Ideal plants for very dry climates

The high temperatures of summer become a threat for many plants that do not resist as much heat. Irrigation is vital during the warmest season of the year to prevent the plant from dehydrating and stopping its development.

But in addition to taking care of them, it is good to grow plants in the garden and on the balcony that are also resistant to drought, especially in cases where we do not have too much available to water daily. Let’s see what are some ideal plants for very dry climates.

Dry weather and plants

The lack of rainfall is one of the major climatic factors that cause drought, but it is also the product of a lot of sun and heat, strong winds, salinity and even other factors such as soil that cannot retain water or the presence of frost.

Whatever the reason, if you live in a place with a warm climate it is important to choose those plants that can withstand the lack of water in the best way, as they have different characteristics that make them more resistant. Also, keep in mind that if you choose those that are able to live without problems in your area, with its climatic conditions, you will not have to give them too much care.

And, if you have, for example, a papyrus in a place where it hardly rains, you will have to water it very often to keep it alive, with the consequent waste of water. But if in that same place you grow lavender or another plant that can live with little water, you will not need to be aware of it, as it will be prepared to survive the drought.

Types of drought resistant plants

Choose those plants that have succulent tissues, that is, thick and where water can be stored because then the plant withstands drought as it feeds on reserve water. This is the case of desert plants, and semi-arid regions, such as succulents. Cacti are very interesting, like those of the genus Echinocactus and Ferocactus, but it is very important that the soil has excellent drainage.

You can also choose those plants such as oleander, strawberry tree or holm oak, as they have leaves that are very adaptable to drought that avoid a great loss of perspiration: thicker, perennial and hard whose stomata are on the underside of the leaves and thus are protect from the sun. These plants are sclerophylls.

Other plants for dry climates are xerophytes, those that have leaves that somehow manage to prevent the evaporation of water, either because their leaves are rolled up or are too narrow or are needle-shaped. We have two examples in rosemary and thyme.

And then there are the plants with hairy leaves and those that have a double root system that can draw water from a deeper area of ​​the soil.

(More) plants suitable for dry climates

We have mentioned some of them, but they are not the only ones that we are going to tell you. In fact, apart from knowing if there is drought or not, it is necessary to keep in mind that there are certain species that can withstand frost, wind, and/ or that can be grown in poor soils. So, let’s see what they are:

Alluadia procera

Image – Wikimedia/ brewbooks

The Alluadia procera is a species of tree or shrub with thorny succulent stems and leaves that can reach deciduous height of between 2 and 20 meters. In particularly dry climates, such as the Mediterranean, it is very interesting, since it not only resists great periods of drought (which can last up to six months), but also grows in soils with poor nutritional richness. Furthermore, it is capable of withstanding weak frosts, down to -2ºC, if they are of short duration.


Image – Wikimedia/ Mark Marathon

Trees of the genus Brachychiton can be evergreen or deciduous depending on the species. For example, B. populneus always stays green, but B. acerifolius does not. In any case, they are all highly recommended for dry climates, as they also provide interesting shade, and some produce spectacular flowers.

Of course, they have to be planted in full sun, away from pipes and others. They are drought resistant plants that can live in poor soils. Frosts down to -4ºC do not harm them either.


The date palm ( Phoenix dacylifera ) is a palm tree with several thin trunks, about 30 centimeters thick, from which bluish-green pinnate leaves sprout. It can reach a height of more than 10 meters, and produces the fruits called dates, which are suitable for human consumption. It needs to be in full sun, but for the rest it is very grateful: it endures the drought, it does not care that there are few nutrients in the soil, and it survives without being damaged by frosts down to -7ºC.


The dimorfoteca is a herbaceous plant that produces flowers similar to those of daisies. It does not grow much in height (only about 20-30 centimeters), but it does spread a lot, reaching one meter. It grows both in full sun and in semi-shade, in any type of soil (except very compacted ones), and withstands drought.


The lavender is a subarbusto (or kills) originating in the Mediterranean region. Depending on the species, it can reach heights of between 30 and 100 centimeters. It resists drought very well, but also direct sun ( indeed, it must be exposed to it to grow properly), and it lives well in poor soils. Neither do the winds, not even the marine ones, nor the frosts down to -7ºC.

Olive tree and wild olive

Both the olive tree ( Olea europaea ) and the wild olive ( Olea europaea var. Sylvestris ) are large trees or shrubs that will beautify a dry garden. Both are evergreen, and can live for several centuries. Of course, their growth is slow, but they reach a height of up to 15 meters, being the smallest wild olive tree, and with time they give good shade. Both resist drought, heat, poor soils, and even torrential rains (typical, especially at the end of the Mediterranean summer and autumn). As for frost, they resist up to -12ºC, but it is advisable not to expose them to temperatures below -4ºC.


Image – Wikimedia/ Stan Shebs

The Sedum are annual or perennial succulents grown in warm climates where there is no frost or are not very intense. All of them produce very showy flowers, grouped in inflorescences. Some do not exceed 10 centimeters in height, while others reach one meter. They endure drought, and have to be put in full sun to be able to enjoy them to the fullest.

What do you think of these plants for very dry climates? Do you know others that can be grown in gardens where it rains little? If you have been wanting to know more, click here below:

Related article:Complete selection of drought resistant plants

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