Drought-Tolerant Flowering Shrubs

When irrigation water is scarce or drought conditions are a possibility, selecting drought-resistant plants for landscaping is a viable option. There is a variety of drought-tolerant flowering shrubs to choose from, which will provide colorful flowers to the garden while reducing your water budget.

Superstition Mallow

A native to Arizona and Mexico, the superstition mallow (Abutilon palmeri) requires very little water. Its orange-yellow flowers bloom from spring to fall, and its foliage is silver-green and coarse. This fast-growing evergreen bush reaches about 4 feet high by 3 feet wide at maturity and grows well in full or partial sun.

Bee Brush

The fragrant, purplish flowers of the bee brush (Aloysia gratissima), a native of South America and the Chihuahuan Desert, attract butterflies. A semi-evergreen, the bee bush has medium-green, fine-textured foliage, and its flowers bloom from spring to fall. A moderate-growing plant, it requires very little water. At maturity, the plant can reach about 6 feet high by 6 feet wide.

Yellow Bird of Paradise

Yellow bird of paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii) produces exotic yellow flowers with dramatic red stamens, which bloom from spring to fall. A native of Argentina, the bush attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies. At maturity, the plant reaches about 6 feet high by 5 feet wide. It is a semi-evergreen.

Pink Fairy Duster

The fuzzy, pink, puffball-like flowers of the pink fairy duster (Calliandra eriophylla) bloom from spring to fall and attracts hummingbirds. Native to the southwest deserts, the pink fairy duster requires little water and enjoys full sunshine. The bush is a semi-evergreen and has medium-green, fine-textured foliage. At maturity, it will reach about 3 feet high by 4 feet wide.

Woolly Butterfly Bush

The orange blossoms of the woolly butterfly bush (Buddleia marrubifolia) flower from spring to mid-summer and attract butterflies. A native of the Chihuahuan Desert, it requires very little water, and enjoys a location with full or reflected sun. At maturity, the bush grows about 5 feet high by 5 feet wide. It's an evergreen with silvery foliage.

Flame Honeysuckle

A flowering bush that attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies, the flame honeysuckle (Anisacanthus quadrifidus v. wrightii) is a native of the Chihuahuan Desert. Its tubular-shaped, orange-red flowers bloom from summer to late fall. At maturity, the shrub reaches about 3 feet high by 4 feet wide, and requires little water for irrigation. This deciduous plant has medium-textured, bright green foliage.

Keywords: drought tolerant shrubs, low use flowering shrubs, drought tolerant flowering bushes

About this Author

Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for about seven years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.