4 Popular Drought-Tolerant Plants

by | Jan 15, 2020 | Aggie Life, Agriculture, Fall/Winter 2019-20

The UC Davis Arboretum’s All-Star program was created to give some plant-PR to the most popular hundred plant species existing in the arboretum. Although they’re not all California natives, all the plants thrive under difficult weather conditions, and many of them can be found in California gardens. “They are easy to establish, persist in the garden for a long time and are very user friendly,” explained Taylor Lewis, nursery manager.

Kniphofia “Christmas Cheer”: Although the flower is not a California native, it is drought tolerant and blooms bright orange flowers in the winter. The plant is known to attract hummingbirds. “I love to grow plants that attract hummingbirds or butterflies. I think that those elements are important for our home environments,” said Lewis.

Penstemon heterophyllus “Margarita BOP”: This floral shrub is both drought and heat tolerant. The buds bloom in spring and turn from blue to pink-purple in summer. It is extremely drought tolerant once established.

Salvia greggii “Autumn Sage”: A Southwestern native, this evergreen plant has a wide floral color range, including red, pink, purple and white buds. The shrub is drought tolerant and commonly attracts hummingbirds.

Epilobium canum “California Fuchsia”: This native of many California regions requires little water if planted in the Sacramento Valley region. Known for blooming in the summer, the red floral shrub is eye catching, attracts hummingbirds and is fire resistant. “You can plant things that are just green or you can plant things that are alive and full of life,” Lewis said.