Plants that Tolerate Drought

Prepared by Karen Russ, HGIC Horticulture Specialist, Clemson University. (New 10/04. Revised 11/07.)

HGIC 1717

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These plants are drought tolerant once established. All plants need water while establishing their root system and during periods of extended drought. Root establishment can take from one to several years, depending on the original size of the plant. Larger plants will take longer to establish.

When selecting plants using this list, remember that many factors determine the suitability of a plant for a particular location. In addition to dry soil adaptability, consider light requirements, soil type, hardiness and heat tolerance, and other factors. All plants listed are suited to the entire state, unless mentioned otherwise.

Plants with the most drought tolerance once established are marked with a *.

Tall Deciduous Trees (50 feet or more in height at maturity)
Common Name
Botanical Name
Height
Width
Growing Conditions Comments
*Green Ash
Fraxinus pennsylvanica
60 to 70'
45 to 50'
Sun; very adaptable; tolerates wind, and low fertility soil. Native; fast growing shade tree; susceptible to borers.
*Maidenhair Tree
Ginkgo biloba
50 to 80'
30 to 40'
Sun; very adaptable; tolerates pollution, urban soil and heat. Essentially pest and disease free.
Sweetgum
Liquidambar styraciflua
60 to75'
30 to 40'
Sun; prefers deep, moist, well-drained soil; tolerates drought if given ample root spread. Native; not good for lawns due to fruit, but seeds attract birds.
*Sawtooth Oak
Quercus acutissima
40 to 60'
40 to 60'
Sun; tolerates urban soil conditions. Acorns are attractive to wildlife.
*Southern Red Oak
Quercus falcata
60 to 80'
60 to 80'
Sun; tolerates a variety of soil conditions. Native.
*Water Oak
Quercus nigra
50 to 80'
40 to 50'
Sun; highly tolerant of moist to wet soil. Native.
*Shumard Oak
Quercus shumardii
40 to 60'
40 to 60'
Sun; very adaptable; tolerates alkaline soil. Native.
*Bald Cypress
Taxodium distichum
50 to 70'
20 to 30'
Sun; tolerant of moist to wet soil; requires acid soil. Native.
Japanese Zelkova
Zelkova serrata
50 to 80'
40 to 70'
Sun; prefers moist, well-drained soil; tolerates wind and urban growing conditions. Piedmont only. Often used as an elm substitute.

Medium Deciduous Trees (30 to 50 feet in height at maturity)
Common Name
Botanical Name
Height
Width
Growing Conditions Comments
Southern Catalpa
Catalpa bignonioides
30 to 40'
30 to 50'
Sun or part shade; prefers deep, moist fertile
soil; tolerates most conditions, including very hot, dry situations.
Native; often defoliated in summer by sphinx moth larvae.
American Persimmon
Diospyros virginiana
35 to 60'
20 to 35'
Sun; prefers moist, well-drained soil; tolerates low fertility, dry soils. Native; difficult to transplant.
*Golden Raintree
Koelreuteria paniculata
30 to 40'
30 to 40'
Sun; very adaptable; tolerates heat and wind. Yellow flowers mid-summer.
*Chinese Pistache
Pistacia chinensis
30 to 50'
25 to 40'
Sun; very tolerant of low fertility, dry soil and urban conditions. Excellent orange-red fall color.
Callery Pear
Pyrus calleryana
30 to 50'
20 to 35'
Sun; very adaptable; tolerates urban growing conditions. May be invasive into natural areas.
*Chinese Elm
Ulmus parvifolia
40 to 50'
30 to 40'
Sun; prefers moist, well-drained fertile soil; tolerates urban growing conditions. May be invasive into natural areas.
Sassafras
Sassafras albidum
30 to 60'
25 to 40'
Sun or light shade; prefers moist, loamy, well-drained soil; tolerates acid, rocky, dry soil. Native; does not transplant well. Great fall color.

