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Drought Tolerant Shrubs

Drought Tolerant Shrubs
The drought tolerant shrubs are not just valuable for xeriscaping projects, but they are perfect for hobbyists who don't have time for regular irrigation of the plants. In this article, you will find a list of excellent drought resistant shrubs for landscaping.
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Planting shrubs and trees that are tolerant to drought is a practical approach to maintain a beautiful landscape, irrespective of the water availability. For those who reside in dry regions, there is no other alternative except growing drought resistant plants. Of course, they do require basic plant care instructions as other ornamental shrubs and trees, especially in the first few weeks after plantation. However, in terms of long-term maintenance, they are less demanding and grow normally with less water.
Shrubs are smaller than the trees, and are available in different shapes. They are useful for foundation plantings, demarcating garden borders, creating formal hedges, providing privacy, and also, for maintaining as specimen plants. Depending upon the size and resistance to pruning, many of the ornamental shrubs can also be maintained as a part of container gardening.
Butterfly Bush
Scientific Name: Buddleia davidii
Hardiness Zones: 5 - 10
Plant Height: 6 feet and more

Butterfly bush encompasses a group of flowering plants, popularly grown in butterfly gardens. It is a low-maintenance plant that grows at a very fast rate. Full sun and well-drained soil are all you require for growing this group of medium drought resistant shrubs. In late spring, spectacular, fragrant blooms are developed in long stalks, which resemble that of a bottle brush. Based on the variety, the flower color may be pink, red, lavender, and dark purple.
Century Plant
Scientific Name: Agave angustifolia
Hardiness Zones: 9 - 10
Plant Height: 3 - 4 feet

Excellent for growing in full sun and dry soil, century plant is cultivated for its variegated foliage. It is truly a desert plant and belongs to the group of succulent plants. The elongated leaves having pointed tips form a rosette like pattern around a central core. The long stalk (measuring about 15 feet) bearing yellow color flowers is produced only once, and the plant dies after the blooming period is over.
Desert Willow
Scientific Name: Chilopsis linearis
Hardiness Zones: 7 - 9
Plant Height: 15 feet and more

This small deciduous tree can be maintained as a hardy shrub for exceptionally dry regions. Despite the name, desert willow is not related to the true willows (genus Salix). The leaves are narrow and elongated, thus resembling that of willow plants. It is highly tolerant to heat, soil type, and requires less water. Bicolor flowers of white and lavender color are produced in late summer, and blooming continues till early fall.
Gray Dogwood
Scientific Name: Cornus racemosa 'Emerald'
Hardiness Zones: 3 - 8
Plant Height: 6 - 10 feet

It is a highly durable shrub that adapts in a wide range of soil types and moisture levels. The desired traits of gray dogwood are emerald-green leaves, white fruit, and striking purple fall color. Creamy white blooms are borne in spring time, which develop white fruits with bright pink stalks. When grown in shade, gray dogwood grows to more than 6 feet and exhibits a less dense shape. It propagates by means of suckers.
Scientific Name: Juniperus species
Hardiness Zones: 3 - 9
Plant Height: 4 feet and above

Select a sunlit area having well-drained soil for growing healthy junipers. This evergreen shrub is popularly opted to give a formal touch to the landscape design. A slow-growing shrub that requires less pruning, it is excellent for growing in dry areas. The leaves are small and needle-shape (like other conifers), and are silver-gray or green in color. Instead of cones or strobili, this drought resistant plant produces berries in large numbers.
Scientific Name: Nandina domestica 'Firepower'
Hardiness Zones: 6 - 11
Plant Height: 1 - 2 feet

Nandina can tolerate both full sun and partial sun, and drought conditions. The leaves are rich lime colored in other growing seasons, while they turn vibrant red in fall. With this shrub, you will get to enjoy colorful foliage throughout the winter months. Although hobbyists prefer growing firepower nandina in groups as hedge plants, it can also be maintained in a container. The planting soil should be dry and well-drained for optimal growth.
Variegated Silverberry
Scientific Name: Elaeagnus pungens 'Maculata'
Hardiness Zones: 7 - 9
Plant Height: 10 - 15 feet

