Perennials for Xeriscaping, Zone 7 (and zones 2-11)

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

I've been researching Xeriscaping plants for zone 7. I have decided that my zone 7 is the perfect zone. Not too cold and not too hot. Temperature ranges from 0 to 100 (except this summer). We usually don't get much rain in July and August, this year has been the exception.

I am amazed that how many beautiful plants can be part of a Xeriscaping landscape. The photos in proves it. Xeriscaping does not have to include Cacti and succulents if you do not like them. This is research that I have done for myself, I thought I would share it with everyone.

For the most part, I went with some of Michelle’s recommendations, David’s Favorites from High Country Gardens, and from my personal experience. I left out some of the plants that were recommended because they didn’t specifically state that they were drought resistant. The exceptions I made were plants that I knew from personal experience that had done well in my garden.

If you see that a favorite drought resistant plant of yours is not in this list, I would love to have that information. Most of these links are from the Plants Database, if there was insufficient information, or no photo, and it was from High Country Gardens, then I substituted with a link to

Perennials for zone 7
Achillea – Yarrow zones 3-9
Amphora canescens - Lead Plant zones 2-9
Artemesia - Silver Mound zones 4-9
Aster novae-angliae zones 3-9
Aster x frikartii (Mönch) zones 5-8
Berlandiera lyrata - Chocolate Daisy zones 6-11
Buddleia - Butterfly Bush zones 5-9
Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ zones 5-9
Callirhoe - Poppy Mallows
Cytisus purgans - Broom Spanish Gold zones 4-9
Dianthus zones 3-9
Gazania krebsiana Tanager zones 5-10
Hymenoxys acaulis – zones 5b-10b
Lavandula Angustifolia zones 4-11
Penstemon eatonii – Firecracker zones 4-8
Penstemon palmeri - zones 4-9
Penstemon White Plains Beardtongue zones 4-8, Pike’s Peak Purple aones 5-9, and Red Rocks™ Hybrid Beardtongue zones 5-9
Perovskia atriplicifolia – Russian Sage zones 5-9
Oenothera missouriensis - Missouri Primrose zones 4-8
Oregano zones 5-10
Rosemary zones 7-10
Salvia greggii - Autumn Sage zones 7-9
Salvia Nemerosa – May Night zones 4-9
Thymus serpyllum – Creeping Thyme ‘Elfin’ zones 5-10
Thymus Praecox – Red Creeping Thyme ‘Coccineus’ zones 4-9

Editing to add:
Achillea ageratifolia - Greek Yarrow zones 3-8
Achillea tomentosa - Woolly Yarrow zones 3-10a
Allium senescens - German Garlic zones 5-9
Aubrieta cultorum - Rock Cress 'Whitewell Gem' zones 5-9
Delosperma cooperi - Hardy Ice Plant zones 5-9
Echinacea purpurea
Geranium macrorrhizum - Cranesbill zones 4-8
Petrorhagia saxifraga - Tunic Flower zones 5-7
Rhodiola rosea - Roseroot Stonecrop zones 2-8
Sedum acre - Gold Moss Sedum zones 4-9
Sedum aizoon - Stonecrop Sedum zones 4-9
Sedum kamtschaticum - Variegated Kamschatka Stonecrop zones 4-9
Sedum sexangulare - Six Sided Sedum groundcover zones 3-8
Sedum spurium - Two Row Stonecrop 'tricolor' zones 4-9
Silene uniflora - 'Druett's Variegated' Sea Campion zones 4-9

This message was edited Aug 9, 2004 4:46 PM

Woodstock, GA(Zone 7b)

Cherish, this is a terrific thread I am new to xeriscaping after finding out firsthand that I just cannot water enough on the right days, (we have a summer water ban) and keep everything growing. So far my best success in the garden has been the simple purple coneflower. I just love it, it is the only flower that continously makes me smile because it is so reliable, flowers constantly. I have not done a thing to them except let loose some ladybugs. I planted a 7ft by 12 ft area and i think I am going to back it with liatris, and then perhaps a row of yarrow. I planted a couple of each as test plants. Hopefully they both will be as rewarding. Looking at your list has also given me some great ideas. Do you know if artesmia grows well (quickly)from seed?

