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Posted by Todd Thomasson on Jun 11, 2021 9:48:39 AM

The plants that make up your landscaping are important. You want to make wise plant choices that you can enjoy to the fullest but that will also give you the most possible value for your investment.

Choosing drought tolerant plants for your Northern Virginia home is a smart move as these plant choices will continue to look and perform well even when weather conditions are less than ideal. They’ll also help to minimize water waste on your property. These choices also happen to be low maintenance plants that won’t require a ton of extra care and attention.

The key is to make thoughtful plant selections that look great while also providing all of the benefits we mentioned. Of course, we know you probably don’t have a degree in horticulture and aren’t sure what to look for. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of some of the best drought resistant plants. These could all make a great choice for your Northern Virginia landscape.

Drought Resistant Plants in Northern Virginia

Here is a round-up of plants to consider for your home’s landscape.

1. Arborvitae

The Arborvitae is one of the most commonly thought of plants when it comes to privacy screening. Its ability to grow tall and dense makes it a great addition if you’re looking to create some seclusion. When planted close together, arborvitae can create a “wall-like” effect that provides excellent screening.

But Arborvitae also happen to be drought tolerant plants. In general, they are hardy and can stand up well to insect and weather stress, too.Arborvitae privacy fence drought resistant

2. Nandina

Nandina, or “Heavenly Bamboo,” is an evergreen or semi-evergreen broadleaf shrub that is known for its drought tolerance as well as its overall hardiness. It is characterized by clusters of bright red berries.

This shrub is tough and durable and can grow anywhere from 2 to 4 feet tall. Once Nandina is established, it will require very little care, also classifying it amongst the low maintenance plants.Nandina - Heavenly Bamboo

3. Liriope

Drought-tolerant Liriope can make an excellent ground cover thanks to its quick-spreading nature. Also known as Monkey grass, Liriope is a member of a group of flowering grasses. It’s very forgiving and can tolerate dry conditions.

Although it does produce white and purple blooms, Liriope is better known for its ribbon-like leaves which offer ongoing appeal.Drought tolerant plant Liriope

4. Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower, or “Echinacea,” is a coarse, herbaceous perennial that has smooth stems and long-lasting lavender flowers.

This drought resistant plant also happens to be an excellent pollinator. It is loved by butterflies, birds, and bees. It also happens to be naturally deer resistant which is an added bonus in our region. It’s believed that it is the spiny center of this plant that makes it unpalatable to deer.purple coneflower

5. Beautybush

This is an easy-to-grow shrub that will add appeal to your Northern Virginia landscape with its fountain-like spray for pink blooms. It can work as a specimen plant or as part of a flowering hedge.

In terms of sun preference, the Beautybush grows best in full sun or partial shade. It is overall a hardy choice and known for being drought tolerant.Beauty Bush

6. Boxwood

Boxwood is a great performer without a tremendous amount of care. It’s shade tolerant, drought resistant, and provides year-round greenery. This shrub is appreciated for its hardiness. It’s compact and often used in front yard landscape designs. It’s one of those shrubs that works well for virtually all landscape types.boxwood

7. Gracillimus

Gracillimus maiden grass, as well as many other ornamental grasses, are also great choices when it comes to drought tolerant plants. We like the Gracillimus species for its ability to grow tall while remaining relatively compact in nature. It has a beautiful fountain-like appearance as it reaches maturity.

Ornamental grasses often make great choices around a pool. They are low maintenance plants that aren’t going to require lots of tending to and they look great, too. They tend to fill in quickly so you can have an established landscape relatively fast. Plus, they can even provide some great screening for privacy.Gracillimus

8. Hosta

These plants are a perennial favorite, valued for their lush foliage and their simple care. They are generally considered a shade-tolerant plant, though there are different varieties with differing needs. Once established, they won’t need a lot of watering to perform well.Hosta drought resistant

Working with a Landscape Professional to Choose Drought-Tolerant Plants in Northern Virginia

While by no means a comprehensive list, hopefully this has given you some idea of some great drought resistant plants to choose from for your Northern Virginia landscape. We understand it can be overwhelming knowing what to plant—and what to avoid planting—and we don’t expect you to retain all that information, or to know where to find these plants.

One of the nicest things about having a landscape design professional handle your design is the fact that he or she is already going to know a lot about what drought tolerant plants will work best in your landscape.

That is, assuming you’re working with an experienced professional with extensive horticultural experience. You need a landscape pro who knows their stuff and can help advise you on what’s best for your specific property. You can’t just choose haphazardly based on what plants you like the look of and where you think they’d look nice planted. They must be installed in the right place on your property in order to perform their best.

In fact, one of the quickest ways to make low maintenance plants high maintenance is to install them in a location where they aren’t able to meet their sunlight or soil type needs.

On top of that you want a landscaping company that has an eye for design so all the plants look good together.

It’s a tall order, but with the right landscape professional, you truly can “have it all.” You’ll get the best of all worlds with a landscape design you can fully enjoy.

At Rock Water Farm, we want you to feel confident that you’re getting the most out of your investment with drought tolerant plants that not only perform well at your Northern Virginia property but look really great, too. With the right choices, you can have a beautiful landscape that continues to look its best, even when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating.

If you’d like to find the perfect drought tolerant plants for your Haymarket, Gainesville, or Bristow, VA landscape, talk to an expert, choose a solution that rocks, and then get ready to enjoy your property to the fullest.

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Image Source: Nandina, Purple Coneflower, Beauty Bush, Boxwood, Gracillimus, Hosta

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About The Author

Todd Thomasson
Todd Thomasson

Todd Thomasson, founded Rock Water Farm Landscapes & Hardscapes in 2005. Having grown up with hard working parent role models and a strong work ethic, Todd put his Landscape & Turf Management degree from Virginia Tech into action as the lead stone mason and landscape designer for the new company. Over the years, the responsibility and opportunity of running this company has been shared with other members of the Rock Water Farm team, launching one of the leading property maintenance companies in Loudoun County. Todd is still rooted in his passion for design/build projects and continues to run the company, working with clients to design, build and maintain perfect outdoor spaces with his team.