like climates over hot desert ones. Plan accordingly.

Sweet Alyssum

Alyssum is one of the most popular flowers because of its adaptive characteristics and ability to attract pollinators. It performs well in dry soils and is available in a variety of colors. Add this low-growing annual to fill in your empty spaces this season.

California Poppy

This annual poppy is native to regions stretching from the Pacific Northwest down to Mexico and does well across North America. While these delicate blooms perform well with dry soils, they prefer cooler summer temperatures and are unable to tolerate intense heat and humidity. During high summer heat, these blooms should be watered as needed to keep the roots cool.

Cornflower - Bachelor's Buttons

This delightfully delicate meadow flower is native to cool and temperate areas across Europe but has become naturalized in many areas across the world. These flowers are popular for use in herbal teas, blends, or dried for decoration. Because of their roots as a type of wildflower, it is ideal for growing spaces that tend to have dry soil.

Dahlberg Daisy

This southwestern favorite develops a gorgeous cascading ground cover of low-maintenance yellow blooms. As a native to Texas and Mexico, this flower is an ideal addition to your xeriscapes and dry soil growing areas.

Dusty Miller

Performs well in hot and dry gardens. Like Lamb’s Ear, this annual boasts soft and fuzzy foliage. Grow for a compact splash of white throughout your garden.

Four o'Clock

This trumpet-shaped bloom is both eye-catching and fragrant with a spread of colors. Enjoy this flower in heat-prone areas as it is tolerant of many soil types and can easily be grown in containers. Will attract pollinators such as hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.

Mexican Sunflower

This showy, drought-tolerant annual is a great addition to your garden as it is deer-resistant, attracts pollinators, and thrives in heat and poor soils. Cut a few stems for a decorative summer bud vase.


AKA Vervain - A small petaled flower available in pink, red, purple, white, or orange. They thrive in rock gardens, containers, and flower beds. With well-draining soil, this flower will bloom all season long.

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