11+ Plants For Dry Soil With Pictures

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Real Men Sow

Although it is easy to assume that all plants need rich, moist soil, there are many plants that thrive in the exact opposite. Plants must be strong to survive in these shallow, sun-baked soils. They are rarely bothered by disease or pests, so they can be cultivated in a relaxed manner.

How To Improve Dry Soil For Plants

It is easy to improve dry soils by adding organic matter like garden compost. This will allow it to retain moisture and improve its structure.

Bearded Iris

11 Plants For Dry Soil

Bearded iris

These bearded hybrids are able to store nutrients and moisture in their rhizomes. They prefer dry gardens over lush, damp ones. For best flowering, ensure that the rhizomes receive full sun.

Cardoon (Cynara)

Cardoons are closely related to artichokes. They thrive in dry environments because of their silvery leaves that reflect strong sunlight back. For their statuesque winter form, leave the flowerheads alone.

Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii

Euphorbia characias ssp. Wulfenii are biennials, so cut back any that have already flowered. This is a great option for areas that are low-maintenance. The sap can be toxic so take care.

Foxtail lilies (Eremurus)

Foxtail lilies‘ graceful flower spikes reach a remarkable height and are elegant when planted among grasses. You should ensure that they have good drainage.

Knautia Macedonica

Knautia macedonica

These tough scabious heralds hail from Eastern Europe’s grasslands. Plant among other low-growing plants to attract bees. This will allow the flowerheads’ to ‘float’ in a breeze.


Lavender can be found growing in pavement cracks throughout the Mediterranean. This is a testimony to its tolerance for dry conditions. To keep plants compact, trim back flowers after they have finished flowering.

Melianthus major

Melianthus majors, once thought to be only suitable for subtropical gardens are now adapted to low temperatures in free draining soil. If you are unsure, cover the roots with straw during winter.

Panicum virgatum

Panicum viridum, also known as switchgrass, can thrive in dry soils. This grass is deciduous and produces beautiful hazy panicles in spring and autumn, and gorgeous shades of red and gold in the fall.

Passion Flower

Passion Flowers

The passion flowers, which are tropical-looking, thrive in sunny areas. They are incredibly fragrant and attract bees, beetles and other pollinating insects.


Many of the hylotelephium species of sedums are hardy and can withstand harsh conditions with their star-shaped, nectar-rich flowers. They are great for borders and among paving.

Stachys byzantina

Stachians’ furry leaves make the plant look shiny, but they also trap moisture and prevent it from drying out. Before they turn yellow, remove any yellowing leaves.

Teasels (Dipsacus)

Teasels are a British native that is loved by goldfinches. They provide structure and winter support in dry gardens, as well as being a great source of food for wildlife. To avoid overcrowding, thin out seedlings.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.