Drought Tolerant Planting

Water-Conserving versus Drought-Tolerant

Drought-tolerant plants can withstand periods of dry weather, and as we use the term water-conserving we are referring to the plant’s transpiration rate, which is the rate at which it releases moisture into the air.  Drought tolerant planting is important in grouping plants in landscaping.  A grouping of drought-tolerant plants, once well established, may not need irrigation at all through a normal summer. 

There are many trees, shrubs and groundcovers that require little or no irrigation once they’ve become established.  Crepe myrtles, Chinese and Japanese hollies, and junipers are extremely drought tolerant.  Many bulbs, such as daffodils, crocus, star of Bethlehem, and alliums, are very drought tolerant because they become dormant in the summer.  Herbs that come from arid climates, such as lavender, sage, rosemary, and thyme, are a good drought resistant’s.  Many ornamental grasses, such as pampas grass, need little supplemental water after they’ve become established.  Warm season species recommended for North Carolina are centipedegrass, zoysiagrass and Bermuda grass.  By choosing a low water use grass, fertilizing lightly, mowing high and frequently and leaving the clipping on the lawn, you can develop a lawn that will become vigorous enough to offer resistance to weeds and insects on it own.  

Consult your local Agricultural Extension Agent or local garden center for additional information on drought resistant planting.   

Information was obtained through the University of North Carolina Water Resources Research Institute web site: http://www.ncsu.edu/wrri


Water Conservation Information