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Top 5 Short, Sunny, Drought-Tolerant Native Plants

(I know. I know. Sometimes my blogs can be just a tad wordy. I really can't help it. There is so much to say about native plants! But, here is my attempt at writing a succinct, "just the plants, ma'am," post about, well... plants.)

Summer will get here, eventually, and our warm, dry, short winter suggests we may be in for a hot, dry, long summer. Properly chosen native plants should not need irrigation after the plants are established in their new home, but sunny, dry sites can be a challenge. Here are our top picks for hot sun from our new Short Stuff Collection:

1. Hairy Beardtongue

a stalk of little flowers, each one looking like a long-nosed dragon head with a slightly open mouth

Although "hairy" in this case refers to the fuzzy patches on the "tongue" or bottom petal of these little flowers, having hairy stems and leaves is an adaptation that can help plants retain moisture in dry conditions, and is a trait seen in several of the plants on this list. The copious tubular flowers of Hairy Beardtongue attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Planting them in a mass will make them a dramatic feature and will make the stop a popular one for any passing hummingbird. This is one of the earliest summer flowers to bloom in the U.P., earning it our Number 1 spot in today's list of Short, Drought-Tolerant native plants. More Here.

2. Nodding Wild Onion

3. Wild Petunia

4. Lanceleaf Coreopsis

5. Spotted Bee Balm

A background of 3-D paper flowers and leaves with the word Sale

Ready to try these drought-tolerant plants in your summer garden? All 5 are on sale this week only - sale ends May 5, 2024. Check them out on our Featured & On Sale page!


Native Plant Sales

Looking for plant sales near you? Check out our schedule Here.

  • Pre-orders for the Keweenaw Wild Bird REC June 1 Hancock sale end May 20. Don't delay! Get your orders in here. Our Hummingbird Garden Kit, featuring several of these drought-tolerant species, is only available through this sale. Pickup for this sale also available in Marquette by appointment.

  • Several of the other upcoming sales, including Marquette, Alger, Chip/Luce/Mac, and Gogebic (Watersmeet) Conservation Districts, are also accepting pre-orders now.

  • Be sure to click the RSVP button for any plant sale you plan to attend. It helps us gauge interest, gives us a way to notify you of any cancelations or changes, and gets you a quick reminder email so you don't have to live with any summer (plant-related) regrets. Remember, social media companies serve their own interests. They do not care if you see a reminder post three days after the sale. To make sure you get your reminder in time to attend, RSVP.

  • Ordering on our website is always a great way to get exactly what you want, without worrying about whether we will have it at a plant sale, or trying to beat the rush before it is sold out. Because of the warm spring, we expect to start filling orders early this year (depending on species). First orders will go out MAY 1 <insert Trumpet Fanfare>. The time to order is now.


I hope you enjoyed this quick round-up of some top drought-resistant plants. Sale ends soon, so check out these hot plants while it's still cool!

As always, thanks for planting native plants!

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