Small Deciduous Trees (Under 30 feet in height at maturity)
Common Name
Botanical Name
Height
Width
Growing Conditions Comments
Trident Maple
Acer buergeranum
20 to 30'
20 to 30'
Sun; acidic well-drained soil. Piedmont and Midstate. Yellow, orange and red fall leaf color.
Fig
Ficus carica
10 to 20'
10 to 20'
Sun; prefers moist well-drained soil; tolerates heat. Will shed leaves if very dry.
Witch Hazel
Hamamelis virginiana
10 to 25'
10 to 20'
Sun or shade; prefers moist soil; moderate drought tolerance. Native; yellow flowers in fall.
*Chinese Flame Tree
Koelreuteria bipinnata
20 to 30'
15 to 20'
Sun; any well-drained soil. Showy pink seed pods.
*Crape Myrtle
Lagerstroemia indica and hybrids
10 to 25'
10 to 25'
Sun; prefers moist, well-drained soil; tolerates heat. Numerous varieties.
Sourwood
Oxydendrum arboreum
25 to 30'
15 to 20'
Sun or part shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; tolerates moderate drought. Native; superb fall color.
*Chaste Tree
Vitex agnus-castus
15 to 20'
15 to 20'
Sun; well-drained soil; tolerates heat. Blue flowers in summer.
*Chinese Date
Ziziphus jujuba
15 to 25'
15 to 20'
Sun; very tolerant of heat and salt spray. Edible fruit popular in China.

Evergreen Trees
Common Name
Botanical Name
Height
Width
Growing Conditions Comments
*Jelly Palm
Butia capitata
10 to 20'
10 to 15'
Sun or light shade; sandy, well-drained soil; Midstate and Coastal Plain. Blue-green to blue gray fronds; edible fruit.
Deodar Cedar
Cedrus deodara
60 to 80'
35 to 40'
Sun; well-drained, dry soil; does not like excessive wind. Very large; long lived.
Loquat
Eriobotrya japonica
15 to 25'
15 to 25'
Sun; moist, well-drained soil; tolerates part shade, moderate drought; Midstate and coastal plains. Grows in sheltered areas in Piedmont
*Gum Tree
Eucalyptus species
Variable. Sun; subject to cold damage; E. dalrympleana, E. gunnii, E. camphora, and E. cinerea are hardiest. Plants rarely top 25' in Southeast; will grow back from base.
*Nellie Steven's Holly
Ilex 'Nellie R. Stevens'
15 to 25'
10 to 20'
Sun; well-drained soil; excellent heat tolerance. Vigorous, fast growing.
American Holly
Ilex opaca
20 to 30'
15 to 20'
Sun or part shade; prefers well-drained moist soil; moderate drought tolerance. Native.
*Weeping Yaupon Holly
Ilex vomitoria 'Pendula'
15 to 20'
10 to 15'
Sun; very adaptable; tolerates heat, wet soil and salt. Native.
*Eastern Red Cedar
Juniperus virginiana
40 to 50'
8 to 20'
Sun; very adaptable to low fertility soils and heat. Native; do not plant near apples.
Southern Magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora
60 to 80'
30 to 50'
Sun or part shade; drought tolerant with good root spread in good, loamy soil. Native; 'Little Gem' is a dwarf variety to 30'.
Loblolly Pine
Pinus taeda
50 to 90' Sun; prefers moist, acid, deep soils, but very adaptable. Native.
Longleaf Pine
Pinus palustris
55 to 80' Sun; prefers well-drained soil; very adaptable, tolerates salt spray. Native; stays in a "grass" stage for 5 to 7 years.
Carolina Cherry Laurel
Prunus caroliniana
20 to 30'
15 to 25'
Sun or part shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; adaptable. Native.
*Darlington Oak
Quercus hemisphaerica
40 to 60'
30 to 40'
Sun; highly adaptable. Native; good street tree.
*Live Oak
Quercus virginiana
40 to 80'
60 to 100'
Sun; adaptable to wet or dry soils, sand or compacted soil. Native; smaller, upright habit in Piedmont.
*Cabbage Palm
Sabal palmetto
25 to 30'
10 to 15'
Sun to light shade; tolerates wind, salt spray and sandy soil. Native; sheltered areas in Piedmont.
Windmill Palm
Trachycarpus fortunei
20' Part shade; prefers a rich, fertile, loamy soil; tolerates moderate drought. One of the most cold hardy palms.

