Drought Tolerant Plants for North Texas

drought tolerant plant

Choosing the landscaping for your home is a big decision. Landscaping is a big investment and you want to be sure you are choosing trees, shrubs, and grasses that will last and survive in your environment.

In North Texas, there are a couple of options you can go with in terms of landscaping. One recommendation we make is to choose a Desert Scape. 

Desert Scaping means choosing plants that can survive with little water and extreme heat. With temperatures as high as 110 degrees, you are going to want to choose plants that can withstand that and with our harsh summer sun, water evaporates really quickly so choosing plants that require minimal water is ideal.

Often times desert scaping plants also need much less general upkeep on behalf of the homeowner. Make sure to use native plants because they are already equipped to need less water and low maintenance requirements

Lawn Turf

Bermuda Grass

bermuda grass

This grass is Native to Texas which means it is already equipped to be able to handle the climate here. Bermuda grows best in direct sunlight so if you have a heavily shaded lawn, this may not be the best option for you.

The best thing about Bermuda is it grows fast and if there is any damage from drought stress or another issue, it recovers extremely well! Bermuda grass only requires 1-1.25 inches of water weekly in peak summer months.

Buffalo Grass

buffalo grass

This grass is actually native to Colorado but is extremely drought tolerant. Buffalo Grass does best with infrequent, deep waterings. We recommend deep watering every 10-24 days, depending on the time of year.

This can be achieved through rainfall or irrigation.  It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing grass option, but it does require very little maintenance. Similar to Bermuda grass, buffalo grass also does best in direct sunlight.

It is not shaded tolerant so if you have large trees in your lawn, I would recommend skipping this turf type.

Zoysia Grass

zoysia grass

Zoysia can be pricey but it is so worth it! It is a low-maintenance grass that does well in both shade and direct sunlight. Bermuda grows slowly, so it needs mowing less frequently but this also means it recovers from stress slower than Bermuda.

It is much denser than other turf types which makes it harder for weeds to invade. Arguably the best part of zoysia is its texture; it is like walking on carpet! Zoysia needs roughly 1 inch of water weekly in peak summer months


Glossy Abelia

glossy abelia

This beautiful shrub produces trumpet-like white flowers that is sure to amp up your curb appeal. This Mexican native plant needs little water and has a high tolerance, so it survives extremely well in North Texas.

It typically grows 3-7 feet but a mature plant can reach rights of 10 feet. This shrub grows primarily in spring and summer and would be the perfect addition to your flower beds!

Red Yucca

red yucca

This shrub is native to Texas and Northeastern Mexico. It has tall red flowering stems that reach heights around 5-10 feet.

This plant does well in Texas because it requires little water and has a high heat tolerance.

Century Plant Agave

Century Agave Plant

This giant succulent is native to Texas and Mexico. This is sometimes also referred to as American Agave and is technically a cactus and requires little water and can stand high heat.

It typically grows high at 5 to 10 feet and it’s growing season is the warmer months of spring and summer.



This is one of the shorter shrubs on this list of drought-tolerant landscaping at only 2-6 feet. This shrub produces many beautiful blooming flowers in the summer.

It’s native to Mexico and Venezuela and requires very little water and can withstand high heat.

Texas Sage

texas sage

As its name suggests, this shrub is native to Texas and Northern Mexico requiring little water with high heat tolerance. It is midrange in height at about 5 feet. It grows in spring, summer, and fall!

Ground Cover



More commonly known as Monkey grass, it may not be the prettiest ground cover, but it does produce beautiful lilac flowers in the summer. It is native to eastern Asia but it does really well here in Texas because it requires little water.

Monkey grass also can be in direct light, partial shade, or full shade and do really well. This would be an excellent choice for drought-tolerant landscaping.



This semi-woody perennial is a great choice for drought-tolerant landscaping because it is Native to Texas. It requires a little more water than some of the other options on this list but it can withstand high heat and grows in both direct, and partial shade.

It may not be the best choice in a fully shaded flower bed. Like Liriope, it grows in spring, summer, and fall.

Purple Heart

purple heart flower

This creeping ground cover grows anywhere from 12-24 inches high. It has beautiful spear-shaped leaves that range from a deep purple hue to a near-black color.

It is native to Mexico and can withstand high heat and full sun exposure. It needs very little water, but it does not do well in fully shaded areas. The best part of this plant is it grows all year long!


Crape Myrtle

crape myrtle

This tree is native to Asia but it is common to see them in North Texas landscaping because they are extremely drought tolerant and can stand the high Texas temperatures.

Crepe Myrtles definitely are on the smaller end and can range from 10 to 15 feet in height and its canopy covers a width of 8-12 feet. It requires very little water but it is often prone to insects and diseases like aphids and scale.


oak tree

Oaks of any variety do well in North Texas. There are actually many varietals that are native here, like the Texas Red Oak. These tall trees can reach heights of 30 to 50 feet with the canopy width to match. Their peak growing season is typically in the spring.


cedar tree

By far the largest trees on this list. Some varieties of cedars can reach 40 to 70 feet and the canopy can span the same. It is a great choice for drought-tolerant landscaping because it can withstand high heat and requires little water.

Get Help With Trees & Shrubs

Choosing drought-tolerant landscaping for your home is a great step in ensuring low-maintenance curb appeal. Here in North Texas, it is important to choose landscaping that can withstand our high heat and long periods with no rain.

Oftentimes, it is easy to overlook the regular care and maintenance landscaping requires to keep them happy and healthy. Trees and shrubs are just as prone, sometimes more so, to insects and fungi than lawns are.

But, unfortunately, more people regularly maintain their lawns while neglecting their landscaping. 

Landscaping is a big investment and can sometimes cost 3-4 times the amount of the lawn. Among choosing the right landscaping for your region, also look into regular pruning and treatments for it.

Gecko Green offers an amazing tree and shrub program to help protect your landscaping from all the different insects and fungi that like to make a home in your landscaping.

Our program is designed to help trees recover better and faster from whatever nature throws their way. Call us today to learn more!

Free tree & shrub care quote!