Drought Tolerant Plants for Oregon's Rogue Valley

The Rogue Valley has a climate perfectly suited to drought tolerant plants. With so many beautiful varieties, and with water becoming a precious commodity, there is ample reason to incorporate them into your landscape or garden. As an added bonus, many drought tolerant plants are also deer resistant.

Need plant watering advice for the Rogue Valley? Here are our Watering Guidelines for the Rogue Valley.

Agastache Agave A selection of drought tolerant plants including Agastache 'Tutti Frutti' (left), Agave neomexicana (top right) and Cistus Purpureus (bottom right).
photoCistusPurpureusCloseup145x109

Caring for Drought Tolerant Plants

The main thing to remember about drought tolerant plants is that they usually require good drainage. Plant them high, incorporate ¼" gravel or compost to your planting bed, but don't add mulch too close to their crowns. A gravel mulch works well.

Ceanothus Point Reyes closeup
Ceanothus Point Reyes
  Rudbeckia with Caryopteris
Rudbeckia hybrid with Caryopteris
'Blue Mist'
  Chitalpa bloom
Chitalpa x t. 'Pink Dawn'

The easiest way to make drought tolerant plants unhappy is to overwater them. Most drought resistant plants need adequate water their first summer, but once established a deep soak every few weeks is best. Drought tolerant plants should not be combined with other, water loving plants on an irrigation system or a lawn sprinkler. They need to be on a separate timer or emitter that delivers the correct amount of water. Try dedicating an entire area to drought tolerant plants. You will love the result.

Remember, these are general rules. Please ask if you have questions about the care of a specific plant.

Ferns | Grasses and Grass-like Plants | Perennials | Shrubs | Trees | Vines
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  Botanical Name