One of the evergreen drought tolerant bushes that brightens up the landscape in all seasons is the variegated silverberry. This cultivar requires water till establishment, and after that, it withstands extended drought periods. Suited for planting in full sun to full shade, variegated silverberry is grown for its lovely yellow foliage. It bears small, fragrant, white flowers in spring, which fruit in the coming fall.
White Forsythia
Scientific Name: Abeliophyllum distichum
Hardiness Zones: 5 - 8
Plant Height: 3 - 6 feet

This plant is related to true forsythia bush, but differs in the flower color. This ornamental shrub is deciduous and gives a breathtaking view to the garden in spring. The white forsythia is best grown in full sun to partial shade. White blooms cover the twigs in early spring, i.e., before the new leaves appear. Water requirement is moderate, but can withstand dry soil after the plants gets acclimatized to the area.
List of Drought Resistant Shrubs
Speaking more about shrubs and bushes that are resistant to dry conditions, you will find a long list of plants in this category. They may be small or large, spreading or non-spreading, deciduous or evergreen, and flowering or non-flowering shrubs. For your reference, mentioned below is a list of shrubs tolerant to drought condition.
  • American beautyberry
  • Yellowroot
  • Aucuba
  • Sarcococca
  • Hibiscus
  • Butcher's broom
  • Dwarf palmeto
  • Rugosa rose
  • Camellia
  • Euonymus
  • Cephalotaxus
  • Dwarf Cedrus
  • Cranberry
  • Thuja
  • Fortune's fontanesia
  • Dwarf fothergilla
  • Gardenia
  • Hydrangea
  • Lantana
  • Ceanothus
  • Harland boxwood
  • Holly shrub
  • Indigofera
  • Caryopteris
  • Mountain laurel
  • Abelia
  • Common lavender
  • Shrub bushclover
  • Japanese privet
  • Boxleaf honeysuckle
  • Loropetalum
  • Mahonia
  • Banana shrub
  • Waxmyrtle
  • Russian sage
  • Bayberry
  • Photinia
  • Flowering almond
  • Alder buckthorn
  • Viburnum
  • Shrubby podocarpus
  • Needle palm
  • Azalea
  • Beautybush
  • Bottlebrush buckeye
  • Lemon bottlebrush
  • Leadplant
  • Sumac
  • Spice bush
  • Japanese serissa
  • Jacktree
  • Spirea
  • Chinese yew
  • Rosemary
  • Showy jasmine
  • Strawberry bush
  • Scotch broom
  • Wintergreen barberry
  • Witch hazel
  • White fir
As you see, there are so many options of drought tolerant shrubs. One rule of thumb for promoting healthy growth of these plants is not to grow them in low lying areas that are prone to waterlogging problems. To conclude with, decide which types of shrubs you require for your landscape, and select the best ones that can withstand the moisture level and climatic conditions in your region.
In Vaticans gardens
Lemon Bottlebrush
Spice plantation
Serissa bonsai tree, isolated on white
Jack-fruit on the tree
Gold Mound Spirea Landscaping Shrubs
Scotch broom flower close up with defocused background
Mahonia Japonica Bush
Wax Myrtle fruit on tree
bayberry shrub
Almond tree
dwarf cedar in the sandy dunes on shore of Baikal
Dwarf fothergilla Flower
A potted gardenia plant on white
Lantana flower
Holly in close up
Three Leaf Indigo, Indigofera glandulosa
American Beautyberry
Japanese Aucuba
Sarcococca Rustifolia Chinensis
butcher's-broom Red berries and leaves
rose rugosa
Desert Willow, Chilopsis linearis
Lane in a park with the rows of thuja
Nandina of the edge of the eaves
Nature flourishing