Best Plants for a Drought Resistant Garden

Backyard garden plants help to define spaces and provide shade, screening and privacy. Above all, they make our gardens look beautiful. Selecting plants for your garden isn’t just about the ones you like the look of, however, as they should also be durable and right for your climate. If, like most Australians, you’re looking to build a garden that has low water requirements, you’ll have to choose plants that also have low water needs, or drought-resistant plants. Whether you have just built a kit home, or you’re simply landscaping your existing yard, the following plants are ones you should consider if you live in a dry climate.

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)

This is a highly attractive deciduous tree that grows to eight metres and features peeling bark and colourful foliage. You can get them with white, pink, or crimson flowers, which is perfect for coordinating with your custom home. There are a few different varieties you can choose from as well, but they all require some annual pruning to manage their height and flowers.

Swamp Mallet (Eucalyptus spathulata)

This small evergreen tree originates from the south-west of Western Australia and will tolerate even the toughest garden site. It’s extremely fast growing and adds amazing texture to any garden with its round shape and flaky-orange bark. These trees are a lot of fun for children to climb, and are filled with beautiful buds, flowers and fruits.

Willow Bottlebrush (Callistemon salignus)

This large Callistemon grows to about seven metres in height, producing gorgeous creamy-yellow bottlebrush flowers in late winter and bright pink new growth in the spring. If you have waterlogged and compacted soils, this tree will be perfect for your garden.

Escallonia (Escallonia Rubra)

If you’re looking for an excellent drought-resistant hedge plant, the escallonia is for you. It is a dense flowering shrub that grows to about three metres in height and produces dark pink to red flowers over the summer. Its density makes it a fantastic screening plant, and it only requires light pruning after flowering to maintain its form blooming abilities.

Gold Dust Wattle (Acacia acinacea)

This highly durable shrub is a native of south-eastern Australia and can grow up to two metres in height. It produces masses of globular, yellow flowers throughout winter and spring, and only requires light pruning if you want it to be more dense.

Sage-leaf Rock Rose (Cistus salviifolius)

If you have good drainage and full sun, then the sage-leaf rock rose will grow well for you no matter what soil type you have in your garden. It is a small shrub that only grows about one metre high with a one metre spread, but has dense grey-green leaves and produces masses of white-pink flowers during the spring.

Weeping Grass (Microlaena stipoides)

Lawn grass often uses up the most amount of water, making many homeowners wonder if having a lawn is even worth it. By using a native Australian grass, such as weeping grass, it can be! This tufting, fine-bladed grass grows into a very soft, compact lawn but does require some work to get it established. This grass does well when it’s left to grow a bit taller (25-30 mm), and weed control is very important. Otherwise, this grass is very drought-tolerant and will even thrive in the shade.