  Common Name

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FERNS
Cyrtomium fortunei Hardy Holly Fern evergreen, glossy bold foliage
Polystichum munitum Western Sword Fern native, evergreen
GRASSES AND GRASS-LIKE PLANTS
Agave neomexicana Hardy Agave bold accent, evergreen, spiny
Andropogon gerardii Big Bluestem  
Bouteloua gracilis Blue Grama Grass mounding green foliage, unique flag-like persistant seed-heads
Cortaderia selloana Pampas Grass  
Festuca spp. Fescue small evergreen, silver-blue color
Helictotrichon sempervirens Blue Oat Grass evergreen, easy maintenance
Hesperaloe parviflora Red Yucca (False Yucca) coral flowers, hummingbird magnet, yucca-like foliage
Muhlenbergia capillaris Pink Muhly Grass haze of pink seed heads
Nasella tenuissima Mexican feather grass will naturalize, great erosion control
Panicum virgatum Switch Grass dainty seed heads, nice fall color
Pennisetum alopecuroides or orientale Fountain Grass showy seed-heads
Schizachyrium scoparium Little Bluestem prairie native, great fall color
Sporobolos heterolepsis Prairie Dropseed  
Stipa gigantea Giant Feather Grass seed heads glow when backlit
Yucca filamentosa Adam's Needle curly fibers along blades
PERENNIALS
Acanthus spp. Bears Breech once estiblished, fleshy roots, tall flower spikes
Achillea millefolium Yarrow fine texture, many flower colors
Agastache spp. and hybrids Anise Hyssop, Licorice Mint fragrant, hummingbird magnet, long bloom
Ajuga    
Allium spp Garlic and onion relatives, ball shaped flowers  
Aquilegia formosa Western Columbine PNW native, red-yellow blooms attract hummingbirds
Antennaria dioica 'Rubra' Pink Pussy Toes  
Anthemis 'Susana Mitchell' Margarite Daisy silver foliage, creamy daisies all season, evergreen
Armeria maritima Sea thrift clumping grass, pink flowers
Artemisia spp. Wormwood silver foliage, fine texture, aromatic
Asarum caudatum Wild Ginger dry shade
Asclepias spp. - esp. A fascicularis Milkweed Monarch hostplant!
Baptisia australis Blue False Indigo deep blue/purple flowers, prairie native, long lived
Belamcanda chinensis Blackberry Lily iris-like foliage, speckled orange flowers late summer, cool seedheads
Campanula poscharskyana Creeping Siberian Bellflower long bloom time, semi-evergreen
Centaurea simplicicaulis Knapweed  
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides Hardy Dwarf Plumbago  
Cerastium tomentosum    
Coreopsis spp. Tickseed  long bloomers, fine texture
Crocosmia  Crocosmia  
Delosperma spp. Purple Ice Plant  
Dianthus varities Carnations or Pinks  
Dicentra formosa Native Bleeding Heart dry shade
Digitalis obscura Sunset Foxglove (perennial)  
Echinacea purpurea Coneflower  
Echinops Globe Thistle good cut flower 
Epimedium spp. Bishop's Hat/Barrenwort dry shade
Erigeron spp. Fleabane/Santa Barbara Daisy super long bloomer, can reseed
Eriogonum umbellatum Sulphur Flowered Buckwheat native to rocky sites, evergreen 
Erodium varieties Heronsbill likes good drainage, long blooming 
Eriophyllum lanatum Oregon Sunshine native, platinum foliage, yellow daisies
Eryngium spp.  Sea Holly long lasting flowers dry well, tap root 
Euphorbia spp. Spurge long lasting chartreuse flowers in spring, many evergreen
Fragraria chiloensis Wild Strawberry native ground cover, more droughty w/some shade
Gaillardia aristata Blanket Flower long bloom time
Gaura lindheimeri Gaura/Appleblossom Grass tap root, ALL-season bloom 
Geranium spp. Hardy Geranium/Cranesbill occasional deep soak
Glaucium flavum Horned Poppy  
Glumicalyx goseloides Nodding Chocolate Flower evergreen, pumpkin orange fragrant flowers 
Gypsophila spp.  Baby's Breath  
Helianthemum numularium Sunrose  spring bloom, evergreen 
Helleborus spp. Lenten/Christmas Rose dry shade
Hypericum calycinum St. John's Wort very aggressive groundcover, more droughty in shade
Iris tenax Iris (Oregon native) lavender flowers
Kniphofia spp. Red hot poker  
Lamium maculatum, Lamiastrum 'Herman's Pride' Dead nettle dry shade groundcover
Narcissus Daffodil  
Nepeta spp. Catmint super long bloom, attracts pollinators
Oenothera berlandieri 'Siskiyou' 'Siskiyou' Mexican Evening Primrose aggressive low groundcover, lt.pink flws
Origanum spp. Oregano for cooking, as a groundcover or showy ornamental types 
Penstemon spp. Beardtongue attracts pollinators/hummers 
Perovskia atriplicifolia Russian Blue Sage late summer blooms, aromatic 
Phlomis spp. Jerusalem Sage large, fuzzy leaves, whorls of flowers yellow to pink/purple 
Phlox subulata Creeping Phlox  
Pulsatilla vulgaris Pasque flower  
Rubus calycinoides Creeping Bramble more drought tolerant in shade
Salvia spp. and hybrids Sage  
Santolina spp. Lavender Cotton/Green Santolina evergreen, yellow button flowers, aromatic
Sedum spp. Sedum varieties  
Sempervivum spp. Hen and Chicks/Houseleek colonizing succulent
Sisyrinchium spp. Blue Eyed Grass  
Teucrium spp. Trailing Germander evergreen, mauve flower spikes
Thymus spp. Thyme  
Verbascum spp. Mullein long blooming
Veronica spp. Speedwell  
Vinca minor Vinca dry shade
Zauschneria spp. California Fuschia late summer coral flowers, hummer magnet
SHRUBS
Arbutus unedo Strawberry Tree white flowers, fuzzy red berries
Arctostaphylos spp. Manzanita evergreen, handsome bark, late winter flowers attract pollinators
     
