Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 114: Drought-Tolerant Woodies

Video by Danielle Sherry and Carol Collins. Edited by Kara Demos.

According to NASA Earth Observatory, one-third of the United States experienced some level of drought in 2020, and 2021 was much the same. This pattern of extended dry weather is sadly becoming more and more of the norm. We recently did a feature in Fine Gardening magazine highlighting a series of drought-tolerant woody plants from around the country in our regional pages, and that got Carol and Danielle thinking about which trees and shrubs are their favorite water-wise selections. Listen to today’s episode for ideas on these backbone plants that won’t require much, if any, intervention from the hose.

Special guest: Amy Galloway is a horticulturist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.

Carol’s Plants

‘Blue Star’ juniper
‘Blue Star’ juniper

‘Blue Star’ juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’, Zones 4–8)

New Jersey tea, photo: Courtesy of Dan Keck, via Wikimedia Commons
New Jersey tea. Photo: courtesy of Dan Keck, via Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus, Zones 4–8)

Sassafras, spring flower
Sassafras, spring flower

Sassafras, autumn foliage
Sassafras, autumn foliage

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum, Zones 4–9)

PeeGee hydrangea
Peegee hydrangea

Peegee hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’, Zones 3–8)

Patrick’s blog post about the peegee hydrangea: Patrick’s Barn: The Hydrangea is on Life Support


Danielle’s Plants

‘Sprite’ sea buckthorn
‘Sprite’ sea buckthorn

‘Sprite’ sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides ‘Sprite’, Zones 3–7)

'Magicien' deutzia
‘Magicien’ deutzia

‘Magicien’ deutzia (Deutzia × hybrida ‘Magicien’, Zones 5–8)

‘White Surprise’ bluebeard
‘White Surprise’ bluebeard

‘White Surprise’ bluebeard (Caryopteris × clandonensis ‘White Surprise’, Zones 5–9)

‘Golden Spring’ winter hazel
‘Golden Spring’ winter hazel

‘Golden Spring’ winter hazel (Corylopsis spicata ‘Golden Spring’, Zones 6–9)


Expert’s Plants

Flame acanthus (credit: Bill Johnson)
Flame acanthus. Photo: Bill Johnson

Flame acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii, Zones 7–10)

Texas kidneywood (credit: millettephotomedia.com)
Texas kidneywood. Photo: millettephotomedia.com

Texas kidneywood (Eysenhardtia texana, Zones 8–11)

Evergreen sumac (credit: millettephotomedia.com)
Evergreen sumac. Photo: millettephotomedia.com

Evergreen sumac (Rhus virens, Zones 8–11)

Skeleton-leaf goldeneye (credit: Amy Galloway)
Skeleton-leaf goldeneye. Photo: Amy Galloway

Skeleton-leaf goldeneye (Viguiera stenoloba, Zones 6–10)

View Comments


Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest