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Top 5 Drought Tolerant Plants for Your Grand Rapids Landscape

Drought tolerant plants are an integral part of many Southwestern United States landscapes, and they are becoming more popular everywhere, Michigan included. Drought tolerant plants are typically pretty low maintenance and don’t require much water, so you can turn the irrigation down and save money. Here are our top 5 drought tolerant plants for your Grand Rapids landscape.



Drought Tolerant Plants Grand Rapids SedumPersonal experience has proven that this drought tolerant perennial can tolerate pretty much everything, here are a few reasons why we really like using sedum in many of our designs.

  • Works great in between pavers, rock gardens, very sunny and dry locations…almost anywhere!
  • Lots of colors, bright yellows to neon pinks
  • Can be used as a moderate scale groundcover or along pathways


Snakeroot ‘Pink Spike’

‘Pink Spike’ is a low maintenance, drought tolerant perennial that has great foliage and fragrant pink flowers.

  • The dark leaves contrast wonderfully when paired with bright leaved perennials
  • Snakeroot blooms in the late summer to fall, when many other plants are winding down
  • It prefers light to moderate shade, and grows quite tall, reaching 2′-2.5′



Drought Tolerant Grass Grand Rapids Low Maintenance PennisetumPennisetum is one of my favorite ornamental grasses, here’s why….

  • This ornamental grass is not too big or too small. The ones we like to use include some of the dwarf varieties (1′-2.5′ tall) as well as some smaller varieties (2.5′-4′ tall).
  • Pennisetum adds movement to your landscape…like the movement you see in a wheat field when it’s breezy out.
  • The flower spikes have a bottlebrush look rather than the whispy plumes of other ornamental grasses, and come in different colors…pink, red, and a purply-black color.



I will admit…one of the main reasons I like this shrub is due to one of its cultivars…’Diablo’. Now when you said that in your head, didn’t it sound like a plant villain?? Diablo Ninebark, sounds like it’s coming in to cause trouble, my kind of plant. 😉

  • Aside from its awesome name it is a really low maintenance shrub, only needing occasional watering after becoming established.
  • Diablo Ninebark also is a great contrasting plant, due to its dramatic dark purple-green leaves.
  • The bark provides winter interest, due to its exfoliating nature (probably the villain trying to escape).




Drought Tolerant Shrub Grand Rapids Low Maintenance ViburnumAnother great low maintenance and drought tolerant shrub for your Grand Rapids landscape is a Viburnum.

  • Showy white flowers appear in early spring, some blooming through summer, and others being fragrant.
  • Viburnums can make for a good hedge due to their dense nature, and they can reach up to 15′ high (there are smaller varieties only growing up to 3-4′ tall).
  • The Doublefile variety is quite popular due to its unique branching pattern, and the fruit that it sets after flowering will attract birds and butterflies.


These are just a few, out of many, drought tolerant plants that would make a great addition in your Grand Rapids landscape. Check out our recent projects for inspiration, and be sure to contact us today to get a landscape design or to start your next project.