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Kinnickinnick  evergreen groundcover
Baccharis pilularis Coyote bush  
Berberis spp. Barberry varieties great purple leaves
Bupleurum fruticosum Shrubby Hare's Ear Late summer blooms, evergreen
Buddleia - sterile hybrids Butterfly Bush honey scented flowers all summer
Callistemon spp. Hardy Bottlebrush (only alpine species for our valley) from Australia, choose cold hardy varieties
Carpenteria californica Tree Anenome must have good drainage and winter protection
Caryopteris clandonensis Blue Mist periwinkle flowers mid- late summer
Ceanothus spp. California Lilac cobalt flowers in early spring
Cercocarpus spp. Mountain Mahogany native, good in wilder areas
Choisya ternata 'Aztec Pearl' Aztec Pearl Cutleaf Mexican Orange fragrant white flowers in spring
Cistus spp. Rockrose early summer blooms
Cotinus spp. Royal Purple Smoke bush burgundy foliage, red fall color
Cotoneaster spp. Cotoneaster white flowers, red berries
Daphne spp. Daphne fragrant blooms
Elaeagnus spp. Silverberry evergreen, winter bloom, great for hedges
Eriogonum compositum Arrowleaf Buckwheat native, evergreen, attracts pollinators
Fallugia paradoxa  Apache plume semi-evergreen, southwest native, long bloom, showy seedheads
Feijoa sellowiana Pineapple Guava silver foliage, tropical pink flowers
Fremontedendron californica Flannel Bush CA native, large yellow flowers late spring, felted evergreen foliage, deer resistant
Garrya spp.  Silktassel native, long catkins in winter
Genista spp. Yellow Broom groundcover deep yellow flowers in spring
Grevillea junipera Juniper Grevillea Australian plant, choose cold hardy varieties
Halimium/Halimiocistus spp. Rockrose  
Hebe spp.  Hebe only hardy species, best with afternoon shade
Holodiscus discolor Oceanspray native
Ilex meserveae 'Blue Girl' Blue Girl Holly and other Holly varieties red berries
Juniperus spp. Juniper  
Lavandula ssp. Lavender fragrant purple flowers
Leptospermum namadgiensis, L. humifusum Hardy (Alpine) Tea Tree from Australia, choose cold hardy varieties
Mahonia aquifolium Oregon Grape native, yellow flowers in late winter
Mahonia repens Creeping Oregon Grape native, yellow flowers in late winter
Myrtus communis 'Compacta' Myrtle formal looking evergreen, starry white flowers
Nerium oleander Oleander blooms all summer, marginally hardy
Osmanthus spp. Hollyleaf Osmanthus fragrant winter blooms, evergreen 
Ozothamnus spp.  Ozothamnus great evergreen foliage
Philadelphus lewisii Native Mock Orange native, fragrant
     
Picea abies nidiformis Birds Nest Spruce does best with afternoon shade
Pinus mugo pumilo Dwarf Mugo Pine  
Potentilla varieties Potentilla regular water until established
     
