New Drought-Tolerant Flowering Shrubs

Cytisus kewensis'

Cytisus kewensis

Flowering shrubs are some of our most invaluable xeric garden citizens providing us with longevity, size and spectacular displays of pollinator-attracting flowers.

In the case of Cytisus, these shrubs also have attractive evergreen stems that give the plants excellent winter interest. Two of my current favorites are two hybrid varieties, Cytisus x praecox x Paulette and Cytisus kewensis. 'Paulette'has large, super showy scarlet flowers held on substantial, bright green stems. This is a larger-growing variety and can have hundreds of flowers that cover the plant in late spring.

Cytisus kewensis grows to only about 18” in height; this vigorous hybrid variety grows horizontally making it an excellent choice for covering slopes and other harsh areas in the landscape. The pale yellow flowers are profuse and cover the plant’s fine textured stems in late spring. Both Cytisus varieties are fantastic for providing nectar for honeybees.

Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) attract both butterflies and hummingbirds with their summer long display of nectar rich flowers. There has been a great deal of effort to breed improved varieties with a wider range of flower colors and mature sizes.

Cytisus praecox Paulette

Cytisus praecox Paulette
Buddleia Flutterby Petite Pink

Buddleia Flutterby Petite Pink


The best of the dwarf butterfly bushes are the Flutterby Petites. My two favorites are Flutterby Petite ‘Pink’ and ‘Blue’ which mature to a small size; only 30” in height and width making them useful in the smallest gardens in the ground or in pots. And best of all, these two varieties are sterile and will not reseed in areas of the country where Buddleia can escape cultivation.

Browse Shrubs And Small Trees

  • Pawnee Buttes® Sand Cherry Prunus besseyi ‘P011S’ (Pawnee Buttes)

    Starting at $11.49

    Sale: $10.34

    Per Plant - 5" deep pot

3 thoughts on “New Drought-Tolerant Flowering Shrubs”

  • Annetta Grace
    Annetta Grace 04/19/13 at 9:00 am

    Hi ... Just wanted to thank you for running this column. I lost some of my shrubs this past winter. Had no idea what to replace them with until I read this column. I love your plaants, service and advice. Thanks so much ... Annetta

  • Rita Givigliano
    Rita Givigliano 04/27/13 at 10:40 am

    I'm too late to trim my roses back. They are over grown. What do I do now?

    • david salman

      I don't know where you are gardening, but in Zone 5 areas like Denver and Santa Fe, roses should be pruned when they are dormant or semi-dormant about 2 weeks before the last average frost date. Pruning roses stimulates growth so you don't want to have tender new growth harmed by frost.

      If your last average frost date has past, you can still prune your roses. But don't prune them too heavily after they are in leaf and blooming.


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