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Plants That Need Little or No Watering

Gardeners living in dry regions should choose drought resistant plants. These plants, requiring little or no water, are also best for homeowners without a sprinkler system or who have little time for watering plants. Drought-tolerant plants are excellent choices for areas that are hard to irrigate or where soils are commonly dry. On the other hand, drought-tolerant plants should never be planted in soils retaining moisture or areas experiencing excessive rainfall.


Lavender (lavandula angustifolia) is a small shrub that smells as good as it looks. It's also an exceptionally tough plant if it doesn't get overly wet. Emerald Green Arborvitae is a tall, evergreen, drought-resistant shrub with dark green foliage. This shrub is conical-shaped and grows dense and vertical. Crape Myrtle is a drought-tolerant shrub producing large deep pink flower clusters with contrasting dark green leaves. Besides being drought-tolerant, crape myrtles are also mildew-resistant. The Hollywood Juniper is another upright growing evergreen shrub that does best grown in sunny foundations plantings, as a corner plant or against an open wall. Jack Frost Ligustrum is a thick, bushy shrub with striking green and white foliage, making it a popular mid-size hedge.


The Arizona Cypress, a drought-tolerant evergreen, does well in all southern states, although it’s native to the Southwest. It tolerates various soil types and extreme weather, going for long periods of time without water. This tree is commonly used as privacy screens and property borders. The Thuja Green Giant is a tough evergreen tree that grows rapidly into a thick privacy screen. In addition to being drought tolerant, it’s also insect and disease resistant. The Summer Red Maple tree is another rapidly growing tree needing minimum water. Often used as a colorful shade tree, it’s unique in that it displays new red leaves growing even during warm summer months. In autumn the tree displays bright golden foliage that remains throughout late fall.


Daylilies are suited for dry regions with blooms including shades of yellow, red and deep purple. Candytuft is low-growing flower that lasts roughly 10 weeks according to the Web site It produces dark green foliage and pure white flowers. Black-eyed Susans and coneflowers are drought-resistant flowers coming in shades of pink, yellow and white. Zinnias are able to go for long periods of time without much water, although they do need suitable air circulation. These flowers shouldn’t be watered late in the day. Marigolds, pansies, petunias and salvias are some other popular drought-tolerant annuals.

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