Punica granatum Pomegranate hummingbird magnet w/showy red-orange flowers, yellow fall color
Rhamnus californica, tomentella Coffeeberry native, evergreen
Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger' Tiger Eyes Staghorn Sumac chartreuse foliage, red fall color
Rhus aromatica 'Gro-Low' Gro-Low Fragrant Sumac erosion control, red fall color
Ribes aureum Golden Currant native, prefers afternoon shade
Ribes sangunineum Red Flowering Currant native, prefers afternoon shade
Rosa rugosa and other species Rugosa Rose tough, disease resistant
Rosemarinus officianalis  Rosemary fragrant, attracts beneficial insects
Rubus calycinoides Bramble vigorous, salmon colored berries
Symphoricarpos alba Snow Berry native, white berries, dry shade is best
Teucrium fruticans Bushy germander  
Viburnum davidii Viburnum davidii dry shade
Viburnum t. 'Spring Bouquet' Viburnum tinus 'Spring Bouquet'  
Vitex agnus-castus Chaste tree or bush interesting leaves and lavender flowers
TREES
Abies concolor, A.pinsapo White Fir, Spanish Fir most heat/sun tolerant Firs, silvery blue-foliage on some selections, great texture
Acer ginnala Amur Maple orange-red fall color
Acer circinatum Vine Maple *only with afternoon shade
Acer freemanii 'Autumn Blaze' Autumn Blaze Maple red fall color
Acer grandidentatum Bigtooth Maple native to the Rockies, good intermediate size
Calocedrus decurrens Incense Cedar native
Carpinus 'Emerald Avenue' Emerald Avenue Hornbeam narrow-oval form, selected for heat tolerance and vigor
Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca' Blue Atlas Cedar nice contrasting foliage color(silver blue)
Cedrus deodara Deodar Cedar  
Cercis occidentalis Western Redbud dark pink flowers in spring, must have good drainage
Cercis c. texensis 'Oklahoma'/'Alba' Oklahoma Redbud  most heat tolerant subspecies, glossy foliage, yellow fall color, looks good late in the season 
Chamaerops humilis Mediterranean Fan Palm tropical look
Chilopsis linearis Desert Willow blooms all summer
Chitalpa tashkentensis Chitalpa (cross of Catalpa and Chilopsis) large blooms all summer
Cotinus spp. Smoke tree small tree, great fall color
Crataegus app. Hawthorn spring flowers, berries, beloved by birds
Cupressus arizonica 'Blue Ice' Arizona Cypress bright silver-blue foliage
Cupressus bakeri Baker Cypress native to Siskiyous, silver/blue color
Cupressus s. 'Glauca' Blue Italian Cypress  
Eucalyptus ssp Snow gum, Cider gum, Black Sally, willowleaf Peppermint evergreen, showy bark, colorful stems
Ficus varieties Fig tree fruiting, big leaves
     
Gleditsia triacanthos Honeylocust yellowish fall color
Juniperus varieties Juniper tough as nails
Lagerstoemia varieties Crape Myrtle varieties late summer bloom, fall color
Maackia amurensis Amur Maackia super tough small tree, nitrogen fixer
Morus alba Fruitless Mulberry fast growing shade tree
Olea europea 'Arbequina' Olive evergreen, fast growing (hardiest variety)
Picea pungens glauca Colorado Blue Spruce silvery-blue needles
Pinus ssp. Pine species  
Pistacia chinensis Chinese Pistache orange-red fall color
Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas Fir native
Quercus coccinea Scarlet Oak deep red fall color
Quercus rubra Red Oak  
Rhamnus f. 'Aspenifolia' Fernleaf Alder Buckthorn (tree form) narrow leaves
Sequoiadendron giganteum Giant Sequoia fast growing conifer, occ. deep soaks
Syringa reticulata, pekinensis Japanese/Chinese Tree Lilac white flowers early summer, showy bark
Thuja plicata Western Red Cedar native, needs afternoon shade
Trachycarpus fortunei Windmill Fan Palm tropical look
Vitex agnes-castus Chaste Tree purple flowers in summer
Zelkova serrata Zelkova fast growing shade tree, rusty fall color
VINES
Campsis radicans Trumpet Vine vigorous, orange-red flowers
Humulus lupulus Hops used in beer making
Lonicera japonica 'Halliana' Honeysuckle vine vigorous, fragrant yellowish flowers
Rosa (climbing) Climbing Rose varieties vigorous, long bloom
Vitis varieties Grape vine, fruiting and ornamental very vigorous, red fall color
Wisteria varieties Wisteria fragrant purple flowers

 

Salvia 'Ultra Violet'
Salvia 'Ultra Violet'
  Zauschneria 'Bowman's'
Zauschneria 'Bowman's'
  Rhamnus Alaternus 'Variegata' - Italian Buckthorne
Rhamnus Alaternus 'Variegata' - Italian Buckthorne
Chilopsis Linearis with Albizia 'Summer Chocolate'
Chilopsis Linearis with Albizia 'Summer Chocolate'
  Cistus Libanotum 'Major'
Cistus Libanotum 'Major'
  Senecio Greyi
Senecio Greyi
Helianthemum 'The Bride'
Helianthemum 'The Bride'
  Arctostaphylos 'Sweet Adinah'
Arctostaphylos 'Sweet Adinah'
  Erigeron 'Profusion' with Creeping Thyme
Erigeron 'Profusion' with Creeping Thyme