High heat: Drought-resistant plants to help your garden thrive in the summer


By Katelyn Doggett

This summer has brought high temperatures and minimal rain that may be making your yard look a little bleak. In order to spruce up your garden, try planting drought-resistant plants that are perfect for Washington’s occasional hot, dry summers.

Once established, this variety of flowers, grasses and groundcovers are very drought-tolerant and need minimal care besides the occasional deadheading or watering, said Marie Eppens of Kent’s Garden and Nursery in Bellingham.

All of these plants are available for purchase at Kent’s Garden and Nursery and ready to be transplanted into your yard or garden.

Here are some of the best drought-tolerant plants conducive to the Pacific Northwest:


This daisy-like perennial flower comes in a variety of colors and grows up to 2 feet tall. This flower is easy to care for since it is able to withstand a variety of weather conditions. It does best in direct sunlight and is very drought tolerant. The coneflower not only attracts birds, but is also perfect for creating bouquets in the home.78460307_1049180_300_836_1255_C_R_jpg

Black-eyed Susan

This is another daisy-like, perennial flower that comes in shades of yellow and orange. It is most commonly known for its golden petals and black center seed head. Unlike the coneflower, these flowers have coarse-textured, hairy leaves and grow to about a foot tall. Once established, these flowers thrive in direct sunlight and require little maintenance besides deadheading.


This perennial is suited to many climates and soil types, and is a great addition to any garden. The long-lasting, flat-topped flower blooms come in red, yellow and white colors and attract butterflies. The feathery, fern-like leaves are often aromatic. Yarrow grows up to a foot tall and is great in hot, dry sunny locations.  This flower is great for wildflower gardens since it is resistant to deer and rabbits, but also looks great in cut flower arrangements.


Known as one of the easiest perennials to grow, tickseed blooms come in a variety of yellows, reds and oranges and last all summer long and into fall. Plant sizes range from 16 to 24 inches tall. This flower is very low-maintenance, but does best in full sun and well-drained soil.

Maiden grass or flamingo

Maiden grass is a deciduous, ornamental grass that loves the sun. The grass grows in arching, dense thickets up to 6 feet tall. In late summer feathery, pink blooms form, giving the plant the nickname “Flamingo.” This grass is deer resistant, attracts birds and butterflies and looks great in flower arrangements, as well as in the yard.

Sedum and Sempervivum

These plants are succulents that make great groundcovers and come in many sizes and colors. Sedums are flowering perennials with thick, succulent leaves that store water. The plants range in size from 2 inches to 2 feet, and often attract butterflies. Sempervivums are hardy succulents that thrive on neglect and come in many textures and shapes. Colors range from shades of greens and blues to deep purple. Sempervivums range in size from 1/4 inch to 4 inches in diameter. Both of these plants do well with minimal care in direct sunlight and well-drained soil, and are able to withstand winter conditions.

For more questions on how to transplant or care for these plants, contact Kent’s Garden and Nursery at 360/384-4433 or visit them at 5428 Northwest Road in Bellingham.

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