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

Suzanne, the only experience I have with Artimesia is buying it from Walmart, so I don't know anything about growing it from seed. I do love it though, at least the Silver Mound. I may try the Sea Foam since David highly recommended that one on the High Country Gardens site.

My experience with the purple coneflower is that the rabbits in my area are eating the leaves at the bottom. That's the only reason I didn't add it to the list, but I guess that's not a good reason. I did plant 3 this year and in spite of the rabbits, two of them are blooming quite well, without very many leaves at the bottom. Now that you've mentioned how well yours are doing, I'll go ahead and add them to the list.

Klamath Falls, OR(Zone 6a)


I too am interested in xeriscaping and have been ordering from High Country Gardens for several years now. Most western states (unless you live on the coast, of course) have the kinds of climates that are suitable for this kind of gardening. And we all have water issues. Anyway, what I mostly wanted to mention is that Artemisia 'Tangerine' is often used as a barrier plant. Deer and rabbits are not crazy about it because it has a strong citrus fragrance when you crush the leaves. I love it. It isn't as flashy as some of the other Artemisia's, but it's great in my book. I also want to recommend to you both that you try some of the Lavenders. They do extremely well for me and ask for very little water once they are established. Hope to hear more about your experiences with this kind of gardening. 8-]


Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

I have been toying with the idea of using a barrier of several different plants that the rabbits hate, and that have strong smells. Such as Marigolds, Salvias, Lavenders and Artimesia. I am very interested in the Tangerine Artemisia, it does seem rather tall though at 4 feet. I found it in the High Country site. I might be able to use it at the backside of my garden and ring the shorter plants around the sides and front. I think I'll look through High Country's catalog for plants that specify rabbit resistance.

Klamath Falls, OR(Zone 6a)

Hmmmm....mine never grew to 4 feet. I guess it depends upon soil and weather conditions etc. Anyway, if you like it, it is an easy plant to keep in bounds. You just cut it off when it gets too tall for your taste. I does grow fairly wide tho, so it can be hemmed to a hedge.

The very best plant I ever found to keep deer and rabbits from eating my plants is called 'A Tall Fence', sometimes known as 'A big mean dog'. Just kidding LOL


P.S. Remember that 'rabbit resistance' doesn't mean 'rabbit proof'. I've never found anything that they wouldn't eat if they are hungry enough.

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

Yeah, I don't suppose ANYTHING would be rabbit proof, I just want to make it more distasteful for them to get at the plants they want. I live right beside a field with plenty of buffet for them and they like my bermuda grass so there is plenty for them to eat besides my bulbs. I am going to get bloodmeal from Walmart, highly recommended by my in-laws. We'll see how that works.

As for the Artimisia, I was just going by what High Country Gardens said about it. Their description said 48" by 48". If it can be sheared and still look good, then thats the stuff I need.

As for the dog.....we can't get one until we get a fenced in yard. We will eventually though.

Flower Mound, TX(Zone 7b)

Here is a link from the plant database of a plant I have growing successfully in my garden; zone 7. I'm in Flower Mound, Texas. This plant is attractive to birds, butterflies and bees, and is xeric. It grows fast, mine is about 4 1/2 feet tall now and was only a foot when I bought it earlier this year. The blooms are yellow and look like candles, and the leaves fold up at night - very unique and interesting plant in my book! Mine hasn't bloomed yet, but I will take photos when it does. I got mine at Calloway's Nursery.

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

Pam, that is a beautiful plant. I would love to try it some day.

Kannapolis, NC(Zone 7b)

Cherish, I just stumbled on this thread! Great one!! I noticed that I have many of the plants above and you and I are in the same zones. Hope you are still watching this thread! I would love to hear about trees good for Xeris...

