Drought-Tolerant Plants

california poppy

The average yearly rainfall in Southern California is only 15 inches, and rain comes just 35 days out of the year. Some years it can be only 9 inches, with the driest months occurring during the summer, when temperatures can rise to well over 100 degrees.

This might not sound like a great environment for a garden, but thankfully there are a wide variety of heat and drought tolerant plants that not only look beautiful, but are easy to take care of and will survive the summer months.


Lavender plants are famous for their purple-toned and fragrant flowers, but most people don’t know how tough they are. These plants are very resistant to heat, drought and wind. In fact, they do best in dry, sunny and rocky environments, making them perfect for Southern California. They should be planted to receive full sun and should be given well-drained soil. With the exception of an extreme drought, lavender plants will get enough water from the rainfall the area receives.

California Poppy

California Poppy is, as the name suggests, native to California and also an example of extremely drought tolerant plants. It blooms vibrant flowers on long, individual stalks. You can find them in orange, yellow, white and red. It prefers full sun and well drained soil.

Moss Rose Drought Tolerant Plant
Moss Rose is a bright, colorful plant that needs very little moisture to thrive. It blooms in shades of red, yellow, white, orange, purple and pink. It can survive the high heat and actually prefers poor soils, making it a very easy plant to grow for first-time gardeners.
Ice Plant
Ice Plant is a hardy and adaptable plant that makes a great addition to your rock garden. The plant grows to about 6 inches in height and blooms purple flowers. It requires little care and only occasional watering. They should be planted in full sun and require a well-drained area to grow.
Hummingbird Trumpet
Hummingbird Trumpet is a plant named for the flock of hummingbirds it attracts, who come to enjoy the nectar it produces. The plant produces bright, red tubular flowers that reach 1 to 2 feet in height. They can be planted in full sun or partly shaded. They can withstand heavy droughts and high heat, but should be protected from strong winds.

If you’d like to learn more about starting your own garden, growing drought tolerant plants, or to speak with one of our designers, just fill out our instant estimate form or give us a call at (818) 275-8271.