Evergreen Shrubs
Common Name
Botanical Name
Height
Width
Growing Conditions Comments
*Glossy Abelia
Abelia x grandiflora
3 to 6'
3 to 6'
Sun or shade; prefers well-drained, moist soil; Piedmont and Midstate. Several dwarf or variegated varieties.
*Pineapple Guava
Acca sellowiana
Syn. Feijoa sellowiana
3 to 15'
3 to 15'
Sun or light shade; well-drained soil. Coastal Plain and sheltered areas in Midstate. Pink, white and red flowers are edible; may produce edible fruit on coast.
*Century Plant
Agave species
1½ to 3'
1½ to 3'
Sun; very well-drained, dry soil. A. parryi and A. americana are hardy throughout the state.
Aucuba
Aucuba japonica
6 to 10'
5 to 8'
Shade; prefers well-drained, moist, high organic matter soils; moderate drought tolerance. Female plants will have red berries if planted near a male plant.
Wintergreen Barberry
Berberis julianae
6 to 8'
6 to 8'
Sun or light shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; tolerates moderate drought. Very thorny; makes a good barrier hedge.
*Bottlebrush
Callistemon citrinus and C. rigidus
5 to 10'
5 to 10'
Sun; well-drained, acid soil; moderate salt tolerance. Coastal Plain only. C. rigidus 'Clemson Hardy' can be grown in the Midstate and Piedmont.
Japanese Plum Yew
Cephalotaxus harringtonia
Variable Sun or shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; tolerates moderate drought. Cultivars from 20' tall, upright forms to 2' tall, spreading groundcovers.
Sago Palm
Cycas revoluta
3 to 5'
4 to 6'
Part shade; prefers well-drained, sandy, high organic matter soil. Coastal Plain and sheltered areas in Midstate,. Very slow growing; do not over fertilize.
Fatsia
Fatsia japonica
6 to 8'
6 to 10'
Part shade to shade; prefers moist, high organic matter soils; tolerates most soils, and salt spray. Tropical effect; white flowers in November.
*Chinese Holly
Ilex cornuta
Variable Sun or light shade; very adaptable; very heat tolerant. Varieties in many sizes from 3' to 20' tall.
*Yaupon Holly
Ilex vomitoria
Variable Sun or part shade; highly adaptable; tolerates very wet or very dry soil, salt spray, and heat. Native; numerous varieties in many sizes from 2' to 20' tall.
Primrose Jasmine
Jasminum mesnyi
5 to 6'
6 to 8'
Sun or part shade; tolerates moderate drought; Midstate and Coastal Plain. Yellow flowers in late winter.
*Chinese Juniper
Juniperus chinensis
Variable Sun; prefers moist, well-drained soil. Varieties in many sizes from 18" to 25' tall.
Bay Laurel
Laurus nobilis
3 to 10'
3 to 8'
Part shade; prefers rich, well-drained soil; Midstate and Coastal Plain. Used as cooking herb.
Fringe Flower
Loropetalum chinense
6 to 10'
6 to 10'
Sun or shade; prefers moist, well-drained, high organic matter soil. Some dwarf varieties grow no more than 2' tall.
*Wax Myrtle
Myrica cerifera
10 to 15'
10 to 15'
Full sun or part shade; tolerates low fertility soil and salt spray. Native; bayberry scent from leaves and berries.
*Heavenly Bamboo
Nandina domestica
6 to 8'
4 to 6'
Sun or shade; prefers moist, fertile soil. May be invasive; dwarf varieties as short as 2'.
*Oleander
Nerium oleander
6 to 12'
6 to 12'
Sun or part shade; wind, heat and salt tolerant; Coastal Plain. All parts are poisonous.
*Japanese Pittosporum
Pittosporum tobira
8 to 12'
12 to 18'
Sun or shade; well-drained soil; very heat tolerant; Midstate and Coastal Plain. Dwarf varieties can be as short as 2' tall.
Plum Yew
Podocarpus macrophyllus
15 to 25'
8 to 12'
Sun or part shade; well-drained, fertile soil; tolerates heat; Midstate and Coastal Plain. Deer resistant.
*Scarlet Firethorn
Pyracantha coccinea
6 to 12'
6 to 12'
Sun; well-drained soil. Bright fall berries; many cultivars.
Indian Hawthorn
Rhaphiolepis umbellata
4 to 6'
4 to 6'
Sun; prefers moist, well-drained soil; tolerates salt spray. Choose leaf spot resistant cultivars.
*Rosemary
Rosmarinus officinalis
3 to 5'
4 to 6'
Sun; well-drained soil; tolerates heat and salt. Makes a nice, small hedge; edible herb.
Dwarf Palmetto
Sabal minor
4 to 5'
4 to 5'
Sun to light shade; prefers moist soils. Native.
Saw Palmetto
Serenoa repens
4 to 6'
4 to 6'
Sun to light shade; tolerates salt spray; Midstate and Coastal Plain. Native.
*Walter's Viburnum
Viburnum obovatum
12 to 20'
12 to 20'
Sun to part shade; wet to dry soils; heat tolerant. Native; dwarf cultivars grow to as little as 4' tall.
*Sandankwa Viburnum
Viburnum suspensum
6 to 12'
6 to 12'
Sun to shade; tolerates hot, dry areas and sandy soil; Coastal Plains. Best in sheltered areas.
*Yucca
Yucca species
Variable Sun; dry soil. Y. filamentosa is native; species vary from 2 to 10'

