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Drought Tolerant Perennials

When the summer heat kicks in, it’s got us gardeners doing double duty to keep our plants watered. We asked our perennials manager Joe Gadbois to share some of his favourite drought tolerant perennials to beat the heat!

Autumn Joy SedumSedum Sunsparkler
Stonecrop (Sedum)

The ultimate perennial for hot and dry areas, Sedum come in groundcover, mound-forming, and upright forms. These will provide excellent colour and texture in their foliage all season, and are invaluable for the pop of colour they provide when they bloom in late summer and fall.



Chick Charm Cherry Berry
Hens n Chicks (Sempervivum)

One of the toughest perennials for our area, their latin name actually translates to ‘always living’. Thick rosettes of succulent leaves display shades of red, green, burgundy, silvery grey – some even with cobweb like threads covering their tips. These thick rosettes form low growing mounds that withstand intense heat, drought and cold winter temperatures. Excellent for edging borders, hens and chicks are also a great choice for patio pots in hot sunny spots.


Yarrow Red
Yarrow (Achillea)

Though common yarrow is considered to be an aggressive weed in some areas, hybrid selections of this European native are a bonus to any perennial garden. Thick stems with ferny foliage form large mounds for the middle or back of the border. In mid-late summer, plants are topped with blooms in a rainbow of colours; white, orange, red, yellow, pink or purple. Extremely hardy, drought tolerant, and a fabulous cut flower.


Sea Holly

Sea Holly (Eryngium)

A natural for hot, sunny spots, Sea Holly forms mounds of blue green foliage, from which rise blue, globe shaped blossoms with a spiny collar beneath. Very attractive cut flower, Sea Holly is disease and pest free…including deer!


Bitterroot (Lewisia)

These little succulents will amaze you with their eye-popping display of flowers in late spring through summer. Available in a number of different colours, many varieties will rebloom several times, providing great visual impact in those tough hot and dry spots. Plant the crowns directly on sand for best results, to avoid rot during periods of heavy rainfall.

Karl FoersterBlue Oat GrassChinese Maiden GrassSwitch GrassOrnamental Grasses

A popular choice for a drought-tolerant perennial, ornamental grasses lend a modern look to the landscape, and are wonderfully low-maintenance. They are invaluable for the colours and textures they provide all season long, including winter. Consider fescue and blue oat grass for a steel blue colour, feather reed grass for vertical definition, big bluestem, little bluestem and switch grass for fabulous late season fiery red or purple colour, and Chinese maiden grass for a late season display of colourful plumage.

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