Whether you live in an area that seldom gets rain or prefer shrubbery that doesn't require a lot of watering, you still want your yard to look nice. Although all plants must have some kind of moisture to survive, once they become established, there are several types of shrubs that can tolerate drought conditions and won't miss a relative lack of rainfall or watering.
Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)
The butterfly bush is a semi-evergreen shrub that produces cascades of lilac-like trumpet-shaped flowers during the summer. As one might guess, the butterfly bush is a favorite for butterflies and as an added delight for gardeners, hummingbirds enjoy the tiny flowers too. There are many varieties of butterfly bushes and colors can vary from dark purple to pinkish-purple, white, or even red. Butterfly bushes grow 6 to 12 feet tall and have a spread of 4 to 15 feet. They prefer full or part sun and dry soil with good drainage. When established, the butterfly bush needs very little care, however, some thought should be put into where it will be planted, since without pruning, once it starts to grow it can quickly take over an entire flower bed.
Chinese abelia (Abelia chinesis )
The Chinese abelia is a deciduous shrub that grows 5 to 7 feet tall and has a spread of 6 to 8 feet. It has glossy, dark green leaves that that turn purplish-green in the fall and produces small white flowers with a light pink cast to them. Blooming in early summer through mid fall, the Chinese abelia does well in part shade or full sun. It tolerates drought quite well and will grow in sandy or even a clay soil. It is susceptible to leaf spots, mildew and root rot, however, unless a problem is suspected, the Chinese abelia requires very little maintenance.
White Forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum)
A relative of the yellow forsythia, the white forsythia gets a head start on its counterpart by blooming in the early spring. An attractive landscape shrub, the white forsythia grows to about 5 feet tall and wide. It blooms are showy--four-petal white flowers with a pink tinge and yellow centers--and the flowers cover the plants long, woody stems first before any leaves appear. Once the blooming season is over, small dark green leaves begin to show that will later turn to purple in the fall. The white forsythia grows in part sun to full sun and prefers normal watering, but does quite well during dry spells.