One more thing - Artemsia (sp?) is EASY easy to grow from seed. I did it this year and started it way too late and it still grew wonderfully! Here's a pic. The seeds are incredibly tiny - I got mine from Johnny's select and started them briefly indoors in spring then set them on my porch for awhile. They practically grew themselves! I actually had to use an axe to get them down when I cleared all my annuals. I wish I hadn't already traded so many of them or I would send you some. I do plan on ordering from Johnny's soon and since they have a couple of different kinds will probably buy more though. It's the one on the right.. By the way, to the left of that is another good perennial plant - White Sage. It's at Johnny's and it's the kind that Native American's use for smudge sticks - stinky stuff!!

Thumbnail by ncgardenaddict
Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

Ooooh! What's that grass at the back left? That's really pretty.

You've got a nice looking grouping there. The only artemesia I have is Silver Mound. There is one little patch of seeds forming on it, but it's taking forever. I don't know if the frost will get it or if they will still go ahead and do what they are supposed to do. Looks like we'll get our first frost this week sometime.

I'm working on getting more of the drought tolerant plants, but in my neck of the woods, they have to be able to take a lot of rain in the spring too. That really cuts me out of a lot of the Xeriscaping plants, I think. But I will only be able to tell by trial and error. I'm starting to lean towards using a lot of our local stuff, right out of my uncle's field. My dad calls them weeds. Won't he be surprised when my garden is really pretty with the stuff he calls weeds.

Kannapolis, NC(Zone 7b)

We have been getting more rain than usual these past 2 years. Kinda makes me second guess all my plant - plans.. My Corkscrew Willow was really happy this year but my Lavender - sigh...

Grass at back is regular ol Variegated Miscanthus. If you want some DO NOT buy any! I will have to divide this one in the Spring. Send me a reminder (I can't remember yesterday lol) and we can do a trade or SASE if you like. It gets big though and has a fountain effect so if that is not appealing... It flowers too!
I like a lot of grasses b/c they don't seem to care what you do to them! I have a lot of wind and sun..

Cool thread!!!

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

I had planted two English Lavender's and one Spanish Lavender. Lost both English L.'s to too much rain, but the Spanish L. kept going strong and it still looks good.

Thanks for offering your miscanthus. I'll put a note in my tradetracker or I'll forget too.

Kannapolis, NC(Zone 7b)


Klamath Falls, OR(Zone 6a)

Speaking of artemisia, the cultivar 'Tangerine' is really good if anyone has a problem with deer, rabbits, etc. It has kind of a citrusy smell if you brush past it or crush the leaves and the critters don't like it at all. Sometimes it's used as a barrier to protect other more vulnerable plants. I love it, but it doesn't flower.

Kannapolis, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks! I will look that up in the database! I really liked the one I grew last summer and am certainly open to different varieties!!

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

Thanks sharvis, those little varmints have destroyed my bulbs.

Albuquerque, NM

Have you looked into Catmint? I am in the Desert Southwest Zone 6b-7b. Catmint is amazing and if you get decent rain it would be very happy. High Country Desert describes a couple varieties, some sterile and some re-seed like crazy. I love it because it blooms all summer and everyday I have at least 10 butterflies hover around it!

Also, Boules Wallflower is a beautiful purple, Spring-Summer Xeric plant. And as someone said above you must have coneflowers. Even try Cornflowers, the Centaurea group. These are annual Bachelors Button and some great perennial ones too -try Centaurea Montana.

I have Black-eyed Susan/Rudbeckia blooming right now from a wildflower mix. I forgot I even threw in the bed last summer and this Spring it came up with no water for months.

Lantana and Verbena sound like they would do great in your area too.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

This is an old post, but here goes, I live in zone 5, but I've been ordering from High Country Gardens for a couple of years now. I love penstemons, and agastache. We don't have real dry weather, but I do have hot dry spots around trees. I had the Berlindera ( hope that's right,) that smelled like chocolate for a couple of years before I lost it. I order every year. I have to be careful tho. Some plants say hardy to zone 5 but aren't.

