So-called drought-resistant plants are, by definition, tolerant of low-water conditions. But while the definition is straightforward enough, we find that it's not so easy to implement a plan that will get our landscapes through periods without rainfall (in the absence of artificial irrigation). That's because, in practice, there are numerous factors that have a say regarding whether or not a plant will receive adequate water.
01 of 05
We often take trees for granted, figuring that these gentle giants can fend for themselves. But before a specimen becomes established, you very much do have to worry about the impact dry conditions will have on it. Thus the need to include a selection of suitable trees in my lists of drought-resistant plants.
Staying with the theme of not sacrificing appearance when seeking drought-resistant plants, in this resource I have chosen trees that offer your landscaping a number of aesthetic benefits. Whether you crave colorful displays of spring flowers, great fall color or some other feature, this information will help you find the right tree for your yard. The tree pictured on your left, for example, is Sunburst honeylocust, which has pretty spring leaves and is one of the least messy trees.
As with all the picks on this page, click the photo to access the list.
02 of 05
I spoke above of natives always being an option when seeking drought-resistant plants. In eastern North America, arrowwood viburnum would be an example. From its white spring flowers to its pretty leaves and berries in autumn, this bush will furnish visual interest for you for much of the year as you stroll through your woodland garden.
But there are plenty of other shrubs that are examples of drought-resistant plants, as I detail in my full article, including a plant pictured on your left that is popular in places like California and Arizona: Mexican bird of paradise.
03 of 05
When we turn to ground covers that can be classified as drought-resistant plants, we're faced with some tough choices. Many are invasive or, at the very least, aggressive. This fact, however, should not take us by surprise. Think of what job the classic "ground cover" is grown to perform: to spread out over time and cover a patch of ground that would otherwise be bare (until the weeds take root). It should not shock us, then, that some of them simply perform this job too well (from our perspective).
In the list linked to at left, I do warn you about some popular ground covers that are rated as invasive in North America. An aggressive plant that you might also hesitate to grow (in spite of its good qualities) is Virginia creeper (technically, it's not considered "invasive" in North America because it's a native there). Virginia creeper will climb if given any support to grow up (trees, fences, etc.), but in the absence of any such support it can function as a ground cover. A much better-behaved ground cover that does not require a lot of water is creeping thyme.
Candytuft (picture at left) is one of the "good" ground covers that make my list.
04 of 05
In the photo (left), I show an example of an ornamental grass that is a drought-resistant plant. It's called "zebra grass." You can learn more about this and similar ornamental grasses by using the link placed above the picture.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Perennials associated with the Mediterranean tend to be drought-resistant plants. Also well represented in this group are plants with silver leaves and herb plants. Lavender (image at left) falls into all three categories.
But there are plenty of other choices available. For example, I grow black-eyed susan in a corner of my landscaping that does not receive much water. Most years, it does just fine. This Susan may have a black eye, but she didn't get it from drought.
Click the image to access my list and learn about more choices.