If the sun shines often and for a long time at a location, plants tend to dry out quickly. We present 25 of the most beautiful ground covers, shrubs and perennials that tolerate a sunny spot and dry soil well.


These low-growing plants thrive in lots of sun and don’t mind drought.

Cotoneaster horizontalis

  • Growth: covering the ground with fanned growth
  • Growth height: 80 to 100 centimeters
  • flower: white to pink; plate shaped
  • Flowering time: early to late June
  • Soil: permeable; acidic to alkaline
  • Special features: tolerates pruning, hardy; deciduous; autumn coloring; bright red fruits until December

Felsen-Fetthenne (Sedum rupestre)

  • Growth: flat; cushion-forming; clump-forming
  • Growth height: 10 to 25 centimeters
  • Flower: yellow
  • Flowering period: July to August
  • Soil: rocky to sandy; dry to moderately dry; likes calcareous; low in nutrients
  • Special features: cushion perennial; evergreen; kitchen herbs; ideal for garden, roof and cemetery planting; Various flower colors available

Filziges Hornkraut (Cerastium tomentosum)

  • Growth: mat-like; extensive
  • Growth height: 10 to 20 centimeters
  • flower: white; umbellate
  • Flowering period: May to June
  • Soil: permeable; calcareous; sandy-loamy; prefer dry to wet
  • Special features: evergreen; noble flowering plant also suitable for roof and roof terrace planting; grey-tomentose leaves

Early flowering thyme (Thymus praecox)

  • Growth: like a carpet/mat, creeping, sometimes rooting
  • Growth height: 4 to 7 centimeters
  • Flower: white or pink-violet; umbellate
  • Flowering time: May to June or June to July, depending on the variety
  • soil: dry; permeable; low nutrient content
  • Special features: evergreen; bee friendly ; subtle floral and leafy scent
  • Popular varieties: ‘Minor’, ‘Red Carpet’, ‘Purple Beauty’, ‘Albiflorus’ (white)

Garten-Blaukissen (Aubrieta x cultorum)

  • Growth height: between five and ten centimeters depending on the variety
  • flower: blue; blue-violet
  • Flowering time: April to May
  • Soil: well drained; nutritious; calcareous; like clay soil
  • Special features: very rich flowering; ideal for rock gardens
  • Popular strains: ‘Dr. Mules Variegated’, ‘Kitte’, ‘Silberrand’, ‘Blue Tit’, ‘Hamburger Stadtpark’

Kissen-Eibe (Taxus baccata “Repandens”)

  • Growth: flat spread with horizontal branches
  • Growth height: 40 to 60 centimeters
  • flower: none; red fruit berries in autumn
  • Soil: permeable; nutritious; alkaline
  • Special features: suitable for tubs; evergreen; hardy to minus 21 degrees Celsius; very poisonus

ice plant (Delosperma cooperi)

  • Growth: cushion-forming; mat-like; creeping
  • Growth height: 10 to 15 centimeters
  • flower: violet; purple-lilac; radial;
  • Flowering period: June to August
  • Soil: dry, well drained, low humus content; like stone floors
  • Special features: flowers only open in full sun; evergreen; succulent
Note: When planting the ice plant, ensure that drainage is created. It does not like prolonged moisture, which can quickly lead to waterlogging when watering or raining without drainage.

Polsterphlox (Phlox subulata)

  • Growth: like a carpet/upholstery
  • Growth height: between 5 and 20 centimeters depending on the variety
  • Flower: white, lilac, pink or pink-violet; radial
  • Flowering time: April to June
  • Soil: dry to fresh; moderately nutritious; calcareous and acidic soils are not tolerated
  • Special features: evergreen; very hardy; profusely flowering; durable

Gypsophila (Gypsophila repens)

  • Growth: cushion-like; upright; clumpy; weak-growing
  • Growth height: between 15 and 25 centimeters
  • flower: white, creamy; pink or light purple; umbellate
  • Flowering period: May to July
  • Soil: dry to moist; low in nutrients; permeable
  • Special features: grey-green leaf colour; robust; very hardy; bee and insect friendly

Wollziest (Stachys byzantina)

  • Growth: creeping
  • Growth height: between 15 and 60 centimeters
  • Flower: pink, silvery white; noticeable
  • Flowering period: June to August
  • ground: neutral; permeable; rocky to sandy
  • Special features: woolly growth on leaves; also called donkey or rabbit ear


Dry soil and many hours of sunshine cannot harm these decorative flowering shrubs.

Fingerstrauch (Potentilla)

  • Growth: upright; wide; bushy
  • Growth height: 50 to 110 centimeters
  • Flowers: yellow, red, orange, white or pink depending on the variety; plate shaped
  • Flowering period: June to October
  • Soil: permeable; nutritious; evenly moist only for rooting, then dry
  • Special features: evergreen; very hardy; insect friendly; undemanding; numerous varieties; long flowering period

Common barberry (Berberis vulgaris)

  • Growth: bushy, densely branched
  • Growth height: 100 to 250 centimeters
  • flower: yellow; cupped
  • Flowering period: May to June
  • Soil: permeable; undemanding
  • Special features: yellow-orange autumn colour; edible flower clusters; extremely hardy; usually a semi-shady spot, but tolerates lots of sun and dry soil very well; bee friendly

Kolkwitzie (Kolkwitzia amabilis)

