These plants grow effortlessly in low-water conditions and bloom in an array of colors
Blanket flower (Gaillardia) features gorgeous golden tips and requires moderate water.
More: How to grow blanket flower
Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) has deep purple “rabbit ears” that stand out in garden beds. The plant thrives with only moderate water.
More: How to grow Spanish lavender
Sea holly (Eryngium amethystinum), whose silvery blue stems are topped with amethyst flower heads, attracts butterflies and needs moderate water.
More: How to grow sea holly
Hummingbird favorite Salvia ‘Amistad’ grows fast to 4 feet tall with little water.
More: How to grow Salvia
Velvety kangaroo paws (Anigozanthos ‘Orange Cross’ and Bush Gems series) add spicy color against golden grasses in a garden in Tiburon, California, designed
by Arterra Landscape Architects (arterrallp.com). The plants tolerate drought but flower best with some water in summer and excellent drainage in light sandy soil.
More: How to grow kangaroo paw
African daisy (Arctotis), with blooms that can range from brilliant orange to cool purply-white, needs moderate water.
More: How to grow African daisy
The plants make great informal hedges, start blooming in January and February, and pump out showy colorful flowers for cutting.
More: How to grow pincushion flower
Its purple buds open to intense blue flowers that attract bees. The leaves are dark green, small, and quilted, and the plant
needs no summer water.
More: How to grow Caenothus
Dramatic leaves and striking blooms of yellow, red, or orange makes a wide varieties of aloes all-around perfect.
More: How to grow aloe
Puffy fruits the size of olives turn from yellow when young to red when mature. The fruits are borne at the same time as urn-shaped
flowers among dark evergreen leaves. It requires moderate to minimal water.
More: How to grow strawberry tree
The shrub attracts hummingbirds with its brilliant red stamens that resemble powder puffs. Use it as an accent in front of
a living ocotillo fence or as a backdrop for small blue agaves. Needs minimal water.
More: How to grow fairy duster
This deciduous shrub with purple foliage turns more burnished in fall; flowers resemble puffs of smoke. Requires minimal water.
More: How to grow smoke tree
Actually from Madeira, this plant produces wonderful spikes of blue-purple flowers along the coast in poor soil and with practically
no extra water. Bees love it.
More: How to grow pride of Madeira
Hummingbirds love bottlebrush, a shrub with colorful flowers carried in dense, bristle-like spikes. Needs moderate water.
More: How to grow bottlebrush
Rockrose adds resinous perfume to the garden as well as showy, papery flowers. Sun loving and fast growing, the flower is
tolerant of aridity.
More: How to grow rockrose
Clusters of red fruits last a long time among the dark green leaves of this evergreen shrub. Thrives in full sun, with minimal
to moderate water.
More: How to grow cotoneaster
Clusters of rose-purple flowers cover this shrub in fall. Needs minimal to moderate watering.
More: How to grow dalea
This evergreen shrub, with fine, bronze foliage, can be trained into a tree. Needs minimal to moderate water.
More: How to grow hop bush
This shrub bears a profusion of bright yellow daisies. Needs minimal watering.
More: How to grow brittlebush
Large, colorful flowers fleck this unthirsty shrub all summer long.
More: How to grow grevillea
Ranging from low ground covers to large trees, these widely grown plants are conifers, though they produce fleshy, berrylike
fruits instead of woody cones--and need very little water.
More: How to grow juniper
This is the signature plant for many hot-summer regions. It’s hard to beat the showy summer flowers, beautiful bark, and brilliant
More: How to grow crape myrtle
Tiny flowers in vibrant hues bloom all year in mild climates.
More: How to grow lantana
Leaves emerge pinkish and bronzy red, then turns to soft light green; they take on purple and bronze tints in fall and often
turn fiery crimson in winter, especially in a sunny location and with some frost.
More: How to grow heavenly bamboo
These pretty blooms come in colors ranging from white to shades of yellow, pink, salmon, and red. Oleanders need little water
More: How to grow oleander
Its sculptural foliage makes this a great plant for a screen or windbreak, but it works wonderfully as groundcover or a container
More: How to grow pittosporum
Pink-hued blooms give way to fruit: currants or gooseberries, depending on the variety.
More: How to grow ribes
The fun every-which-way foliage sprouts yellow button-head flowers.
More: How to grow santolina
This heat-tolerant shrub sports trumpet-shaped flowers in a variety of orange-yellow-red hues and leaves that divide featherwise into many leaflets.
More: How to grow yellow bells
This grass sprouts dense clusters of bright green leaves and yellow or purplish flower spikes in autumn.
More: All about deer grass
Long-lasting beauties deliver blooms late in the season, when gardens need them most. It makes for a good edging and a neat
groundcover for small areas; useful in rock gardens.
More: How to grow yarrow
Fluffy blooms in a wide variety of brilliant colors atop tall stems are the signature of this easy-to-grow flower.
More: How to grow coreopsis
Blossoms of all species attract hummingbirds.
More: How to grow Mexican honeysuckle
Flowering stems resemble glowing torches—or pokers (hence the name).
More: How to grow Red Hot Poker
This bushy plant is fairly short lived, but to make up for it, it produces lots of trumpet-shaped blooms over a long period.
More: How to grow Penstemon
Leaves of this shrubby perennial are flavorful and aromatic, which makes them a favorite for cooking.
More: How to grow sage
Downy stems bear flowers in summer.
More: How to grow apricot mallow
A tall, lanky deciduous shrub, it has aromatic leaves and lilac or white flowers.
More: How to grow verbena
Hummingbirds can't resist this sun-loving flower that produces spectacular blooms for months.
More: How to grow fuchsia
This low-growing plant with white blooms in summer makes for excellent groundcover and performs equally well in mild and cold
climates, coastal and desert areas.
More: How to grow Snow-in-Summer
These succulents' sculptural shapes make them perfect candidates for bold, contemporary gardens.
More: How to grow agave
The desert plant thrives in full sun and heat with very little water. It comes in many varieties; pictured here is golden
barrel cactus, with golden spines that eventually yield small yellow flowers in summer.
More: How to grow cactus
The desert native with grooved, spiny branches can survive on rainfall but grows and blooms best if soaked deeply once a month.
More: How to grow ocotillo
Large and showy flowers bedeck this plant native to the Southwest and northern Mexico. It grows best in mild, dry climates.
More: How to grow prickly pear
The vibrant, often vining bloom reaches its peak in summer, but in mildest-winter regions flowers may appear from spring through
fall, and even into winter.
More: How to grow bougainvillea
This highly adaptable plant can be grown as trees, shrubs, or vines. All have large, fresh green leaves divided into many
leaflets, and spectacular clusters of blue, white, or pinkish springtime blossoms.
More: How to grow wisteria
The flower's searing color and strong aromatic scent make is especially exotic.
More: How to grow marigold
The papery blooms of statice (Limonium) retain their color when dried. It requires moderate water.
More: How to grow statice
It can vary from creeping groundcover to a treelike shrub, but all types have small white or pink flowers, usually in late
winter to early spring, followed by berrylike red or brown fruits that attract birds.
More: How to grow manzanita