Trees That Don’t Need Much Water

Australia can be a dry, arid place. There are places across the country that regularly go without rain for long periods of time, while also experiencing imposed water restrictions. In some cases, this can lead to brown grass and dying plants. 

Trees can make fantastic additions to gardens. Not only do they offer shade on hot summer days, but they can also make good homes for native animals, and help prevent soil erosion. 

In this article, we take a look at some trees that survive and thrive on very little water, making them perfectly suited for places in Australia that experience drought and water restrictions

Illawarra Flame Tree


The Illawarra flame tree is a plant that turns heads when in bloom. So notoriously Australian, it has a Cold Chisel song bearing its name, this native produces bright red flowers during the spring and summer months, giving it its iconic name. The Illawarra flame tree is drought tolerant once it is established, meaning it can handle the long periods without water that some places across Australia experience. The flame tree loses all of its leaves in winter before its red flowers begin blooming in spring (while the tree is completely leafless). If you choose to plant this unique tree, make sure it’s in an area with enough space, as Illawarra flame trees can grow up to 40 metres tall! 

Crepe Myrtle


These beautiful trees come in a variety of shapes and sizes (from one metre up to 9 metres), meaning you will probably be able to find one suitable to fit the garden spot you are looking to fill. Crepe myrtles also come in a wide range of colours, including white, pinks, purples and reds. The flowers each last weeks at a time and the plant generally flower from January to March. Once established, these trees have a good drought tolerance. They can also handle a bit of frost (although care should be taken when choosing a spot for them in areas that experience hard frosts), and humid conditions. 

Olive Tree


Being native to the Mediterranean region, olive trees are well-suited for warm climates. These trees can grow up to 7 metres tall, can survive drought conditions (once established), and grow in poor soil. If you wish to have these plants produce fruit, it’s best to plant them in more fertile soil. Getting an olive tree to produce fruit in a subtropical Australian climate such as southeast Queensland can be a bit of a challenge, but a deliciously rewarding one if you’re up to the task! Olive trees like to be planted in full sun positions with a bit of shelter and can look lovely either planted directly in the ground, or in a pot. 

Drought is something that can be pretty common within Australia, and as such, many of us are all-too-familiar with the conditions and restrictions that come along with it. By choosing to plant trees that are more tolerant of drought conditions, we can take active steps to conserve precious water, while still maintaining a gorgeous garden. 

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