Native & Drought Resistant Plants

Native or Drought-Resistant Plants around Charlottesville

Check out this list of drought tolerant and species native to the mid-Atlantic region (PDF)

Virginia is considered a transition zone for plants. Species from both the northern and southern areas of the country can thrive here. Just be careful not to pick an invasive! Charlottesville is in the USDA Zone 7

Naturally Thriving Plants

Turf grass has difficulty in Virginia because of the state’s transition status. Too cool for warm season grasses and too warm for the cool season varieties, it’s all the more reason to forego the high water and maintenance requirements of turf in your yard. Shape your landscape around plants that thrive here naturally.

Native and drought tolerant species are wonderful, low maintenance plants. However, they do need some tender loving care when first planted. For the first two years, expect to keep your plants watered in order to get them properly established. After that, these hardy beauties should thrive on whatever nature provides.

Jackson Park

Jackson Park is a wonderful showcase for dwarf boxwoods. Numerous varieties have been planted around the central statue. Once established, boxwoods are extremely drought tolerant. They’ll be going strong when everything else is feeling the heat. Dwarf varieties, as the name implies, will not grow to large heights or need much pruning.

Drought Tolerant Plants

Aside from the fact that it’s the one looking great during a dry spell? Here are some characteristics common to low water use plants, though these are by no means universal:

  • Grayish, fuzzy, or finely divided foliage
  • Low-growing, hugs the ground
  • Scented/producing aromatic oils (herbs are drought tolerant!)

The County of Albemarle has created a searchable database on local native plants! This is a great tool to find plants that are not only water wise, but can fit the other qualities you need for your perfect landscape.

Some great native plants are highlighted on the website for the Virginia Native Plant Society and in their brochure: Virginia Plants to Embrace (PDF).

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay provides a number of free publications on creating a water conserving yard.