Water-Wise Shrubs

“Water-wise” plants will usually thrive in their preferred soil and light conditions with minimal supplemental water after they become established — usually after two years of consistent, deep watering and fertilization. They are also sometimes referred to as “low water use” or “drought-tolerant” (although very few plants can go without any water for a long time).

The first two growing seasons after planting are the most critical to insure that your plant develops a sufficiently deep root system to withstand future drought conditions. With adequate care during this initial period, the plant should withstand minimal watering during typical dry spells.

For more detailed information, please refer to individual cultivar signs, or consult one of Swanson’s nursery professionals. Also pick up our handout, “Water-Wise Gardening Tips.” 

ABELIA Abelia spp.
STRAWBERRY BUSH Arbutus unedo
JAPANESE AUCUBA Aucuba japonica (S)
BARBERRY Berberis spp.
BOXWOOD Buxus spp. (S)
HEATHER Calluna spp. (NOT Erica spp.)
CAMELLIA Camellia spp. (S)
BLUEBEARD Caryopteris spp.
WILD LILAC Ceanothus spp.
FLOWERING QUINCE Chaenomeles speciosa
ROCKROSE Cistus spp.
SWEET PEPPERBUSH Clethra alnifolia
TARTARIAN DOGWOOD Cornus alba (S)
RED TWIG DOGWOOD Cornus sericea (S)
SMOKE TREE Cotinus coggygria
COTONEASTER Cotoneaster spp. (S)
BROOM Cytisus or Genista spp.
DEUTZIA Deutzia spp.
SILVERBERRY Elaeagnus spp. (S)
ESCALLONIA Escallonia spp.
EUONYMUS Euonymus spp. (S)
FORSYTHIA Forsythia spp.
SALAL Gaultheria shallon (S)
HALIMIOCISTUS Halimiocistus spp.
WITCH HAZEL Hamamelis spp. (S)
OCEANSPRAY Holodiscus discolor
ST. JOHN'S WORT Hypericum spp. (S)
HOLLY Ilex spp. (S)
JUNIPER Juniperus spp.
JAPANESE KERRIA Kerria japonica (S)
CRAPE MYRTLE Lagerstroemia spp.
PRIVET Ligustrum spp. (S)
OREGON GRAPE Mahonia spp. (S)
WAX MYRTLE, BAYBERRY Myrica spp.
HEAVENLY BAMBOO Nandina domestica (S)
OSMANTHUS Osmanthus spp. (S)
MOCK ORANGE Philadelphus spp. (S)
PHOTINIA Photinia fraseri
BUSH CINQUEFOIL Potentilla fruticosa
ENGLISH LAUREL Prunus laurocerasus
PORTUGAL LAUREL Prunus lusitanica
FIRETHORN Pyracantha spp.
INDIA HAWTHORN Rhaphiolepis spp.
SUMAC Rhus spp. (S)
FLOWERING CURRANT Ribes spp. (S)
RAMANAS ROSE Rosa rugosa
ROSEMARY Rosmarinus officinalis
SPIREA Spiraea spp.
SNOWBERRY Symphoricarpos spp. (S)
LILAC Syringa spp.
YEW Taxus spp.
HUCKLEBERRY Vaccinium ovatum (S)
VIBURNUM Viburnum spp. (S)
CHASTE TREE Vitex spp.
WISTERIA Wisteria spp.