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Drought Tolerant Shrubs for High Desert Gardening

Drought Tolerant Shrubs

Mirror Plant, Coprosma

Coprosma - Mirror Plant

Mirror Plant, Coprosma










There are different variations of Coprosma. Copper Shine, Evening Glow, Kirkii, and Pink Splendor are some of the different ones. The one in the photo shown above is called Tricolor Mirror Plant, one I’m going to plant this month. It makes a beautiful shrub and can be planted in sun or partial shade. When researching Coprosma, I read that it is tolerant in cold and drought (once established). However, Jeff Wortham says otherwise in his video on Coprosma. His experience is that the hedge needs some water.

Oleander shrubs grow well in the High Desert. I have friends who would never plant them, expressing how poisonous the oleanders are. Other friends love them, grew up around them, and have no problem planting them in their yards. Linda Marie at Linda Marie’s Enchanted Treasures has them at her shop. She said she grew up around oleanders. Like James Nicholas from says, so what! So are Daffodils, English ivy, azaleas and others.
Nandina, or Heavenly Bamboo

Nandina is considered drought tolerant and requires low to moderate water. It makes a good screen plant and grows well in sun or shade. I haven’t planted Heavenly Bamboo, but I have a friend who has had great success with the evergreen shrubs. They change colors through the spring, summer, and fall. It’s most gorgeous during fall with deep red foliage.
Italian Cypress

The Italian Cypress is a thin, tall shrub often used in the High Desert as border screens. It requires only low to moderate water and is drought tolerant and can be planted in full sun or part shade.

Look in your local nursery for other good drought tolerant shrubs and plants to grow in your high desert garden. Ask the nursery how much you should water the shrubs at first. I’ve planted drought tolerant plants before that didn’t make it past the “once established” stage.

What drought tolerant shrubs have you planted with success? Share your gardening expertise in the available comment section.

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