Deciduous Shrubs
Common Name
Botanical Name
Height
Width
Growing Conditions Comments
*Groundsel-bush
Baccharis halimifolia
5 to 12'
5 to 12'
Sun; tolerates wet soil, low fertility soil and salt spray. Native; white flowers and fruit September to November.
*Butterfly Bush
Buddleja species
5 to 15'
5 to 15'
Sun; prefers well-drained, moist, fertile soil. Numerous cultivars; flowers all summer; cut back in early spring.
*Blue Mist Shrub
Caryopteris xclandonensis
2 to 3'
2 to 3'
Sun; well-drained soil; do not over fertilize. Blue flowers in late summer; cut back in early spring.
Wintersweet
Chimonanthus praecox
10 to 15'
8 to 12'
Sun or part shade; well-drained soil; adaptable. Fragrant yellow flowers in winter.
*Scotch Broom
Cytisus scoparius
5 to 6'
5 to 8'
Sun to light shade; sandy, dry, infertile soils; Piedmont and Midstate. May be invasive into natural areas.
Forsythia
Forsythia x intermedia
8 to 10'
10 to 12'
Sun; tolerant of heat and pollution. Piedmont and Midstate. Large shrub looks best with minimal pruning.
Hardy Orange
Poncirus trifoliata
8 to 20'
5 to 15'
Sun; well-drained, acidic soil; very adaptable. May be invasive into natural areas.
Pomegranate
Punica granatum
12 to 20'
10 to 18'
Sun; prefers fertile, moist, well-drained soil, but very adaptable; Midstate and Coastal Plain. Double flowered varieties do not bear fruit.
*Smooth Sumac
Rhus glabra
10 to 15'
10 to 15'
Sun; well-drained soil; tolerates very low fertility, dry soil. Native; brilliant fall color; not poisonous.
China Rose
Rosa chinensis
5 to 8'
5 to 8'
Sun; prefers well-drained, high organic matter soil; tolerates heat. Many varieties; long blooming in spring and fall, slows midsummer.
Bumald Spirea
Spiraea x bumalda
2 to 3'
3 to 5'
Sun; very adaptable; Piedmont and Midstate. White to deep pink flowers; many cultivars have colored leaves.
Maple-leaf Viburnum
Viburnum acerfolium
5 to 6'
3 to 4'
Part to deep shade; prefers high organic matter soil; Piedmont only. Native; excellent fall color.
*Black Haw
Viburnum prunifolium
12 to 15'
8 to 12'
Sun and shade; good heat tolerance. Native; rose-pink to blue-black fruit in fall.

