3 Excellent Resources For Low Water Use Plants

This list is for you, whether you are located in an area plagued by recent droughts, live in a natural desert climate, or have a few spots on your property where you don’t have irrigation infrastructure already in place. Below you’ll find an incredible mix of resources providing all you need to know about drought-tolerant plants.

Use Drought Tolerant Plants

Here’s a quick list of 50 plants that are attractive, easy to find, non-invasive, easy to maintain, and drought-tolerant from the San Diego Water Authority. Spending some time with this list ensures success in your low water use garden. It also includes references to other resources you may be interested in exploring. It’s a quick read (albeit a little California-centric).

Determine Your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.

The map is available as an interactive GIS-based map; you can find it here. Once you determine your zone, it’s easy to use google to search for plants that thrive in your zone.

Plants Appropriate For Local Climate Conditions

Here are a handful of local and regional drought-tolerant plant lists I find easy to use, comprehensive and helpful. Please share if you have more to add by posting a comment below.


The horticultural staff of the UC Davis Arboretum developed an All-Star” database of 100 tough, reliable plants that have been tested in the Arboretum. Many of them are California native plants and support and encourage native wildlife. Most All-Star plants can be successfully planted and grown throughout California. The plant database is searchable by plant name, type of plant, size, or light condition…plus, the site has lots of other great resources.

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Spanish Lavendar


Department of Water Resources has created a handful of low water-use plant lists. Best of all, it has tips for creating and maintaining an Arizona-friendly landscape.

Black Dalea


Here is a list of Colorado’s top 10 drought-tolerant plants from Resource CentralDenver Water has a section on its website for plants you can use and a demonstration area at their office. They also do a great job with public service announcements about saving water like this one.
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Choclate Flower


No surprise here for those of you familiar with the Urban Conservation Unit. They have a ton of information about drought-tolerant plants here and even information about rebates.


UMass Amherst, a  school well known for horticulture (Home to one of the best softball programs in the nation), created a list of drought-tolerant plants here.

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Basket of Gold


Austin Native Landscaping has a list complete with photos and descriptions

I am sure I missed many of your favorites. Don’t forget to add them to the comments section. If you found this information helpful, please consider subscribing to the blog or following me on Twitter @H2oTrends.


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One Response

  1. Thanks for sharing very important information, mostrelevant in wake of growing water shortages.
    Surender Makhija, New Delhi, India

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