Moab, UT(Zone 6b)

billy thanks for the bump... needed to see this again forgot where it was

Cherish this is still a verrry good thread with great information

Will get back here as the garden year wears on.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9a)

I am putting in a Mediterranean garden in my front yard ( no grass). I know you're High Country Garden fans, and I'm sure they've got a great selection. Just thought I'd let you know about Canyon Creek Nursery. If you're looking for some unusual perennials, salvias, euphorbias, kniphofias, etc., they would have some great selections for xeriscape also. Good luck with your endeavor.

Pahrump, NV(Zone 8b)

Thanks mary, I can never know enough good nurseries so I will definitely give them a look :).

I just put a raised bed out front and filled it with 2 types of opuntia, rock rose, perky sue, sotol, agave, and and and...still waiting on a few other things to get here. Most of the front still looks like a barren wasteland but it's a start.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9a)

My neighbor across the street loves her lawn and can't understand what I'm doing. She can't imagine a yard without grass. I'm hoping that when everything is in, people will do the same. ARound here, no one uses their front yards and yet they pour excess amounts of fertilizers and water on the grass just the stand there and look at it. I'm actually putting a little seating area in the front so I can actually utilize my yard when it's done. Our summers are hot and dry and winters get down into the high 20s at times. This is not an area of the country where grass is easy to grow. There's just too much water wasted. So, I'm rebelling. Those opuntias will look gorgeous in bloom, by the way.

Okeechobee, FL(Zone 10a)

Change is hard to accept, so by giving them a positive example you are helping them adapt and maybe even try it themselves.
Where are some pictures of your yard? Before and give us some when you get it all fixed.
I know you will enjoy it.

Lodi, CA(Zone 9a)

I'll post some pictures as soon as I get the first berm completed. It will have salvia clevlandii,gaura, calothamnus villosus, achillea and limonium perezii. In the meantime, everything else I have planted is hard to see because the plants are so small. As they fill in, I'll send pictures. THanks.

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

This year I'm trying penstemon - Firecracker, silene - Prairie Fire, agastache - Desert Sunrise, and Hysopp. I'm getting back into the fragrant dianthus hoping for butterflies.

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

It's nice to see other people get some benefit from my posting. :-) I'm very interested in seeing a pic of your yard, mary, when you get it posted.

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Billy, just an FYI from where some of those plants thrive - put the penstemon in the brightest spot possible, make sure the soil is very lean (don't bother composting) and *very* well draining. The biggest reason they fail here is overwatering and rotting out.


Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

Thanks Pagancat, I have a sandy soil near a silver maple. I put all my hot and dry there. I have had plants rot, so I'm learning!

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)


There I go, preaching to the choir again!

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

Doesn't bother me any. I don't mind reviewing,and I did lose plants.....

(Sheryl) Gainesboro, TN(Zone 6b)

Lost some plants??? LOL, get in line. Gardening in the blast furnace down here feels like an exercise in futility at times.

Good luck!

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

We cry when it doesn't rain here, and we have the humidity, but I don't think I could handle a blast furnace. No wonder you know hot and dry! Smile.

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Cherishlife, thank you for taking the time to put all this information here. Excellent quick resource.

Pagancat, I spent a year in Bullhead City - I couldn't even keep an aquarium without air conditioning on, so I didn't have it. I found a rental with big windows - big mistake - I had to cover them with bubble insulation! I did manage to keep petunias growing on my patio, but not much else!

Billyporter - good to see you on another thread of common interest. I was able to visit HGC on a trip to Santa Fe in 2004. I thought I'd go crazy buying, but it was August, so of course, not a good time (instead I bought 30# of fresh roasted green chilies and carried them home in my carry-on...YUM!) About ten years ago, in CO (I've been around) I did a version of their Big Easy Waterwise garden, and then again here last year. It takes a while to fill in, but it's just gorgeous when it does.

Agastache is at the top of my list of wants, but in this very wet winter climate, I'm not ready for them yet. The one I tried last year didn't make it.

