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 the same irrigation system/zone. 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
Blechnum spicant Deer Fern native, evergreen
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 persistent 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 in fall, persist through winter
Muhlenbergia rigens Deer Grass CA native, spikey golden seed-heads, semi-evergreen
Nasella tenuissima Mexican feather grass will naturalize (aggressive re-seeder), great erosion control
Panicum virgatum Switch Grass dainty seed heads, nice fall color
Pennisetum alopecuroides or orientale Fountain Grass showy seed-heads
Phormium spp.  New Zealand Flax bold colorful foliage, can be marginal - put in protected locations
Reineckia carnea Chinese Reineckia dry shade, orchid-like pink blooms in fall, slowly colonizing by rhizome
Schizachyrium scoparium Little Bluestem prairie native, great fall color
Sisyrinchium spp. Blue-Eyed Grass many native species, iris relative, long blooming, cute, can re-seed
Sporobolos heterolepsis Prairie Dropseed  
Stipa gigantea Giant Feather Grass seed heads glow when backlit, semi-evergreen
Yucca filamentosa Adam's Needle curly fibers along blades
PERENNIALS
Acanthus spp. Bears Breech once established, 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 Ornamental Onions globe shaped blooms in spring-summer, like dry summer soils
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
Arenaria spp. Sandwort  
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 host plant!
Baptisia australis Blue False Indigo deep blue/purple flowers, prairie native, long lived
Bergenia cordifolia Heartleaf Bergenia large, glossy leaves, semi-evergreen, dry part sun-shade
Campanula poscharskyana Creeping Siberian Bellflower long bloom time, semi-evergreen
Catanache caerulea Cupid's Dart short lived, long blooming, great cut flowers and everlastings, can re-seed
Centaurea simplicicaulis Knapweed silver foliage, pale pink flowers 
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides Hardy Dwarf Plumbago cobalt blue flowers late summer-fall, deep red fall color 
Cerastium tomentosum  Snow in Summer  
Coreopsis spp. Tickseed  long bloomers, fine texture
Crocosmia  Crocosmia  
Delosperma spp. Ice Plant many species, varieties and colors! long bloom times
Dianthus varities Carnations or Pinks  
Dicentra formosa Native Bleeding Heart dry shade
Digitalis obscura Sunset Foxglove (perennial) from mtns of Spain, sun loving, rusty apricot blooms
Echinacea purpurea Coneflower  
Echinops Globe Thistle good cut flower 
Epimedium spp. Bishop's Hat/Barrenwort dry shade
Erigeron k. 'Profusion' Fleabane/Santa Barbara Daisy super long bloomer, can reseed
Erigeron pulchellus 'Lynhaven Carpet' Robin's Plantain dry shade, large leaf mat-forming, charming daisies
Eriogonum umbellatum Sulphur Flowered Buckwheat native to rocky sites, evergreen, long bloom
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 and F. vesca Wild Strawberry native ground cover, more droughty w/some shade
Gazania linearis African Daisy/Treasure Flower long blooming, can re-seed in gravel
Gaillardia aristata Blanket Flower long bloom time
Gaura lindheimeri Gaura/Appleblossom Grass tap root, ALL-season bloom 
Geranium spp Hardy Geranium/Cranesbill certain species, many w/scented foliage, some semi-evergreen
Glaucium flavum Horned Poppy re-seeding short lived perennial, amazing blue foliage 
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
Hemerocallis spp. Daylily  
Heuchera spp.  Coral Bells dry part sun-shade, great foliage colors, draws hummers
Hypericum calycinum St. John's Wort very aggressive groundcover, more droughty in shade
Iris spp.  (I. x germanica, I. PCI hybrids, I. pallida, I. tenax) Iris  some native species, many flower colors, tough!
Kniphofia spp. Red hot poker hummingbird attractor
Lamium maculatum, Lamiastrum 'Herman's Pride' Dead nettle dry shade groundcover
Lewisia cotyledon Lewisia, Cliff Maiden good drainage, part sun, showy long blooms, succulent
Liatris punctata Dotted Blazing Star, Gayfeather the most xeric species, important pollinator plant
Limonium latifolium Hardy Staice, Sea Lavender papery lavender umbels dry beautifully
Marrubium rotundifloium Silverheels Horehound cute groundcover w/silvery mouse-ear like foliage
Monardella m. 'Marrian Sampson' Scarlet Hummingbird Mint SW native, dry part sun, showy blooms
Monardella odoratissima Mountain Pennyroyal, Coyote Mint native evergreen, long blooming, attracts pollinators, adaptable
Narcissus Daffodil  
Nepeta spp. Catmint super long bloom, attracts pollinators
Oenothera spp. Evening Primrose long blooming, can re-seed, many species
Origanum spp. Oregano for cooking, as a groundcover or showy ornamental types 
Opuntia cacanapa 'Ellisiana' Spineless Prickly Pear Cactus hardy, yellow flowers, edible fruits/pads, awesome!
