Drought Tolerant Plants (Google / Bharat Abasha / DocStoc)

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Drought Tolerant Plants

Areas of your garden that face West or South naturally tend to be much hotter and receive much more direct sunlight.

Taking a little time to choose the right plants for these demanding growing conditions can help save you time, money, and water, as well as improve your overall results.

Most plants will require more water under high heat/sun conditions unless they’re native to one of the desert regions, or when established, tend to be drought tolerant.

A deep watering program in high heat areas can help conserve water, and still promote healthy, vigorous growth.

Tip: Young plants, or fresh plantings, will require time to grow into their drought tolerant status. Root systems need time to expand and become established, and that length of time will depend in general upon plant type, variety, and the watering method you choose to employ.


Adding a thick layer of clean mulch on your garden beds, will help to conserve moisture, and protect a plants roots from temperature extremes. Ground bark, straw, or compost, are some of the organic materials used for mulching.

Apply a 1 to 2 inch thick layer of mulch on top of the soil and around plants. A mulch can be applied at any time during the growing season, however, mulching early in the season, just after preparing the soil and planting, will provide the most benefit.

South facing walls or fences tend to absorb and reflect intense solar heat, and so will add to theses demanding conditions.

One method used to offset this situation, is to train heat-resistant vines to grow and cover, south or west facing walls, and so prevent the suns heat from being absorbed and reflected into the garden.

Another option, is to provide small areas of shade throughout the hottest areas of your yard. Planting small garden trees or dwarf varieties suitable to your local region, will tend to moderate temperature extremes within their local areas.

Not all heat-resistant plants are drought-tolerant. Most annuals will require at least 1 inch of water per week. Drought-tolerant plants, in general, will have deeper root systems, and due to their natural environment, have developed the ability to thrive under low moisture conditions.

The following, are examples of the most successful and widely available plants that are heat resistant:


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.