Groundcovers & Vines
Common Name
Botanical Name
Height
Width
Growing Conditions Comments
*Five-Leaf Akebia
Akebia quinata
20 to 40' Sun or shade; very adaptable; Piedmont and Midstate. Extremely vigorous vine.
*Cast Iron Plant
Aspidistra elatior
1½ to 2'
2 to 3'
Part to heavy shade; extremely tough plant. Remove oldest leaves in spring.
Cross Vine
Bignonia capreolata
30 to 50' Sun or shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; very adaptable. Native; flowers best in sun.
*Trumpet Vine
Campsis radicans
30 to 40' Sun or part shade; extremely adaptable. Native; extremely vigorous vine.
Prostrate Plum Yew
Cephalotaxus harringtonia
1½'
4 to 5'
Shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; tolerates heat. 'Prostrata' and 'Duke Gardens' are prostrate cultivars.
Dwarf Plumbago
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
6 to 12"
12"
Part shade; loose, well-drained soil. Blue flowers in late summer to fall; red fall leaves.
Autumn Clematis
Clematis terniflora
10 to 20' Sun or part shade; very adaptable; Piedmont and Midstate. May be invasive into natural areas; extremely vigorous.
Wintercreeper
Euonymus fortunei
4 to 12"
Variable
Sun to heavy shade; very adaptable. May be invasive into natural areas; 40 to 70' tall as vine.
Creeping Fig
Ficus pumila
40 to 50' Sun or part shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; Midstate and Coastal Plain. Will grow with shelter in Piedmont.
Carolina Jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens
10 to 20' if supported Sun or shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; very adaptable. Native. State flower.
Ivy
Hedera species
Up to 90' Part to heavy shade; prefers well-drained, moist, organic soil; very adaptable. 6 to 8" tall as groundcover; English Ivy (H. helix) may be invasive.
Winter Jasmine
Jasminum nudiflorum
2 to 3'
4 to 6'
Sun or part shade; well-drained soil; tolerates moderate drought. Yellow flowers in late winter.
*Shore Juniper
Juniperus conferta
1 to 1½'
6 to 9'
Sun; tolerates heat, low fertility sandy soil and salt. Will not tolerate excess moisture.
*Creeping Juniper
Juniperus horizontalis
1 to 2'
4 to 8'
Sun; adaptable; tolerates heat and heavy soil. Numerous cultivars.
*Lilyturf
Liriope species
12 to 18"
12 to 15"
Sun or shade; adaptable; tolerates heat and salt spray. Liriope muscari may be invasive into natural areas.
Mondo Grass
Ophiopogon species
8 to 16"
8 to 16"
Part shade to shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; adaptable. Dwarf cultivars may be as little as 2 to 4" tall.
*Virginia Creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia
30 to 50' Sun or shade; very adaptable; tolerates wind and pollution. Native; bright to deep red fall color.
Maypops
Passiflora incarnata
10 to 15' Sun to light shade; tolerates wet or dry soil. Native; attracts hummingbirds.
Lady Banks' Rose
Rosa banksiae
15 to 20' Sun or part shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; tolerates heat and some salt spray. Low disease susceptibility.
*Spreading Rosemary
Rosmarinus officinalis
12 to 18"
3 to 4'
Sun; well-drained soil; tolerates heat and salt. 'Prostratus' and other cultivars
Creeping Raspberry
Rubus calycinoides
3 to 6"
3 to 6'
Sun or shade; prefers moist well-drained soil; adaptable. Evergreen, turns burgundy in winter.
Sweet Box
Sarcococca hookeriana v. humilis
12 to 15"
12 to 15"
Part shade to shade; very adaptable; Piedmont only. Fragrant flowers in late winter.
*Creeping Thyme
Thymus serpyllum
1 to 4"
12"
Sun; must have well-drained, fairly low fertility soil; Piedmont and Midstate. Nice amongst stepping stones.
Asiatic Jasmine
Trachelospermum asiaticum
15 to 20"
Variable
Part shade to shade; moderate drought tolerance. Highly fragrant; needs shelter in upper Piedmont.
Asiatic Jasmine
Trachelospermum jasminoides
10 to 12' as vine Part shade to shade; moderate drought tolerance. Highly fragrant; needs shelter in upper Piedmont.
Periwinkle
Vinca species
3 to 18"
Variable
Sun or shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; adaptable. May be invasive into natural areas.
*American Wisteria
Wisteria frutescens
20 to 30' Sun or light shade; deer resistant. Native; Japanese and Chinese wisteria are highly invasive.

