If you live in USDA plant hardiness zone 7 and are seeking shrubs with drought tolerance, you are in luck. You will find more than a few drought tolerant shrubs for zone 7 available in commerce. For suggestions for zone 7 drought tolerant bushes for your garden or backyard, read on.
Shrubs for Dry Climates
Weather seems less predictable every day and it’s impossible for anyone to say with certainty whether next year will bring rain or drought to zone 7 regions. If your area has suffered from droughts in the past, it makes sense to fill your garden with shrubs for dry climates. However, don’t forget that you’ll need to pick shrubs with drought tolerance that will thrive in the conditions your garden provides. Consider whether the planting sites are in sun or shade, are exposed to or protected from wind, and the type of soil available. Also remember that drought tolerant shrubs for zone 7 develop the ability to withstand drought over time as they establish. Newly transplanted shrubs are not immediately drought tolerant and will need irrigation for at least the first growing season.
Zone 7 Drought Tolerant Bushes
In zone 7, the lowest winter temperatures average between 0 and 10 degrees F. (-18 to -12 C.). Many evergreen shrubs with drought tolerance thrive in these growing conditions, including evergreen flowering shrubs like rosemary and sage. If you want zone 7 drought tolerant bushes that are evergreen, consider glossy abelia, with its shiny green leaves and frothy flowers. It grows to 6 feet (2 m.) tall. Alternatively, boxwood is an excellent, dense shrub for edging and borders. Most types of junipers also do well in this zone and handle drought with ease. For taller evergreen shrubs for dry climates, take a look at Aucuba japonica. You’ll get bright berries on female aucubas if a male is planted in the vicinity. Aucubas prefer shade and rise to 10 feet (3 m.) tall. Bottlebrushes are also zone 7 drought tolerant bushes that grow to 10 feet (3 m.) tall. The shrubs need a sunny location to produce the red flowers that look a little like brushes used to clean bottles. Deciduous shrubs are those that lose their plants in the fall. One of the most popular drought tolerant shrubs for zone 7 is the butterfly bush. Its vivid panicles of flowers really do bring butterflies to your yard. Another of the best deciduous shrubs for dry climates is beautyberry, a perennial shrub that grows to 6 feet (2 m.) tall. The bush offers bright spring flowers followed by fall berries. This shrub is also pest and disease resistant. For fragrance, go with lilac bushes. They can grow quite large and require a minimum of six hours a day of sunlight.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.