- Lamium (Dead Nettle) The question is often asked "What grows in the dry shade under a tree?" How about Lamium? In fact, the partial shade under a tree helps keep Lamium performing in dry heat. It makes a pretty little ground cover with the silvery white streak down the center of its leaves calling attention in the shade. Just be sure to plant it where you won't mind it spreading out, because spread it will. Bloom Period: Late spring to early summer. USDA Zones: 3 - 9
- Phlomis Phlomis may sound like a disease, but it is actually an engaging plant with square stems, sage-like leaves and little balls of flowers atop each pair of leaves along the flower stalk. The flowers eventually turn into attractive seed capsules, prolonging this odd plant's interest. Phlomis makes its biggest impact when massed. Flowers are usually yellow, pink or lavender. Bloom Period: Repeats throughout summer USDA Zones: 5 - 9
- Platycodon grandiflorus (Balloon Flower) Platycodon gets upstaged by the similar campanula. But Campanulas don't burst open or tolerant dry spells as well as platycodon. Use caution showing a child how to pres on the sides of flower buds to get them to "pop" open, or you'll have a lot of squashed flowers. Platycodon has the bonus of being very low maintenance. It doesn't even like being divided. Bloom Period: Summer USDA Zones: 2 - 10
- Thymus (Thyme) Thyme is such a versatile plant, don't confine it to the herb garden. Thyme is another of the Mediterranean herbs that simply thrives on dry heat. That's why it's so popular for growing between pavers. Thyme is rarely thought of as a flower, but most varieties do flower profusely and quite lovely in lavender, white, pink and even red. A happy planting of thyme will quickly spread and form a carpet. You can even walk on it. Just be careful of the bees it attracts while in bloom. Bloom Period: Late spring to early summer. USDA Zones: 3 - 9
- Veronica (Speedwell) The Veronicas are a large and varied group. Choose your plants right, and there will always be a veronica in bloom. They are also very problem free and very tolerant of almost any type of weather. The flowers are long and spiky, like a salvia but more refined and with less course foliage. There are low growing Veronicas that make great edgers, Veronicas that clump and grow 2 -3 feet tall and make excellent border plants and some that will take over. Thankfully, it's the better behaved Veronica's that are being sold these days. Bloom Period: Mid-summer to fall. USDA Zones: 3 - 9
Tip for U.S. Residents:
You can keep tabs on drought forecasts for your region on the U.S. Drought Monitor
First 5 top perennial choices for dry spells...