6 drought resistant trees

Do you live in an area where the rains are rather scarce? Then it is highly recommended to acquire drought resistant trees, since they will be the ones that will give you many joys to be able to live in those conditions without problems.

Also, keep in mind that choosing the right plants is the first step to take to enjoy a low-maintenance garden, patio or terrace . So let’s see which are the most interesting species.


African savanna.

First of all, you should know what we mean when we talk about drought-resistant trees, since otherwise you may get unpleasant surprises. As you surely know, on the planet we live in there are different climates and different habitats: there are areas where it is very hot and where it rains frequently, others where it is very cold and where it hardly rains, and in the middle of those two extremes there are many others.

In the case of habitats where there is little rain, it is important to know that these are divided into: arid and warm semi-arid, and arid and cold semi-arid. All of them have in common that a maximum of 500mm of precipitation per year is recorded, but while in the former the maximum temperatures can exceed 35º and even 40ºC, in the latter it is normal for these maximums to remain at 15- 20 ° C.

Why am I telling you about climates in a gardening blog? Well, because depending on the climate, some plants or others can be grown. If I told you that as trees for dry climates you have, among others, the Cedrus deodara and the Banksia integrifolia, and I did not tell you anything else, I would be giving you incomplete information, since the first one resists frosts down to -18ºC, but the second only up to -7ºC.

If we only worry about an environmental factor (in the case of the rains that may occur), we would have many problems. So next I am going to tell you my selection of trees that resist drought, and what they need to grow well.

Selection of drought resistant trees


Brachychiton populneus

Known as the bottle tree, brachiquito or kurrajong, it is a tree native to Australia, specifically Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. It reaches a height of 6-7 meters, with a thickened trunk up to 40cm in diameter. The leaves are simple, composed of 3-9 lobes, green in color.

It lives in temperate climates, preferring warm ones. It resists drought very well, since its trunk serves as water storage, and it also has a root-tuber that performs the same function as the trunk. Therefore, it only has to be watered from time to time the first year, from the second it will not need it. It resists frosts down to -7ºC.

Cedrus deodara

Known as Himalayan cedar, Indian cedar, or deodar cedar, it is a conical conifer native to the western Himalayas that can reach a height of 50-60 meters, with a trunk up to 3 meters in diameter. The leaves are acicular, up to 5cm long, bright green or bluish green.

It needs direct sun and temperate-cold climates. It can withstand short periods of drought, but grows best if it receives regular waterings (about 2 a week). Resists up to -18ºC.

Related article:Himalayan cedar (Cedrus deodara)

Olea europaea

Known as olive tree, olive tree or olive tree, it is a long-lived tree (over 100 years old) native to the Mediterranean region. It reaches a height of up to 15 meters, with a thick trunk up to 1m in diameter. The leaves are lanceolate, green on the upper side and whitish on the underside.

It lives in full sun, in limestone soils, in warm-temperate climates. From the second year it is planted in the ground, it can live well with 350mm of rainfall per year. Resists up to -7ºC.

Related article:Hojiblanca olive tree (Olea europaea)

Fallen Leaf

Adansonia digitata

Known as the baobab or monkey bread tree, it is an endemic tree from the south of the Sahara, in Africa. It can reach a height of up to 25m, with a very thick trunk up to 40m in circumference. The leaves are green, and appear only during the rainy season (when the monsoon arrives).

It needs direct sun, a land that drains very well, and above all a hot and dry climate. It does not resist frost.

Related article:Baobab (Adansonia digitata)

Prosopis flexuosa

Image – Wikimedia/ Quentin Vandemoortele

Known as alpataco, carob (not to be confused with Ceratonia siliqua, an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean), black carob, sweet carob or black tree, it is an endemic species of South America, specifically Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. It reaches a height of 10 meters, with a trunk of up to 6m in diameter, and is thorny. The leaves are composed of 3-15cm long pinnae, and are greenish. These fall in the fall.

It likes to receive direct sunlight, and to grow in limestone soils. It resists drought well, being able to live with only 300mm of rain per year, and frosts down to -12ºC.

Prunus cerasifera var. pissardii

Known as red plum, purple leaf plum, or ornamental plum, it is a tree native to Europe and Asia. It reaches a height of between 6 and 15 meters, with a not very thick trunk, up to 40cm in diameter. Its leaves are simple, between 4 and 6cm long, with a very pretty reddish-purple color.

It needs temperate climates, limestone soils (they can be poor in nutrients), and winter temperatures below zero ( resists down to -18ºC ). Of those we have seen, it is the one that is less resistant to drought, but from my own experience – I have one – with about two irrigations a week in summer and one weekly in winter, it grows well.

Related article:Purple-leaved plum (Prunus cerasifera pissardii)

Do you know other trees that resist drought? If you have been wanting to know the name of more plants that can live with little water, click here.

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