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.
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.
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.
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.