Summer Lovin’: Drought Hardy Gardening!

It may often feel like the only thing you can grow in the sweltering Virginia heat are cacti. However, there is a bevy of beautiful, ornamental trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials that you can grow here! Here is the master list of drought-friendly, heat tolerant plants to bring your summer garden to the next level:

Trees and Shrubs

  • Arborvitae, Green Giant
  • Burning Bush
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Caryopteris
  • Cedar, Eastern Red
  • Cypress, Leyland
  • Clethra
  • Hydrangea, Petiolaris
  • Juniper, Angelica Blue
  • Juniper, Blue Pacific
  • Juniper, Blue Rug
  • Juniper, Gold Lace
  • Juniper, Gray Owl
  • Juniper, Moonglow
  • Juniper, Procumbens nana
  • Juniper, Sea Green
  • Juniper, Spartan
  • Magnolia, Star
  • Maple, Autumn Blaze
  • Maple, Crimson King
  • Nandina, Domestica
  • Nandina, Gulfstream
  • Pear, Bradford
  • Pear, Cleveland Select
  • Serviceberry
  • Spirea, varieties
  • Yucca


  • Achillea
  • Agastache
  • Ajuga
  • Artemisia
  • Coreopsis
  • Echinacea
  • Gaillardia
  • Grasses
  • Helleborus
  • Hemerocallis (Daylily)
  • Heuchera
  • Hosta
  • Iris
  • Kniphofia
  • Lavandula
  • Leucanthemum
  • Liatris
  • Monarda
  • Oenothera
  • Peony
  • Perovskia
  • Rudbeckia
  • Salvia Sedum
  • Sempervirens
  • Stachys
  • Stokesia
  • Thymus
  • Verbena
  • Veronica


  • Ageratum
  • Argyranthemum
  • Calibrachoa (Million Bells)
  • Celosia
  • Cleome
  • Crassula
  • Euphorbia
  • Evolvulus
  • Gerber Daisy
  • Gomphrena
  • Ipomoea (Sweet Potato Vine)
  • Lantana
  • Melampodium
  • Mexican Heather
  • Nicotiana
  • Osteospermum
  • Pansy
  • Petunias
  • Portulaca / Purslane
  • Savlia
  • Scaevola
  • Verbena
  • Vinca
  • Zinnia
  • (source:

In addition to these plants, here are a few “pro-tips” from your friends at Virginia Lawn Service, Inc.:

Don’t forget to water in the morning before the heat of the day sets in, or even at night after the sun goes down! This will give your grass and the roots of your plants the biggest chance to collect water before the heat of the day. If you have an inflatable pool or other inflatable water fun items, be sure to move them everyday to prevent damage to the lawn. Seed your lawn with a varietal that does well with sun, heat, and low water conditions to keep your lawn green all year round! Mulch your beds to retain moisture and prevent heat damage to the roots.

As always, if you need any help maintaining your garden beds, call us! We’re always happy to help!

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