Best Plants For People Who Forget To Water

A lot of plants can handle some neglect when it comes to folks forgetting to water. However, all plants need water to survive. Forgetting to water every now and then or watering a day or two later than you should can result in dead blooms and burnt foliage but these plants can survive that. They cannot survive extended periods with no water. Having said that, here are some general guidelines regarding watering.

  1. Plants require more watering after you plant them so that they can get established and develop roots. Forgetting to water until the plants are established will most likely kill them.
  2. Overwatering is the main reason most people kill their plants. A lot of people water everyday whether they need it or not.
  3. Generally, newly planted plants need to be watered every 1-3 days. The hotter it is when planted the more often you need to water.
  4. After your plants have become established and have started putting out roots, you can begin to back off on the water. A healthy landscape with established plants should only need to be watered 1-3 times a week depending on how hot it is. A good automated irrigation system works well for this and conserves a lot of water.
  5. If you have a landscaper install your landscape and automated irrigation and have set your irrigation timer, don’t change the settings. They know what they are doing.
  6. Plants in containers have less soil volume available to draw moisture from and require watering regularly. They typically need to be watered every day or every other day.

Now having said all of that, here are some great plants for you to plant if you have trouble remembering to water.


Angelonia are also known as Summer Snapdragons for their similarity to regular Snapdragons with blooms being somewhat similar and held up on tall stems like Snapdragons. Angelonias like the heat of summer and can tolerate a missed watering now and then. They are not as drought tolerant as some plants in this list but they are forgiving of missed waterings just not for extended periods.

Archangel Angelonia

Red Angelonia
Archangel Cherry Red Angelonia (image © 2022 Ball Horticultural Company )

Archangels are taller and more vigorous Angelonias.

Angelmist Angelonia

Angelmist Purple Spreading Angelonia (image © 2022 Ball Horticultural Company )

Angelmist are trailing Angelonias that look great in borders and containers.

Serenita Angelonia

Serenita Pink, Purple and White

Serenitas are shorter and more compact Angelonias that make beautiful borders and mass plantings.


Begonias Bronze Leaf & Green Leaf

Green Leaf Begonias

Begonias do best in full to part shade where they don’t require as much water and will survive you forgetting to water.

Big Begonias

Big Bronze Leaf Rose Begonias

The Big series of Begonias are a landscape type of begonia that have bigger plants with an upright and bushy growth habit. Once established they can tolerate your forgetting to water occasionally.

Dragon Wing Begonias

Dragon Wng Red Begonias

Dragon Wing Begonias are vigorous bushy begonias that do well in sun or shade. Like the rest of the Begonias, they do need more water in the sun and are best planted in full shade if you often forget to water.

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller has attractive silver foliage. It is a drought tolerant plant that will survive for a few days without watering for all of you who don’t remember to water. Dusty Miller wilts a lot when it needs water but perks back up once they are watered.

Silver Dust Dusty Miller


Euphorbias are a type of succulent and can handle some neglect when it comes to watering. They may look delicate but they are pretty tough plants.

Breathless Blush Euphorbia
Breathless White Euphorbia


All Lantana thrive in hot, humid conditions. They are tough plants that will tolerate sporadic watering especially after they get established. There are a lot of different Lantanas and here are the ones that we grow.

Bandana Lantana

Bandana Cherry Sunrise

Bandanas are a landscape type of lantana that is vigorous and will grow taller and wider than other lantanas. They have a mounding habit.

Bandito Lantana

Bandito Orange Sunrise

Banditos are a more compact lantana that will grow well in landscapes and containers. It will typically be about half the size of Bandanas.

Landmark Lantana

Landmark Rose Glow Lantana

Landmarks are another landscape lantana. They are vigorous and comparable in size to the Bandanas.

Lucky Lantana

Lucky Yellow Lantana

Luckys are more compact and are comparable to Banditos. They also will do well in landscapes and containers.

New Gold

New Gold Lantana is an old variety that is popular for it’s low maintenance and landscape performance. It is has a trailing, semi-mounding habit. It will sprawl out more than other landscape lantanas.

Shamrock Lantana

© ball 2022
Shamrock White Lantana

Shamrock Lantanas are a new series that has medium vigor and a mounded habit. These are comparable to the Bandito and Lucky.


Melampoduim loves the heat and grows into a mound covered in small, yellow blooms. It will wilt when it needs water but will bounce back after watering.

Yellow Melampodium
Showstar Melampodium


Pentas have been growing in popularity the past few years. They are tough, drought tolerant plants that form mounds of foliage with attractive clusters of star shaped flowers in red, pinks/rose, white and mixes. They will let you know they need water when they wilt.

Red Pentas

Portulaca (Rose Moss)

Portulaca, or Rose Moss as your mother or grandmother may have called it, is an old favorite of gardeners. Portulaca is one of the truly drought tolerant annuals available. It can handle a lot of neglect. It’s a succulent and like all succulents, it stores up moisture in its foliage. With the stored up water, they can survive for quite a while without watering, but they will look a lot better when they are watered regularly.

Mix Portulaca


Purslane is a type of Portulaca. Like Portulaca, it is a tough, drought tolerant succulent. It can survive for a long time on very little water. However, you will need to water it occasionally at the minimum to keep them looking good and flowering.



Scaevola is also know as Fan Flower. It is a great plant for hot, humid summers. It has a trailing habit and looks great in hanging baskets or rock gardens where it can trail over rock edges. While not a drought tolerant as some of the plants on this list, scaevola can survive neglectful gardeners.

Pink, White and Blue Scaevola


Succulents are a category of plants that typically have attractive foliage that the plants use to store water. Succulents also store water in their stems and roots. The foliage is usually thick and fleshy. Aloe is probably the most well known succulent.

Succulents are built for neglect and can survive extended periods of time without being watered.

Succulent Bowl


Vinca (Periwinkles)

Mix Vinca

Vinca, or Periwinkles, is another old favorite of gardeners. It has been around for a long time and has a proven drought tolerant record. Plants can wilt nearly completely down and still bounce back when you eventually get around to watering them.

Cora Vinca

Cora Strawberry Vinca

Cora Vinca is a newer series with better disease tolerance for when it’s wetter and cooler than you expected but still has the drought tolerance Vinca is known for.

Tattoo Vinca

Tattoo Black Cherry Vinca (image © 2022 Ball Horticultural Company )

Tattoo Vinca is a new series of unique bi-colors. It has the same drought tolerance of the other Vinca but is not as disease tolerant as the Cora and Cora Cascade

Cora Cascade Vinca

Cora Cascade Apricot Vinca

Cora Cascade Vinca is a trailing type of Vinca with the improved disease resistance and drought tolerance of Cora Vinca. Looks great in hanging baskets and containers.

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