You may also just want to conserve water. We should all be conserving water anyway, because it is something we all need. If it has not rained in weeks, not watering your plants may be a problem. Most flowering plants are not going to do well without water for that long. Actually, many plants, shrubs, trees, or anything alive will not last very long without water. Although we have had too much water here in the Missouri Ozarks in the past few months, many places have not.
Our Own Wildflower Garden
We don’t always get enough water here, though. Our first year here, we had a terrible drought. And it was super-hot that year too. I remember thinking how awesome it was that we had all these flowers, plants, and trees living and thriving without any water. We had a beautiful flowering bush right in front of the house and several on the side of the house. And when I looked at the backyard, it was full of stunning wildflowers. Those are the best. The wild ones that just grow wherever and whenever they want. From April until October, you can see all types of flowers in yellow, white, orange, pink, and purple. None of them were planted by me. They grow wild all over the area. In fact, all the way up the sides of the roads into town you can see the same flowers. Our home was someone’s vacation home so everything that grows here was wild and self-sufficient, more or less. But there are many types of flowers and flowering bushes you can plant that are drought-tolerant as well.
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
Beat the heat with this beautiful flowering bush. This is the one that was growing out in front of our house when we bought it. In fact, it is still there, and we have several more now. The Rose of Sharon is an easy plant to grow for anyone. We have never done anything to ours to help it grow because we knew that it liked to be left alone. The Rose of Sharon has pink blooms with a dark magenta in the middle. The leaves are large and bloom very early in the spring. These can be kept as bushes or shrubs, or you can train it to grow like a tree. Ours is sort of in-between the two. The hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees love these flowers. In fact, that is where I saw my first hummingbird right after we moved in. Here are some drought-tolerant flowers you can try.
Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
Another easy to grow bush with amazing flowers, the lilac bush can reach up to 10 feet tall. The blooms are big stalks of purple flowers that smell amazing. We have one right outside our kitchen window that starts blooming in April and continues to bloom until June or July. Lilacs must be okay without water because it has always thrived, and I don’t water anything. I feel that all of these bushes and flowers thrived so well without any help, that we may kill them if we try to help them out. I mean, I will water them with the sprinkler when I water the grass if it gets dry enough. But other than that, it does well on its own.
Forsythia (Forsythia suspensa)
Another beauty, this yellow flowering bush is right next to our lilac bush and they are both about the same size. This one typically blooms earlier than the lilac bush. The gold flowers are small and look similar to the lilac flowers in a tall stalk. Forsythia are also a favorite of the birds and the bees. They can go for months with minimal water. Believe me. Because I have never watered mine and it looks great.
We have these all over the yard where we let them grow. They are wild-growing flowers that come in yellow, white, red, and pink. The yarrow blooms are big groups of tiny flowers that come out in the summer with no care whatsoever. Pest-resistant, drought-tolerant, and spreading power make them very hardy plants that will take over if you let them. We just cut ours back a bit, so we have some yard to walk around in. They love full sun and don’t care whether you water them or not because they grow all over the place here too.
Cone Flower (Echinacea)
Another wildflower that is native to our area, these tall beauties are so gorgeous that many people use them as cut flowers for bouquets. The birds and the bees are attracted to these as well as the butterflies and they come in many colors. Some of the colors I have seen are yellow, white, red, purple, pink, and orange. Coneflowers bloom in the summer and continue to bloom until fall in most areas. Being related to the daisy, you will notice that they look similar and they spread easily as well.
Also known as tickseed because the seeds look like ticks, these native wildflowers are all over the place here too. I have only seen yellow, but they also come in red, pink, and orange. They bloom in the summer and continue to have new blooms through fall. These also look similar to daisies, but they have a fringe on the edges of the petals and are all one color. Coreopsis are also popular choices for cut flowers and bouquets.
Hydrangea (Panicle hydrangea)
This is one I don’t have here but I used to have one at my other house before we moved. When I was growing up, we had one in our backyard and it was white. We called it the snowball bush because the flowers grew in big balls. They were so pretty and needed very little care if any at all. Hydrangea comes in other colors like pink and blue. One thing they do like is good drainage, so make sure you don’t have heavy soil that does not drain well. Mix it with compost to help it with drainage so your pretty flowers don’t die of root rot.
Salvia (Salvia splendens)
We don't have any of these either, but we will because I am going to get some. Salvia comes in many colors such as yellow, white, red, purple, pink, and blue. They bloom in big tall stalks of colorful flowers from spring until fall. You can plant them in full sun, which is what they like, and they don’t need a bunch of water either. Butterflies really love these too.
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)
They may not bloom long, but the blanket flower is a stunning sight to behold from summer until fall. They were named after Indian blankets because of the yellow, orange, and red blended colors that resemble native blankets. These little beauties grow to about two feet tall and love full sun with well-drained soil. The deer won’t eat them, but the butterflies and hummingbirds will love them.
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Similar to the lavender or lilac bush, the Russian Sage has silver leaves and light purple flowers. The blooms are tall stalks of small flowers in clusters that bloom from spring until late fall. These hardy plants can grow up to four feet tall. The more sun they get the more flowers you will see, so make sure they are planted in a spot that gets full sun. And, of course, they are drought tolerant so don’t worry if you have not watered them in a while. Mother Nature will take care of it for you.