Today's Topic and Podcast Episode

Learn about drought-resistance and how it differs from drought-tolerance as it relates to your landscape including examples of plants that fit each definition.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Drought-resistance vs. drought-tolerance education.
  • Examples of landscape plants for each situation.
  • Links for further resources or education.

You want to use less water in your garden, especially during these warm, summer and early fall months, and you’re conscious of possible drought conditions in your region. The problem is, many gardeners mix up the terms drought-resistance and drought-tolerance and fail to realize they mean two different things. Learn to the important difference between these two water-wise landscapes terms and how to implement each one in your own yard with specific plants and supplies.

In “Drought-Tolerance vs. Drought-Resistance” – DIY Garden Minute Ep. 105 – learn the important difference between these two terms. This episode is meant for any gardener wanting to create or learn more about drought-resistant and drought-tolerant gardening. If you’re looking for one way to start creating a more drought-resistant landscape, there are several tools, supplies, and strategies that will work together to lower the overall water use in your yard. For example, this specific water conservation tool by Orbit would be a great start for your low-water garden! It’ll help you monitor the time your water is running and therefore lessen the amount of water that is used. Plus, you can set the timer for when it goes off!  Our water timer has been a huge benefit in our yard and we couldn’t imagine life without it (yes, we’re a tad bit dramatic but we really love it)! Pick up your own today!

Next, read on to learn about drought-resistance or jump to the section you need:

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Drought-Resistant vs. Drought-Tolerant Gardening

As we continue to see changes to our climate, water is becoming a more precious resource every year. You need to continue your journey of creating a low-water landscape by understanding the difference between drought-tolerance and drought-resistance as it relates to your garden. Read on below for the differences between these two water conservation terms.


Drought-Resistance is when a plant can survive with no water for long periods of time. Certain plants, including shrubs, trees, or herbs, that have the ability to survive (and even thrive) under virtually no available water. They can sustain these absent moisture levels in their surrounding environment for long periods of time, like months at a time. There are several beautiful perennials, shrubs, grasses, and trees that can survive without water for many months at a time.

Examples of drought-resistant plants are:

  • Juniper
  • Pine Trees
  • Cactus
  • Agave
  • Yarrow
  • Rock Cress

Check out a longer list of drought-resistant plants and supplies below (with links to buy now) to help you along your journey to create a low-water landscape.


Drought-Tolerance is when a plant is able to tolerate for certain periods of time very little to low-levels of water and still thrive.

Examples of drought-tolerant plants are:

Listen to the podcast above for more information!


  • Drought-resistance is when plants can survive without water for long periods of time.
  • Plant examples are juniper, agave, or rock cress.
  • Drought-tolerance is when plants can sustain low water levels for a few weeks to a month.
  • Plants, such as lavender, yarrow, and Ice plant, are considered drought-tolerant.

Drought-Resistant Landscape Plants

By choosing plants that are less water-dependent, you can create a beautiful, thriving garden with less overall inputs needed. Keep in mind that any new plants, like perennials and shrubs, that are less than 1-2 years old will need more water to get them established. After that, they should be ready to “weather” any kind of weather (see what we did there?).

Check out our drought-resistant plant suggestions below!

Drought-Resistant Landscape Supplies

There are so many ways to alter your landscape in order to use less water as well as less of other resources. Luckily, there are also several tools, supplies, and books that can help!

For example, this water timer is a great tool for your drought-resistant or drought-tolerant landscape. By setting the timer to the length or frequency you want, you’ll save time and money. We love our Orbit water timer and we feel good knowing that we only use water as needed.

Check out these other water-saving options below and read on for our book suggestions.

Drought-Resistance Conclusion

With your new knowledge of the difference between drought-resistance and drought-tolerance, you should be primed to continue learning about how to create your low-water landscape. Adding certain plants and using various tools, like a water timer, can help you save water and money so that’s a win-win in our book!

Now we want to hear from you! What new questions do you have about creating a drought-resistant garden or landscape?

Let us know by leaving a quick comment below. Thanks!

Drought-Resistant References:

That’s all for this DIY garden minute episode! You can find other one-minute topics on our podcast page at On Instagram or Pinterest under @SpokenGarden (all one word) to follow or leave us a comment. Find us on your favorite podcast platform and Alexa through MyPod or AnyPod!

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