10 Tips for Drought Tolerant Gardening


Do you live in an area that has been affected by drought?  

You may be surprised at the answer.  Periods of drought aren’t uncommon for those of us who live in the Western United States, but more recently drought has expanded to some other areas that may surprise you.

10 Tips for Drought Tolerant Gardening

Drought tolerant gardening is rapidly becoming a very popular way to garden.  Contrary to what some people may think, drought tolerant gardens are low-maintenance, easy to care for, use far less resources and can be beautiful.

Agave, mesquite and salvias

Photo: Agave, mesquite and salvias.

Drought tolerant gardens are a great choice for any landscape because they are much more self-sufficient and sustainable than other landscapes. Even if drought has not affected your area, that doesn’t mean that it won’t in the future.   

drought tolerant gardening

*This week, I will be doing a series of radio interviews about drought tolerant gardening for radio stations in Oregon, Texas and Alabama. 

I must admit to being a little nervous since I have not done a radio interview before and I have four to do this week.  I think that it should be easier than being on TV since I don’t have to worry about what I’m wearing or if my hair is messed up 😉

Agave, saguaro, wildflowers and yucca

Photo: Agave, saguaro, wildflowers and yucca.

No matter if you live in California where many areas are experiencing exceptional drought, the Southwest or wherever you live, the principles of drought tolerant gardening are the same.

Landscape filled with drought tolerant plants and limited amount of grass.

Photo: Landscape filled with drought tolerant plants and limited amount of grass.

I recently shared 10 tips for drought tolerant gardens in an article for Birds & Blooms where I serve as the garden blogger, which you can read here.

Whether you implement 1 or all of the 10 tips, you will be increasing the sustainability of your landscape.

drought tolerant gardening

I encourage you to take a little time to read the 10 tips and then come back later this week, when I will share with some of my favorite drought tolerant plants.

Wish me luck on my first radio interview tomorrow.  I’ll let you know how it goes…    


For more information on drought tolerant gardening, click here.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
4 replies
  1. Aaron Dalton
    Aaron Dalton says:

    I read your 10 steps, Noelle. They all sound reasonable.

    I will say that one challenge in the Southeast (vs the Desert SW) is that our plants need to be able to tolerate summer droughts while living in heavy clay that bakes like concrete in summer and yet can get sodden and muddy with winter rains.

    So a lot of the "drought tolerant" desert plants that need good drainage to avoid root rot won't cut it here — at least not in unamended soil.

    Just something to consider in advance of your Alabama radio interview! 🙂

  2. biobabbler
    biobabbler says:

    Have been thinking about landscaping re: our home (5 acres in the sticks) and 1st thought, hm, maybe a SUPER DROUGHT year isn't the best time to have started thinking about this. Then I realized that it is probably the BEST time to be thinking about this. We're deep in the darkest brown in central Calif., and we've got our own well (that we depend upon for drinking water, etc.), so it's no joke.

    THANK you for the list & best of luck on your interviews. Remember: YOU are the expert in that room. =)

  3. Diana Studer
    Diana Studer says:

    hope all goes well with your interviews – as I'm sure it will. I value your advice!

    Planning carefully for third time lucky in our next garden. Still in a mediterranean climate, but closer to the sea, and not so hot in summer.

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