One of the things that I think about with xeriscape is to consider what natives are around. I've been known to cultivate "weeds" with flowers, no prickers, and nice habits. For example, in CO there was a mallow with tiny orange flowers that was encouraged. Here I've noticed cranesbill and a few other neat things (like wild roses, CA sunrose, ferns, False Solomon's Seal). But, a problem with natives is that they don't always take well to transplanting.

BTW, I've also been known to cultivate a weed, thinking I planted it, only to pull out the plant I don't take my word for

Nichols, IA(Zone 5a)

Thanks 4paws. We dug up one wild rose and set it on the end of a 25' wall. It has spread almost the entire length. I look forward to the blooms every year. I still have the petals in a jar with blue delphinium and other garden flowers. I used to dump it out every year, sort the faded petals and renew it. I'm really getting excited by the colors of Agastache.

Seattle, WA

I just discovered Davesgarden today, went right for my favorite subject- Xeriscaping. I have done extensive research for personal enjoyment (much like Cherish), thought I'd share some of my finds with you, my waterless friends. Add these plants to Cherish's excellent list. First, perennials - trees & shrubs later.


1) Agave parryi
2) Agapanthus campanulatus
3) Alchemilla alpina
4) Allium species - try Allium sphaerocephalon
5) Amsonia tabernaemontana
6) Anaphalis species - try Anaphalis margaritacea
7) Armeria species - try Armeria pseudarmeria
8) Asclepias tuberosa
9) Baptisia species - try Baptisia lactea (=B. leucantha)
10) Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
11) Echinops ritro
12) Eryngium amethystinum
13) Filipendula vulgaris 'Floro Pleno'
14) Geranium sanguineum
15) Goniolimon tataricum
16) Gypsophila species
17) Hesperaloe parviflora
18) Knautia macedonica
19) Limonium gmelinii
20) Limonium latifolium
21) Linum flavum
22) Linum hirsutum
23) Nepeta x faassenii
24) Penstemon pinifolius
25) Ruta graveolens
26) Saponaria x lempergei 'Max Frei'
27) Satureja montana
28) Sempervivum cultivars
29) Solidago species
30) x Solidaster luteus
31) Stachys byzantina
32) Teucrium species
33) Verbascum species - try V. chaixii
34) Zauschneria species - try Z. garrettii 'Orange Carpet'

This message was edited May 1, 2006 1:47 PM

Pocola, OK(Zone 7a)

Awesome! Welcome to Dave's Garden and thank you for the addition.

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

I second that welcome and thank you, peterand

Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)

Now that I don't live in the tropics anymore, I find that it would be a great idea for me to spend more time here in Xeri.

So you say "But Molly, you live in Florida!" Yes, that's so true, but the difference in a 5-6 hour drive is amazing.

My property here is known as the Sand Hills of Levy County. We have sand on limerock. My 5 acres brags Long Leaf Pines, Turkey Oaks, Sand Oaks and wild Rosemary Bushes.

I can water a flower bed for over an hour, and it only takes a step on the wet to show it only went down 1/8 inch. Sooooo, it's a new kind of gardening for me.

I am concentrating on the natives of Florida that prefer this kind of sand. I buy natives from some local back yard growers who gather seeds from these natives. If I transplant some from the field out back or the road side swale up front, I hope they will have enough seeds on them to grow back after they die from transplant shock.

Cherish, in reviewing your list and the others added to this one, I am amazed at how well I have adapted and learned this new kind of gardening. I look for plants that are heat and drought tolerant and am amazed that you can still get a lot of color and personality from these kinds of plants.

I indulge in a lot of salvias, ornamental grasses and now coneflowers and rudbeckias. I am certainly surprised at how much better my roses are doing now that they are out of the tropics.

Thanks yall for all the research you have done on these plantings. I hope to come back here often to refresh.


Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Just two cents of caution - be careful of which buddleia you chose, as it invades the wild and isn't good for wild things (even if it looks like it is for butterflies... :-) I was saddened when I realized that all the "wild" buddleia has really taken over many places here, which is supposedly a remote area.

Xeriscaping just makes so much sense! Thanks for the bump on this thread!

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.