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  
Pterocephalus depressus Moroccan Pincushion Flower mat/cushion forming evergreen, mauve flowers w/poofy seedheads
Pulsatilla vulgaris Pasque flower  
Rubus calycinoides Creeping Bramble more drought tolerant in shade
Salvia spp. and hybrids Sage so many...where do we start! 
Salvia pachyphylla Mojave Sage platinum silver evergreen foliage, purple flowers w/rosy bracts
Santolina spp. Lavender Cotton/Green Santolina evergreen, yellow button flowers, aromatic
Sedum spp.  (Hylotelephium) Stonecrop succulents - so many species/varieties...
Sempervivum spp. Hen and Chicks/Houseleek colonizing succulent
Scutellaria spp.  Skullcap many long blooming western/plains natives
Silene uniflora 'Druett's Variegated' Rock Campion cute groundcover/trailer, white cup-shaped flowers
Teucrium chamaedrys Trailing Germander evergreen groundcovers/shrublets, mauve flowers mid-summer, bees!
Thymus spp. Thyme  
Verbascum spp. Mullein long blooming
Veronica spp. (esp. V. pectinata) Speedwell white to blue flowers, evergreen groundcovers 
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 evergreen, tough as nails CA native, great wildlife plant 
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
Caesalpinia gillliesii Desert Bird of Paradise feathery and tropical, red/yellow spidery blooms, protected location
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
Cephalotaxus harringtonia Japanese Plum Yew evergreen, coarse foliage, dry shade, columnar & spreading forms
Cercocarpus spp. Mountain Mahogany native, good in wilder areas
Choisya ternata 'Aztec Pearl' Aztec Pearl Cutleaf Mexican Orange fragrant white flowers in spring, evergreen, full to part sun
Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus/nauseosa Rabbitbrush western native, yellow flowers in fall, important pollinator plant
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
Fatshedera lizei Tree Ivy upright growing evergreen, dry shade
Feijoa sellowiana Pineapple Guava silver foliage, tropical pink flowers
Fremontedendron californica Flannel Bush CA native, large yellow flowers late spring, felted evergreen foliage
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 certain species are hardy, best with afternoon shade, summer blooms
Holodiscus discolor Oceanspray native, important pollinator plant
Hydrangea quercifolia  Oakleaf Hydrangea  US native, panicle type, burg./red fall color, peeling bark 
Ilex vomitoria Yaupon Holly SE native 
Juniperus spp. Juniper  
Lavandula ssp. Lavender fragrant purple flowers
Leptospermum namadgiensis and                 L. humifusum Hardy (Alpine) Tea Tree alpine Australians, evergreen, red stems on new growth, great texture
Lonicera nitida Box Honeysuckle semi-evergreen shrub, fountain-like habit, many varieties
Mahonia spp. Oregon Grape native, yellow flowers in late winter, blue berries, upright/creeping species, tough!
Myrtus communis 'Compacta' or 'Tarentina' Myrtle aromatic evergreen, starry white flowers, protected locations are best
Nandina domestica Heavenly Bamboo super common evergreen, tough, red winter color/berries, many forms
Nerium oleander Oleander blooms all summer, marginally hardy, highly toxic
Osmanthus heterophyllus Hollyleaf Osmanthus fragrant winter blooms, evergreen, many varieties
Ozothamnus spp.  Ozothamnus great eversilver foliage, reddish buds open to white flowers
Philadelphus lewisii Native Mock Orange native, fragrant
Picea abies nidiformis Birds Nest Spruce does best with afternoon shade
Pinus mugo  Mugo Pine  
Potentilla  Potentilla regular water until established
Punica granatum Punica granatum hummingbird magnet, showy flowers/fruits, yellow fall color 
Pyracantha spp. Firethorn old fashioned, showy berries, can be espaliered or large scale bonsai
Rhamnus californica and R. tomentella CA/Hoary Coffeeberry native, evergreen, showy berries
Rhamnus frangula Buckthorn tough Euro native, berries, gold fall color, good texture
Rhus spp. Sumac amazing orange-red fall color, colonizing habit, many native species
Ribes aureum Golden Currant native, prefers afternoon shade
Ribes sangunineum Red Flowering Currant native, prefers afternoon shade
Rosa spp. Roses  many tough species like Rugosas, colorful rose-hips
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 silver evergreen foliage with bright blue flowers
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 and A.pinsapo White Fir and 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 magenta blooms all summer, attracts pollinators
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 endemic to Siskiyous, blue-green color, serpentine soils
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  
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
Zelkova serrata Zelkova fast growing shade tree, gold to rusty orange fall color
Ziziphus jujuba Jujube (Chinese Date) glossy foliage, thorns, edible fruit
VINES
Campsis radicans Trumpet Vine vigorous, orange-red flowers
Humulus lupulus Hops used in beer making
Lonicera spp. Honeysuckle  vigorous, often fragrant, long blooming flowers, many semi-evergreen
Rosa (climbing) Climbing Rose varieties vigorous, long bloom
Vitis spp. Grape vine, fruiting and ornamental very vigorous, red fall color
Wisteria spp. Wisteria fragrant purple flowers, super vigorous

 

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