10 Heat-Tolerant and Drought-Tolerant Plants

As a gardening enthusiast, you know that finding the right plants to thrive in hot, dry weather can be a challenge. Whether you live in an area prone to droughts or simply want a low-maintenance garden capable of surviving scorching summers, the key to success is choosing the right heat-tolerant and drought-tolerant plants.

In this article, you’ll discover 10 resilient plants perfect for your sun-drenched garden.

These species not only tolerate high temperatures and drought, but they also bring beauty and interest to your outdoor space.

From colorful flowers to gorgeous foliage, these plants will make an excellent addition to any garden designed to withstand the heat.

Before we dive in, it’s essential to keep in mind that while these plants are better adapted to hot and dry environments, they still require some care, especially during the establishment phase.

Make sure to provide them with the appropriate soil, water, and nutritional requirements to ensure they grow healthy and strong.

Defining Heat-Tolerant and Drought-Tolerant Plants

When you’re choosing plants for your garden, it’s essential to consider their ability to withstand heat and drought. Heat-tolerant plants are those that can survive and even thrive in high temperatures, while drought-tolerant plants are able to withstand long periods without water or with very little water.

What makes a plant heat-tolerant? Well, it’s all about their ability to adapt to and flourish in hot conditions. Heat-tolerant plants usually have some physiological characteristics that help them manage heat stress. For instance, they might have light-colored leaves to reflect sunlight, smaller leaves to minimize water loss, or deep roots to reach cooler, moist soil.

On the other hand, drought-tolerant plants have developed ways to survive with minimal water. They might store water in their roots, leaves, or stems, or use other strategies such as shedding leaves during dry spells or closing stomata when water is scarce.

To make your garden more resilient in the face of heat and drought, consider adding some of these heat-tolerant and drought-tolerant plants. Here are five examples of each category:

Heat-Tolerant Plants:

  1. Lantana: These vibrant flowers bloom through summer heat and attract butterflies.
  2. Hibiscus: A staple of tropical gardens, hibiscus plants love the heat and produce stunning blooms.
  3. Salvia: These long-blooming perennials come in a variety of colors and are ideal for hot, sunny locations.
  4. Portulaca: Also known as the sun rose, portulaca thrives on heat and tolerates dry conditions.
  5. Zinnia: Colorful and easy to grow, zinnias are happy in the heat and require little maintenance.

Drought-Tolerant Plants:

  1. Agave: These striking succulents store water in their fleshy leaves and can go for long periods without water.
  2. Lavender: Drought-tolerant and fragrant, lavender thrives in well-drained soil and full sun.
  3. Sedum: These hardy succulents come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and they can tolerate dry conditions.
  4. Yarrow: These drought-resistant perennials feature attractive foliage and come in various colors.
  5. Ornamental grasses: Many ornamental grasses like switchgrass, blue fescue, and feather reed grass are drought-tolerant and can add texture to your garden.

Remember, it’s essential to provide proper care for your plants, especially during their establishment phase. Once your heat-tolerant and drought-tolerant plants are established in your garden, they will reward you with beauty and resilience, even in challenging conditions.

Top 10 Heat-Tolerant and Drought-Tolerant Plants

In this section, we will discuss ten heat-tolerant and drought-tolerant plants that are perfect for withstanding the high temperatures of summer while requiring minimal water.


Bougainvillea is a flowering plant that adds stunning color to your garden. They thrive in the heat and require little water once established. Plant them in well-draining soil, and watch them flourish.


Lantana is a low-growing, colorful plant that attracts butterflies. It’s a great option if you need a heat-tolerant and drought-resistant ground cover. Just give it a sunny spot and well-draining soil.


Agave is known for its striking, rosette-shaped leaves. This succulent is incredibly drought-resistant and thrives in hot and arid climates. Plant them in full sun and well-draining soil for the best results.


Sedum, also known as stonecrop, is a drought-resistant, succulent that thrives in rocky or sandy soil. There are many varieties, some with fleshy, colorful leaves and others with delicate flowers. Choose one that suits your taste and garden style.


Your garden will not only look good but smell good, too, with the addition of lavender. This fragrant, drought-tolerant plant can withstand hot temperatures and needs minimal water once established. Full sun and well-draining soil will do the trick.

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses make an excellent choice for hot, dry landscapes. With their wind-swaying movement and low water requirements, the various types available will add interest to your garden without extra hassle on your part.


Oleander is an evergreen shrub with beautiful, fragrant flowers that bloom in a range of colors. It’s a drought-tolerant plant that can withstand high temperatures, making it an excellent choice for hot and dry regions. Just be aware it is toxic to humans and pets if ingested.


Yucca is a bold plant that features stiff, spiky leaves and tall flower stalks. It thrives in full sun and well-draining soil, making it an excellent option for hot, dry gardens.

Texas Sage

Texas sage, also known as cenizo, is a heat-loving, drought-tolerant shrub with silvery-green leaves and stunning purple flowers. It’s low-maintenance, requiring little water and thriving in full sun.


Portulaca, or moss rose, is a colorful, low-growing succulent with fleshy leaves and cup-shaped flowers. It’s a fantastic choice for a heat-tolerant, drought-resistant ground cover that will add vibrant color to your garden.