Planting and Growing Drought Tolerant Vines

There are many vines that are drought-tolerant and make for a great addition into dry desert gardens. Whether you put them in a container like a basket or planter, or if you use them as a ground cover, vines make for an interesting drought-tolerant garden choice. These plants are a few that will do well in a dry setting and will be attractive in any dry garden or water-wise garden plot.

Mexican Creeper

Mexican creeper is also known as the coral vine, corallita, confederate vine or Antigonon leptopus. It is a fast growing evergreen vine that attracts butterflies to the landscape. It grows 30 to 40 feet long and can climb due to tendrils. Leaves are green and heart-shaped, growing up to 4 inches. Tiny flowers are in clusters, ranging from white to deep coral in color. Plant a Mexican creeper in any well-drained soil with full sun. It will tolerate drought. Propagate via half-ripe cuttings or by seed. It will be hardy in USDA zones of eight through ten.

Cross Vine

Cross vine is also known as trumpet-flower and Bignonia capreolata. It is an evergreen perennial vine that attracts hummingbirds. It has leaves 3 to 5 inches long with late winter or early spring blooming flowers. Flowers are trumpet-like and orange, red, or orange-red in color. It will need to be planted in light shade to full sun with any soil type. It is drought tolerant. Propagate a cross vine by seed or sprouts. It will be hardy in USDA zones of six through nine.

Railroad Vine

The railroad vine is known as Ipomoea pes-caprae. It is a fast growing vine that is drought tolerant. It will grow a few inches tall with leathery leaves and pink, lavender, or purple flowers. Flowers will bloom from May through November. It will need to be planted in full sun in any soil. Propagate a railroad vine by cuttings or seed. It will be hardy in USDA zones of eight through eleven.

Blue Passionflower

Blue passionflower, or Passiflora caerulea, is a fragrant perennial vine that will attract butterflies to the yard it is planted in. It grows 30 feet long with shiny leaves and very showy white and blue-purple flowers. Blooms will appear in the summer. Plant a passionflower in sandy or gravelly well-drained soil with full sun. It can be propagated by seed or tip cuttings. It is hardy from USDA zones eight through eleven.


These four drought tolerant vines are hardy and beautiful additions to any water-wise garden project. Make sure to test the soil pH, the soil type, and the hardiness zone of the area that is to be the garden.