Best Drought-Tolerant Plants for Texas Yards

It’s great to have a beautiful, plant-filled yard in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but taking care of plants can be a huge burden if they aren’t suited for the climate. DFW isn’t high desert, but there are drought periods, and you want plants that can handle inconsistent Texas weather. With that in mind, these are great plants for your yard that can withstand drought and other hardships.

Texas Trees

Let’s start with the big stuff. Plenty of people like to have trees in their yard, and when you’re trying to be drought tolerant, trees are a great place to start. A hearty tree can withstand a lot of strange weather and an abnormal climate, so if you get the right trees for a yard, they’ll do great.

Arizona Cypress

A great tree for Texas is the Arizona cypress. It has minimal water requirements. You only really need to water it if there is no rain for more than 30 days. In most cases in the Dallas area, this is going to be as low maintenance as it gets. You can expect this cyprus to be green throughout the year, and with a little growth, it can provide shade and privacy.

Texas Ash

The Texas ash is native to Austin, and it does great around DFW. It grows fast, lives long, and rarely needs any intervention on your part. Like the cypress above, you only need to worry about watering when there’s no rain for a full month.

Unlike a cypress, the Texas ash is deciduous. You’ll get colorful leaves every fall, and it’s largely dormant in the winter.


If you want something a little smaller and easier to manage, you can look at shrubs and small trees that do well in Texas.

Anacacho Orchid Tree

This small tree is another Texas native. It can do pretty well even in West Texas, and around the DFW area, it won’t need water very often. If it ever goes more than three weeks without rain, you can run some water for it.

Anacacho orchids are hearty, and they’re often used to create wind barriers. They’re amazing for outlining a private garden or any part of a lawn that you want to feel secluded.

Arroyo Sweetwood

This shrub grows very fast and is practically a cactus with how well it withstands drought. It has fragrant flowers that can make your yard smell delightful, and it requires virtually no care. You might want to prune it occasionally to keep it looking great. That’s about it.


Moving on from shrubs, we can get into flowers and good flower-producing plants. Perennials can bloom throughout the year, and they live much longer than other types of flowers. That makes them lower maintenance in general, and they’re the best flowers for withstanding drought.

Birds of Paradise

These flowers have long roots that make them very hearty. They don’t need much water, and they thrive with about six hours of daily sun. They’re very popular with hummingbirds, which is certainly a nice bonus.

Coral Bean

Coral bean is another Texas native, so you know it’s well adapted for the climate. The flowers are yellow, much like daisies. Among perennials, coral beans have particularly low water needs, and they can thrive with only four hours of sun (although they’re fine with a full eight hours too).


If you really want to drought-proof your yard, succulents or cactuses are the way to go. As long as your soil can drain, these types of plants require basically no attention whatsoever.


The yucca is native to West Texas. It can hold incredible amounts of water, and it produces lovely, fragrant flowers. It’s one of the heartiest flower-producing plants you can find anywhere. When it comes to succulents that do well around Dallas and Fort Worth, this is easily a top contender.


Grass lawns are kind of the standard in these parts, so let’s look at some grass variants that aren’t quite so thirsty.

Buffalo Grass

Buffalo grass is known for being able to tolerate drought. It has very low water needs for grass. While that is great, it’s important to know that this variant does poorly with foot traffic. You can walk on it, but it might suffer from lawn parties and persistent walking. It also requires all the sunlight you can get for it, so it isn’t ideal in all yards.

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass is one of the most common types of grass in the southern half of the United States. This is because it can handle droughts just fine. It’s a common grass in the Phoenix area, so you know it’s tough. It also handles foot traffic just fine. All it really needs is a lot of sunlight. That’s a good list of plants to get you started. If you’re worried about conserving water, you can have grass and adorning plants that do just fine. If you are looking to have any of these planted around your home, contact Clearfork Lawn Care. We’ll be happy to take care of you.