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Plants That Don't Need Watering

By Denise Stern ; Updated September 21, 2017

Gardeners looking for low-maintenance and low-expense plants would do well to choose varieties that don't need to be watered often, or at all, for that matter. Providing adequate light and soil is enough for many plant varieties, which absorb water from natural soil or the atmosphere. Choosing the best varieties for your yard or home will depend on environment. Choosing drought tolerant plants helps save homeowners money and offers beautiful gardens with minimal maintenance.


Many species of flowers are relatively drought resistant and tolerant, including the California wildflowers like daisies, poppies and lupine. Other flowing varieties of plants that don't require much if any water are Mexican sage, lavender and rosemary herbal varieties.


Shrubbery such as manzanita, palo verde and broom and rockrose species are very drought resistant and can go for long periods of time without water, as can many other plant varieties native to desert or dry growing conditions. Barberry varieties like the wintergreen, Korean and Japanese do very well without water, as do boxwood varieties like the English and Japanese and little leaf boxwoods. Contoneaster varieties are also especially drought resistant and can go for extended periods of time without water.

Cacti and Succulents

Cactus varieties such as barrel or pear cactus are beautiful in almost any environment and can go months without a good drenching. Jade plants are a type of succulent that retain water in their roots and stems, as do most types of succulents like aloe vera, agave, echeveria and larger plants like yucca, ocotillo and ice plants. Many varieties of cacti produce beautiful blooms annually and require very low maintenance and watering. Natural rain water is usually enough for cacti and succulents to grow throughout the year with a minimum of water.


About the Author


Denise Stern is an experienced freelance writer and editor. She has written professionally for more than seven years. Stern regularly provides content for health-related and elder-care websites and has an associate and specialized business degree in health information management and technology.