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The best drought tolerant plants for home outdoor in dry climates

The choice of the right plants for home outdoor in drought risk areas can be a bit challenging. However, various drought-tolerant plants can be used for home yard or garden while conserving water usage outdoor.

When well landscaped, drought-tolerant plants have different heights, textures, and shapes that can add a splash of color and dimension to the home landscape on minimal watering. 

Drought tolerant plants can withstand long periods of dryness and can typically last a long season without water which can help conserve water in drought risk areas. 

The best drought tolerant plants for home outdoor


Cactus is the most versatile and durable drought-tolerant plant. Cacti fall into two: desert and forest. 

Desert cacti are more traditional that have thick spines. It can grow paddles, balls, or obelisks. They produce beautiful blooms during the spring and summer. Forest cactus are not as hardy and are native to forests and jungles.

Cacti can survive four seasons without water. The plant doesn’t require overwatering as it stores water in the stem.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is originally native to Africa. It is a cactus-like succulent that typically grows in hot and dry climates. 

Aloe Vera possesses thick green leaves that contain a watery gel and it’s a fast-growing, drought-resistant plant that takes about 3 to 4 years to mature.

Aloe Vera can grow in poor soil and is best when planted alone in a pot or a well-drained bed. While they require minimal watering, they do prefer to be watered regularly to prevent their leaves from drying and shriveling up. 


The Lavender plant does is not conducive to high humidity but can last several years in the hot sun, dry, and lean soil. Does well when planted in full sunlight as the shade can be a detriment to its growth. 

Lavender is known for its sweet floral scent and is best grown as annuals or in containers. The plant has green foliage and upright flower spikes that are compact and serves as a great companion plant. 

Lavender is an extremely resilient plant and can go long periods without water, though keeping it watered during the first growing season can help it flourish.

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Trumpet Vine

Trumpet vines are a beautiful trumpet-shaped flower that blossoms a mass of yellow, red, or orange flowers and attracts many animals such as hummingbirds. 

It is a drought-tolerant plant that can be invasive, but with a little care and pruning, it can be kept under control. 

The plant thrives in both the sun or partial shade but should not be planted too close to the house’s foundation, as it can cause damage.


Agave plants have large leathery leaves, spiny tips, and are considered rosette succulents. 

Aloe and Agave are typically mistaken for each other. However, agave is typically larger, thinner, more fibrous leaves, and only bloom once in its lifetime. 

Agave needs ample sun and light for about 6 hours and well-drained neutral to slightly acidic soil. As the plant matures, it needs less water. But for starting out, it should be watered every four to five days the first month after which you can begin to space out watering each week.

Pride of Madeira

The plant is native to the island of Madeira in the Canary Islands. It’s a biennial plant that forms flowers every year. The pride of Madeira has sturdy wood stems, green-grey spiky leaves, and a cone-shaped flower that is typically purple. 

Like many drought-tolerant plants, the pride of Madeira requires ample amounts of direct sunlight for at least 6 hours. It is also lenient towards different soil types such as clay, sand, or loam. 

The plant does not require a lot of water but if flowers begin to droop, watering at the base of the plant will help revive it.

Kangaroo Paw

Kangaroo Paw is a drought-tolerant plant known for its beautiful blooms and visual variety with colors that bloom in red, yellow, orange, or purple. The plant has long, slender leaves that grow on stalks in fan-like rows and are covered in white, velvet-like fuzz. 

The kangaroo paw plant can grow in both the ground or pots. But, it must have full sun for at least 6 to 8 hours in order for the full bloom to occur. The plant thrives in slightly acidic soil conditions and must be watered moderately as too much water can kill the plant. 

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