Water-Wise Plants for Australia

The continent of Australia contains a variety of climates and soil conditions. This country hosts a selection of both native and naturalized plant species. The ability to adapt to adverse soils and drought conditions determines the rate of success for many plants in various areas of Australia. Limited amounts of rainfall, as well as watering restrictions, require the use of drought-tolerant plants in gardens and landscapes. Selecting varieties of plants that thrive with limited amounts of moisture ensures a healthy and attractive landscape in Australia.


A favorite flower of many Australian gardeners, the geranium thrives in sunny areas of the landscape. These plants provide abundant blossoms in shades of red. These tough plants appreciate a little compost or mulch near their roots to increase water retention and soil nutrients.

Dwarf Japanese Sacred Bamboo

Inaptly named, the dwarf Japanese sacred bamboo has no relation to true bamboo, which requires plentiful amounts of water. Nor does this plant share the invasive characteristics of true bamboo grasses. This tough plant requires little water to survive in Australia's arid climate. With its lime green foliage, this grassy plant makes an ideal choice for a groundcover in mass plantings.

Senna and Acacia Shrubs

Various types of shrubs grow naturally in Australia. Many of these, such as the Senna shrub and Acacia shrub, tolerate long periods of drought, which is common in many areas of Australia. These woody shrubs produce hairy leaves and stems, which reflect heat during hot, dry spells. The hairy growth on these shrubs also reduces water loss during strong winds.


The velvet-leaved hibiscus forms a fine growth of velvety hairs over its leaves and stems. This water-wise plant grows to the size of a small shrub and produces attractive blossoms throughout the summer months. The velvet-leaved hibiscus prefers sandy soils in arid areas of Australia.

Australian Salt Bush

The Australian salt bush flourishes in arid conditions. This semi-succulent shrub stores water in its leaves after infrequent rainfalls. These drought-tolerant shrubs suffer in the humid conditions commonly present along Australia's eastern coast.

Keywords: Australia, arid plants, drought-tolerant plants

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.