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Drought tolerant herbaceous plants for dry sandy soil & sunny exposed locations

There are a number of tough sun loving and draught tolerant herbaceous and flowering plants that will tolerate hot dry conditions and free draining sandy soils. Plants can conserve moisture with tough silver or grey foliage as well as having water retaining thick fleshy leaves. Many of these plants are classified as succulent plants. Such adaptations allow the plant to tolerate hot drought spells as well as prolonged dry soil conditions, especially in tough exposed or coastal locations in full sun. Many of these plants also manage to produce an impressive display of flowers during the summer and autumn months.

The mixing of tough grasses amongst drifts of drought tolerant herbaceous plants and succulents can provide a very contemporary look to a garden as well as future proof our gardens from the onset of global warming, which may well bring ever hotter and dryer summer conditions. Such plants are also useful for areas that might be considered as problem areas such as a hot dry bank with poor free draining soil or for planting in containers in exposed full sun – such as roof garden planting.

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Latin &
Common Name
EarmarkType & FormFlowers & Foliage
Convolvulus cneorum - ConvolvulusConvolvulus cneorum

Shrub, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Spreading clumpWhite flowers (Summer)
Cotoneaster microphylla - CotoneasterCotoneaster microphylla

Shrub, Ground cover, SpreadingWhite flowers (Spring)
Euphorbia characias - wulfenii - SpurgeEuphorbia characias


Herbaceous Flowers, Rounded - ClumpGreen flowers (Summer early)
Sedum - Ruby Glow - Ice PlantSedum

'Ruby Glow'

Ice Plant
Herbaceous Flowers, Ground cover, Container-friendly, Rounded - ClumpRed flowers (Summer late)
Cynara scolymus - Globe artichokeCynara scolymus

Globe artichoke
Herbaceous Flowers, Herbs, Culinary, SpikeyDark blue flowers (Summer)
Verbascum bombyciferumVerbascum bombyciferum Herbaceous Flowers, Herbs, Culinary, Container-friendly, SpikeyYellow flowers (Summer late)
Stachys byzantina - Big Ears - Lambs EarsStachys byzantina

'Big Ears'

Lamb's Ears
Herbaceous Flowers, Ground cover, Container-friendly, SpreadingYellow flowers (Summer)
Eryngium tripartitum - EryngiumEryngium tripartitum

Herbaceous Flowers, Container-friendly, Upright - ClumpDark blue flowers (Summer)
Allium firmament - Ornamental Onion, AlliumAllium firmament

Ornamental Onion, Allium
Herbaceous Flowers, Container-friendly, Annual/Bulb, SpikeyPurple flowers (Summer)
Papaver orientale - Pattys Plum - Oriental PoppyPapaver orientale

'Patty's Plum'

Oriental Poppy
Herbaceous Flowers, Upright - ClumpPurple flowers (Summer early)

You can use our plant-finder to find plants that match your garden conditions exactly, for example Drought tolerant herbaceous plants for dry sandy soil & sunny exposed locations - click to give it a try!

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