Perennials & Bulbs
Common Name
Botanical Name
Height
Width
Growing Conditions Comments
Bear's Breeches
Acanthus species
2 to 3'
2 to 3'
Sun or part shade. Spreads aggressively in sandy soil.
*Yarrow
Achillea species
2 to 3'
2 to 3'
Sun; well-drained soil; Piedmont and Midstate. A. millefolium is a native; numerous cultivars.
Lily of the Nile
Agapanthus africanus
2 to 4'
2 to 3'
Sun or light shade; prefers loamy soil. One of the few true blue flowers.
*Southernwood
Artemisia abrotanum
3 to 5'
4 to 6'
Sun; well-drained, low fertility soil. Pleasantly scented foliage.
*'Powis Castle' Wormwood
Artemisia 'Powis Castle'
2½ - 3'
4 to 6'
Sun; well-drained soil; tolerates humidity; Piedmont and Midstate. One of the best silver-gray plants for the south.
*Butterfly Weed
Asclepias tuberosa
2 to 3'
2'
Sun; well-drained soil. Native; attracts butterflies.
*False Indigo
Baptisia species
3 to 6'
2 to 5'
Sun; well-drained soil. Several native species; does not transplant well.
*Tickseed
Coreopsis species
1 to 2'
1 to 2'
Sun; well-drained soil. Many native species; trim or deadhead after bloom.
Montbretia
Crocosmia hybrids
3 to 4'
1'
Sun to part shade on coast; well-drained soil. Vivid orange, yellow or red flowers.
*Hardy Ice Plant
Delosperma cooperi
5"
2'
Sun; very well-drained soil. Bright fuchsia-purple flowers all summer.
Cheddar Pinks
Dianthus gratianopolitanus
1'
1 to 2'
Sun; well-drained soil; heat and humidity tolerant; Piedmont and Midstate. 'Bath's Pink', 'Firewitch' and 'Tiny Rubys'
Coneflower
Echinacea species
1 to 3'
1 to 3'
Sun; well-drained, low fertility soil; heat tolerant. Native; new colors in yellow, gold, white, apricot and rose.
Globe Thistle
Echinops ritro
2 to 4'
3'
Sun; prefers moist well-drained soil; Piedmont and Midstate. Flowers dry well and keep blue color.
Barrenwort
Epimedium species
8 to 15"
12"
Shade to heavy shade; high organic matter soil; Piedmont only. One of best for dry shade.
Hardy Ageratum
Eupatorium coelestinum
2 to 3'
3'
Sun or light shade; spreads rapidly in fertile soil. Native; blue flowers late summer until frost.
*Indian Blanket
Gaillardia x grandiflora
2 to 3'
2'
Sun; well-drained soil; very adaptable. Can be short lived, but easy to grow from seed.
*Gaura
Gaura lindheimeri
3 to 4'
3'
Sun; prefers low fertility well-drained soil. 'Whirling Butterflies', 'Siskiyou Pink'
Sunflower Heliopsis
Heliopsis helianthoides
3 to 5'
2 to 3'
Sun; well-drained soil. Blooms July until frost;
'Summer Sun'
Daylily
Hemerocallis cultivars
1½ to 3'
18 to 24"
Sun or light shade; highly adaptable. Thousands of cultivars in every color but blue.
*Red Yucca
Hesperaloe parviflora
3 to 4'
3'
Sun; well-drained soil; very adaptable. Slender pink to rose flowers, narrow foliage.
*Bearded Iris
Iris hybrids
8 to 36"
10 to 24"
Sun or light shade; well-drained soil; Piedmont and Midstate. Thousands of cultivars.
*Red Hot Poker
Kniphofia uvaria
3 to 5'
4'
Sun; very well-drained soil. Long-lived plants.
*Lantana
Lantana camara
5 to 6'
5 to 8'
Sun; tolerates heat, salt and infertile soil. 'Miss Huff' and 'Mozelle' are hardiest cultivars.
*Lavender
Lavandula species
1 to 3'
2 to 3'
Sun; well-drained, low fertility soil; entire state for some species. L. x intermedia, L. dentata, L. stoechas best in Southeast.
*Blazing Star
Liatris spicata
2 to 3'
2'
Sun; tolerates heat and low fertility soil. Native.
Sea Lavender
Limonium latifolium
24 to 30"
30"
Sun; well-drained soil; good air circulation. Small lavender flowers in large clusters dry well.
Evening Primrose
Oenothera species
1 to 3'
1 to 2'
Sun; very adaptable; best in Piedmont and Midstate. Several of the species are native.
*Prickly Pear Cactus
Opuntia species
2 to 5'
Variable
Sun; excellent soil drainage; entire state for some species. O. humifusa is native.
*Russian Sage
Perovskia atriplicifolia
4 to 5'
4'
Sun; well-drained soil; tolerates heat. Trim after flowering to encourage rebloom.
*Creeping Phlox
Phlox subulata
6 to 9"
12"
Sun; well-drained soil; do not fertilize. Sheer lightly after flowering to encourage tight growth.
Mexican Petunia
Ruellia brittoniana
3 to 5'
3 to 5'
Sun or light shade; very vigorous. 'Katie' is a 10 to 12" dwarf cultivar.
*Texas Sage
Salvia greggii
3 to 4'
3 to 4'
Sun; needs excellent drainage. Often confused with or hybridized with S. microphylla.
Brazilian Blue Sage
Salvia guaranitica
5 to 6'
4 to 5'
Sun or part shade; well-drained soil. Attracts hummingbirds.
*Little Leaf Sage
Salvia microphylla
3 to 4'
3 to 4'
Sun; needs excellent drainage. Very similar to S. greggii.
*Lavender Cotton
Santolina species
1 to 2'
2'
Sun; well-drained soil; prune hard after flowering; Piedmont only. S. chamaecyparissus is gray; S. virens is green; evergreen
*Stonecrop
Sedum species
3 to 24"
18 to 24"
Sun or light shade; well-drained soil; adaptable. Numerous species; some evergreen, some deciduous.
*Hens & Chicks
Sempervivum tectorum
8 to 12"
9"
Sun; well-drained soil. Cultivars with a variety of shapes and leaf colors.
*Goldenrod
Solidago species
2 to 6'
2 to 4'
Sun or light shade; tolerates heat and low fertility soil. Many species are native; 'Fireworks', 'Golden Fleece'
*Lamb's Ear
Stachys byzantina
12 to 15"
12"
Sun to light shade; well-drained soil; Piedmont and Midstate. 'Big Ears' is best cultivar for Southeast.
*Thyme
Thymus species
2 to 12"
1 to 2'
Sun; well-drained, light soil; entire state for some species. Culinary herb with colorful flowers.
Purple Heart
Tradescantia pallida
12 to 18"
18 to 24"
Sun or light shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil. Lavender pink blooms above purple foliage.
Verbena
Verbena species
8 to 24"
18 to 36"
Sun; well-drained soil; good air circulation. Several species are native; V. bonariensis grows 3 to 6' tall.