  • Growth: broadly upright; overhanging in old age
  • Growth height: up to 400 centimeters
  • Flowers: soft pink, pink to red-white; umbellate
  • Flowering period: May to June
  • Soil: slightly dry; low in nutrients
  • Specialties: sweetly scented; leaves turn brown in autumn; frost hardy

Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria)

  • growth: broad bushy; upright
  • Growth height: 200 to 300 centimeters
  • flower: green-yellow; pink-flower clouds; Threads form tufts
  • Flowering period: June to July
  • Soil: tolerates almost any soil if well drained and moderately nutritious
  • Special features: bright yellow-orange to red coloration in autumn; hardy

Butterfly bush (Buddleja)

  • Growth: upright to funnel-shaped; overhanging flower spikes
  • Growth height: between 200 and 250 centimeters
  • Flowers: pink, light purple, purple-violet; panicled
  • Flowering period: July to October
  • Soil: permeable; slightly acidic to very calcareous
  • Special features: intensive, pleasant flower colour; insect friendly; very hardy; easy-care
Tip: The butterfly bush takes its place to grow and increasingly displaces native plants. This can be prevented by removing withered flowers quickly or by buying only hybrid varieties.

Winterjasmin (Jasminum nudiflorum)

  • Growth: loose; climbing; strongly overhanging
  • Growth height: between 250 and 300 centimeters
  • flower: bright yellow; simple; from December to March
  • Soil: sandy-loamy; fresh to moist in winter; slightly acidic to alkaline; nutritious; calcareous
  • Specialties: deciduous; plant sheltered from the wind


These flowering perennials can also cope with a lot of sun and drought.

Blauraute (Perovskia abrotanoides)

  • Growth: loose; upright; broad bushy
  • Growth height: between 50 and 100 centimeters
  • flower: violet-blue; spiked
  • Flowering period: mid-July to late October
  • Soil: normal garden soil
  • Special features: sensitive to frost, but new shoots after pruning; aromatic fragrance

Catnip (Nepata x faassenii)

  • Growth: upright; bushy
  • Growth height: between 20 and 40 centimeters
  • Flower: violet, violet-blue; grape shaped
  • Flowering period: May to August
  • Soil: permeable; normal, dry garden soil
  • Specialties: deciduous; gray-green leaf color; intense leaf and flower scent; after the first flower has been cut back, new flowers appear

Königskerze (Verbascum)

  • Growth: upright; bushy
  • Growth height: between 100 and 130 centimeters
  • Flower: yellow, pink or violet with colored stamens; spiked
  • Flowering period: June to August
  • Soil: permeable; normal garden soil
  • Special features: heart-shaped leaves; deciduous

Patagonisches Eisenkraut (Verbena bonariensis)

  • Growth: upright; clump-forming
  • Growth height: between 50 and 80 centimeters
  • Flower: violet, violet-blue; umbellate
  • Flowering period: July to October
  • Soil: very well drained, loamy-sandy, rich in humus, pH between 5.5 and 7.5
  • Specialties: deciduous; butterfly and bee friendly; Cold protection advised

Prachtkerze (Lindheimer’s hole)

  • growth: clumpy; loosely bushy
  • Growth height: between 80 and 100 centimeters
  • flower: pink, white; cupped
  • Flowering period: June to October
  • Soil: permeable; normal garden soil
  • Specialties: deciduous; Winter protection recommended

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

  • growth: clumpy; upright
  • Growth height: between 80 and 100 centimeters
  • Flower: red, purple-pink; simple; radial
  • Flowering period: July to September
  • Soil: permeable; loamy-sandy
  • Specialties: deciduous; Medicinal and medicinal plant, bee/insect friendly

Pyrenean “Lutetia” (Aster pyrenaeus “Lutetia”)

  • growth: clumpy; loosely bushy
  • Growth height: between 40 and 60 centimeters
  • Flower: lilac
  • Flowering period: August to September
  • Soil: deeply permeable to tolerate dry periods optimally
  • Special features: frost hardy; subtle floral scent; Soil should always dry out completely

Rote Spornblume (Centranthus ruber)

  • growth: clumpy; bushy
  • Growth height: between 60 and 80 centimeters
  • flower: red; panicles
  • Flowering time: April to October
  • Soil: alkaline to neutral; low in nutrients to moderately high in nutrients; rocky to sandy
  • Special features: hardy

Steppensalbei (Salvia nemorosa)

  • growth: compact; rosette-like
  • Growth height: between 30 and 60 centimeters
  • Flower: violet, blue, pink, white; spiked
  • Flowering period: June to August
  • soil: alkaline; well drained; rocky to sandy
  • Special feature: reblooming perennial; well suited for poor soils in rock and prairie gardens

frequently asked Questions

For garden plants, heat is caused by high temperatures, which, due to direct sunlight and therefore a sunny location, cause the soil to dry out rapidly. So if plants are very sunny, it is an advantage if they can tolerate dry soil conditions for some time. Therefore, heat-tolerant plants are usually always sun worshipers. In addition, the heat of the sun can quickly lead to burns.

Because they can store moisture. Some have roots that reach down to a depth where the sun does not dry out the earth. Here you will find enough moisture for weeks. In other plants, the leaves serve as moisture storage, such as in succulents. Your roots can therefore also do without watering and rain for some time.

Yes, every plant can reach its limits. As a rule, the species/varieties mentioned above survive up to 14 days without water, provided they have been able to soak up enough water beforehand. If they are very sunny with high temperatures, the need for water can also occur earlier. Orientate yourself on the parts of the plant: as soon as dried parts of the plant appear, watering is required.

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