10 plants for arid climates

Plants for arid climates are drought resistant

Image – Flickr/Brisbane City Council

Plants have managed to adapt to a wide variety of environments, and although we find more variety of species in tropical forests than in arid regions, the truth is that if we live in a place where it rains little, we will have to opt for the latter if we want to enjoy a garden or a terrace that requires little maintenance.

And it is that the plants of arid or semi-arid climates will be those that give us the most joy, since they need much less water than the others; so it is very interesting to get some and decorate them. Discover the ones we recommend.


Characteristics of arid and semi-arid climate

It is important to first know the characteristics of the hot arid and semi-arid climate, because in this way we can make better decisions when choosing certain plants or others. So let’s go :

  • Dry weather: The average annual temperature is 18 ºC, with maximums that can exceed 50 ºC, and minimums of -30 ºC or even lower in the cold deserts. As for the rains, they do not exceed 300mm, and they are irregular. In the driest deserts, they do not exceed 2 mm.
  • Semi-arid climate: it is a type of climate a little more humid and a little less hot. The average annual temperature is between 14 and 17 ºC, depending on the area; and rainfall varies between 300 and 700 mm. These are a little more regular, often seasonal, as happens in the Mediterranean region in mid/late summer. In addition, there may be significant frosts, or they may be very weak.

What are the best plants for arid and semi-arid climates?

Now that we have an idea of ​​what the arid and semi-arid climate looks like, it’s time to find out which plants can live in these conditions, like the ones we recommend below:

Agave victoriae-reginae

Agave victoriae reginae is a hardy plant

Image – Wikimedia/MrPanyGoff

the Agave victoriae-reginae It is a type of succulent with fleshy leaves, dark green in color and with some white lines on its surface. It has a black spine at the ends, which measures less than 0.5 centimeters. Once ripe, measures up to 35 centimeters high by about 40 centimeters wide. The only downside is that after flowering it dies, but before that it will have produced suckers and many seeds. It supports occasional frosts down to -8ºC.

aloe vera

Aloe vera is drought resistant

the aloe vera It is a non-cactus succulent that reaches a height of 40 centimeters. It has fleshy green leaves, often with white spots when young. It blooms in spring, producing yellow tubular flowers.. It resists very well to cold, as well as to occasional frosts down to -2°C.

Brachychiton rupestris

Brachychiton rupestris is a tree

Image – Flickr/Louisa Billeter

Known as the Queensland bottle tree, it is a semi-evergreen tree; that is to say, there is a lack of leaves at a certain time of the year, reaches a height of about 20 meters. From an early age, it has a thick trunk, which over the years acquires the shape of a bottle, reaching about 50 centimeters in thickness. Depending on the climate, it drops some of its leaves in winter or, if tropical, in the dry season. It supports weak and punctual frosts down to -3ºC.

Dimorphotheca ecklonis

Dimorphotheca is a perennial herbaceous plant

Dimorfoteca is a perennial herbaceous plant that reaches a height of up to 40 centimeters and a width of up to 2 meters. It is a plant that can be used as a ground cover, although it must be taken into account that it is not resistant to trampling. Blooms in spring and summer. Its flowers resemble those of daisies, and are lilac, white, orange, red, pink. It resists down to -4ºC.

Lavandula angustifolia

Lavender is a perennial herbaceous plant

Image – Wikimedia/Maja Dumat

There are many types of lavender, and all are drought-tolerant plants. However, we recommend L. angustifolia because it is native to the peninsular Mediterranean coast and the Balearic Islands, which is why we speak of a “very ours” species capable of withstanding temperatures of up to 40ºC and lack water very well. It grows up to one meter in height for about the same width. AND blooms in spring, producing lilac flowers. In addition, it is frost resistant down to -12ºC.

Melia Azedarach

The Melia Azedarach It is a beautiful deciduous tree very interesting for gardens where the climate is semi-arid. It grows very quickly, reaching 15 meters in height in a few years. It develops a wide canopy, in the shape of a parasol or umbrella, populated by odd-pinnate green leaves that turn yellow in the fall. It blooms in spring, producing small lilac flowers.. Frost resistant down to -15°C.

Olea europaea

Olea europaea, known as the olive tree

Image – Wikimedia/David Brühlmeier

The olive tree is an evergreen tree that reaches a height of 15 meters. Its trunk tends to thicken a little over time, reaching a diameter of 1 meter, sometimes a little more. Its leaves are dark green on the upper side and lighter on the lower side. It flowers in the spring and its fruits, the olives, ripen in the summer. It is frost resistant down to -4°C.

Microdasys Opuntia

Opuntia microdasys is a hardy cactus

Image – Flickr/Drew Avery

The Microdasys Opuntia it is a cactus that branches out a lot since it is young, and can reach a meter in height. The segments are green, and from their areoles grow a large number of very thin spines that look like short yellow or brown hairs. Its flowers are yellow and measure 4 centimeters in diameter.. It resists occasional and short frosts down to -4°C, but only if the soil is dry.

phoenix dactylifera

The date palm resists drought

Image – Wikimedia/Emőke Dénes

The date palm is a plant that can develop one or more trunks up to 30 meters high. Its leaves are pinnate, blue-green and spiny. Its flowers are clustered, erect inflorescences, and they are yellow. It produces edible fruits, the so-called dates, which ripen in summer. It resists down to -4ºC.

tamarix gallica

Tamarix gallica, in the garden

Taray // Image – Flickr/Andreas Rockstein

Known as taray or taraje, it is a small deciduous tree that reaches a height of 6 meters. It has an irregular crown, with somewhat weeping branches, which gives it a very interesting appearance. Its leaves are small, in fact they look like scales so they can go unnoticed. Blooms in spring and summer, producing a large number of pink flowers. It resists down to -12ºC.

Which of these plants for arid climates did you like the most?

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