Ornamental Grasses
Common Name
Botanical Name
Height
Width
Growing Conditions Comments
*Big Bluestem
Andropogon gerardii
3 to 8'
2 to 4'
Sun; prefers moist to average soil; adaptable; Piedmont and Midstate. Several other species are also native.
*Pampas Grass
Cortaderia selloana
10 to 12'
10 to 12'
Sun; well-drained soil; very adaptable. Dwarf cultivars to as little as 4' tall.
Miscanthus
Miscanthus sinensis cultivars
3 to 6'
3 to 6'
Sun; prefers moist, rich, well-drained soil; tolerates moderate drought. Can be invasive into natural areas; do not plant species; many cultivars.
*Hairgrass
Muhlenbergia capillaris
2 to 3'
3 to 4'
Sun; very adaptable. Native; extremely showy clouds of pink flowers in fall.
*Beach Grass
Panicum amarum
2 to 4'
Variable
Sun; tolerates low fertility soil, salt spray, wind and heat. Native; spreading and lower in sand; 'Dewey Blue'
Fountaingrass
Pennisetum alopecuroides
2 to 4'
2 to 4'
Sun or light shade; prefers moist, well-drained soil; tolerates moderate drought. Can self sow; several cultivars.
*Little Bluestem
Schizachyrium scoparium
2 to 3'
1 to 2'
Sun to light shade; tolerates almost any soil. Native; 'The Blues' grows only 1 ½' tall and has good blue foliage.
Indian Grass
Sorghastrum nutans
3 to 6'
1½ to 3'
Sun; prefers rich, moist, well-drained soil; tolerates most soil. Native; 'Sioux Blue' is very upright, blue leafed cultivar.
*Prairie Dropseed
Sporobolus heterolepis
24"
36"
Sun; well-drained soil; very heat tolerant. Very fine-textured leaves; arching form.
*Texas Needle Grass
Stipa tenuissima
18 to 24"
18 to 24"
Sun; prefers dry soil, avoid excessive water once established. Fine textured evergreen leaves; weeping mound.

