The Best Drought & Flood Tolerant Plants


The effects of climate change are worsening each day. Droughts and floods are getting more common and that means regular trees on your property will have a hard time surviving this change. You can search for “tree service near me” and hire pros to get your tree looked at. For now, let’s check out the most drought and flood-tolerant plants that can survive extreme conditions.

The Details

  1. River birch – The name suggests that this plant naturally grows near riverbanks. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be planted on swampy parts of your property. You can use the river birch as a regular landscape tree and plant it anywhere throughout the US. It has a high tolerance to flooding and can also resist minor drought conditions.

The tree also grows very quickly while spreading its branches in all directions and isn’t as susceptible to birch borer compared to other birch species. The popularity of this tee is on the rise, and it’s rated for hardiness zones 4 to 9. It is the perfect urban tree that can be planted on your property.

  1. Hummingbird sage – The Hummingbird sage is a native to the state of California and since it belongs to the sage family, it is lush and fragrant, and a great addition to your garden. The plant blooms with magenta flowers that have a vertical bloom and create a mesmerizing, sweet scent. The plant is also highly drought resistant and isn’t light hungry either. It can grow even under the shade of an oak tree.
  1. Weeping willow – Everyone’s familiar with the weeping willow. It’s a giant tree that can be easily identified by its open crown that features wispy sweeping branches that reach the ground. The leaves also mimic the overall structure of the tree and have a slender shape. The tree can also act as an indicator for the Spring season since its twigs turn yellow and leaves turn green.

The best thing about this tree is that it’s easy to grow and can establish itself on your property in no time. However, make sure that you have a large yard to contain the tree since it can grow as high as 40 inches and reach the same width. It’s best to plant this tree near a pond or some other body of water on your property. Floods can do nothing to this tree, and it’s rated for US hardiness zones 6 to 8.

  1. Rosemary – Most people grow rosemary as a herb plant and don’t allow it to grow large enough. It’s understandable since the herb adds a lot of flavor and aroma to your food. However, if you can allow the Rosemary plant to grow into a bush, it can reach up to 4 feet in height and become a stunning attraction to your garden.

The branches extend upwards in an arch with leaves spread around to evenly grow around them. This creates a stunning sight. While the plant is drought tolerant, it requires full sun and should be planted in areas where the temperature ranges from 55  to 80 degrees. The plant thrives in dry conditions since excessive humidity can expose it to fungal and rot issues.

  1. Red maple – Whoever named the trees did a stunning job with the red maple. The tree changes some components of itself to a shade of red with the change of seasons. For instance, during summer it has red leafstalks, red flowers in spring, and red buds in the winter. However, the tree looks absolutely stunning in the fall season when all the foliage turns into a brilliant red hue.

Apart from its pretty looks, its fast growth is one of the reasons for the tree’s wide adoption and appearance in the suburban yard. It is flood tolerant and can also handle different types of soil conditions. It is rated for US hardiness zones 3 to 9 and that’s why the tree is planted across the country despite being native to the Great Plains.

  1. Eastern red cedar – If you live along the dry eastern coast of the country, the eastern red cedar is the perfect drought-tolerant plant for you. The plant is native to the US and its lush evergreen foliage makes it handle all kinds of extreme conditions. The tree also looks very beautiful with its dark blue needle leaves and pyramidal shape. You can plant one of them in your yard or create a privacy screen with a bunch of them along the fence line.

This tree is one of the hardiest drought-tolerant plants you can find. It can even be planted on nutrient-deficient and salty soil and can resist deer. If you plant it along the East Coast, it can also attract a lot of native species of wild bees, butterflies, and songbirds. It is rated for US hardiness zones 2 to 9 and prefers full sun.

  1. American sweetgum – The American sweetgum has a pyramidal shape and becomes rounder with age. The tree can easily tolerate moderate levels of floods and has evolved to prefer loamy, acidic, and well-drained soil. The tree has unique star-shaped leaves that are glossy and stay green for the most part of the year. During the fall season, the foliage is vibrant with different shades of red, yellow, orange, and purple.

Before you plant this tree, make sure that there is more than enough room for root development. Get your yard inspected for utility lines that are running beneath the ground and make sure that the expansive root of the tree won’t reach them later on. When mature, the tree can grow as tall as 40 feet.


The above-mentioned plants are extremely resistant to floods and droughts and if you’re planning for new plants on your property, you may consider them. You may also check out native species that are tolerant of floods and droughts. Either way, you can search for “tree service near me” and hire pros to get your trees fixed if something goes wrong.

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