Drought tolerant annuals and perennials are plants that can withstand dry soil after their roots are established. No plant is drought-resistant until it become established.
All plants require a steady supply of moisture when first planted. Once a plant is established and has a deep root system, it requires less water.
Annuals and perennials started in spring when the soil is relatively moist can set down roots and then survive dry weather. It is best to start drought-tolerant annuals and perennials in the spot they will grow through dry weather rather than transplant them into the garden when the weather is hot and dry.
Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.