Annuals
Common Name
Botanical Name
Height
Width
Growing Conditions Comments
*Annual Vinca
Catharanthus roseus
1 to 2'
1 to 2'
Sun; good drainage; heat tolerant. Numerous cultivars.
Spider Flower
Cleome hassleriana
3 to 5'
3 to 4'
Sun; adaptable to most soils; heat tolerant and moderately drought tolerant. Self seeds abundantly.
*Golden Tickseed
Coreopsis tinctoria
2 to 3'
2'
Sun; prefers well-drained, dry soil. Often reseeds.
*Cosmos
Cosmos species
2 to 4'
1 to 2'
Sun; well-drained, fairly low fertility soil. Many cultivars; often reseeds.
Mexican Heather
Cuphea hyssopifolia
1 to 3'
3'
Sun; prefers well-drained fertile soil; moderate drought tolerance; good heat tolerance. Flowers from early summer to frost.
Cigar Plant
Cuphea ignea
1 to 2'
2'
Sun; prefers well-drained, fertile soil; moderate drought tolerance; good heat tolerance. Red flowers in summer and fall.
*Snow-on-the-Mountain
Euphorbia marginata
2 to 3'
3'
Sun to part shade; prefers low fertility, well-drained soil. Bright white-edged leaves in late summer into fall.
*Blanketflower
Gaillardia pulchella
1 to 2'
2'
Sun; well-drained soil; tolerates salt spray and low fertility. Native; one of the best annuals for the beach.
*Globe Amaranth
Gomphrena globosa
1 to 3'
1'
Sun; well-drained soil; tolerates heat. Excellent for dried flowers.
*Lantana
Lantana camara
Varies widely Sun; well-drained soil; tolerates heat and salt spray. Numerous cultivars, variable hardiness.
*Trailing Lantana
Lantana montevidensis
1 to 1 ½'
3 to 6'
Sun; well-drained soil; tolerates heat and salt spray. Lavender and white flowers, hardy in some areas.
Gold Medallion
Melampodium paludosum
15 to 24"
12"
Sun; well-drained soil; heat and humidity tolerant. Yellow daisies summer through fall.
*Moss Rose
Portulaca grandiflora
4 to 8"
12"
Sun; well-drained soil; prefers dry, sun-baked areas. May reseed.
Gloriosa Daisy
Rudbeckia hirta
2 to 3'
2'
Sun; well-drained, dry soil. Native; several varieties; biennial grown as annual.
Scarlet Sage
Salvia coccinea
1 to 3'
2'
Sun or part shade (best); moderate drought tolerance. Often reseeds; may be perennial on coast.
Mealycup Sage
Salvia farinacea
1 to 2'
2'
Sun or part shade (best); moderate drought tolerance. Blue flowers; may be perennial on coast.
*Mexican Bush Sage
Salvia leucantha
3 to 5'
4'
Sun or light shade; good drainage. May be perennial on coast.
Dusty Miller
Senecio cineraria
1 to 2'
1'
Sun or part shade; well-drained soil; tolerates moderate drought. Perennial usually grown as annual; winter bedding near coast.
Mexican Sunflower
Tithonia rotundifolia
3 to 8'
4'
Sun; well-drained soil; tolerates heat and humidity. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.