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Drought-Resistant Landscaping Ideas for Houston Commercial Properties

6 Minute Read

As the cost of water continues to escalate in Houston, commercial property managers and HOA boards in Texas face the challenge of maintaining lush and thriving landscapes. With budgets already stretched thin by the demands of property upkeep, water costs, and plant replacements place an additional strain on managers’ shoulders.

Drought-tolerant landscaping can not only conserve resources but also enhance the beauty and sustainability of your property. Need some creative and practical tips to help you navigate the transition toward a more drought-resistant landscape?

With actionable insights to transform your landscape into a vibrant, eco-friendly environment that thrives in the face of Texas’ challenging climate, we’ll explore the principles and benefits of drought-tolerant landscaping in Texas.

What is Drought-Tolerant Landscaping in Texas?

Sustainable landscaping, often referred to as drought-resistant landscape design, centers around resilient plantings. Drought-resistant, or drought-tolerant, plants are those that can survive, once established, with less water than most. These plants are adapted to thrive in low-water environments, making them ideal choices for Texas landscapes. 

lilyturf drought tolerant planting

By incorporating these resilient plants into your commercial landscape design, you can significantly reduce water consumption while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing environment.

Why is Drought-Tolerant Landscape Design Beneficial?

The most significant benefit of sustainable landscaping is obviously water conservation. Drought-resistant plants in Texas help to reduce the cost of water when irrigating. Water is a precious resource, and Texas often experiences water shortages due to prolonged droughts. Unfortunately, water costs will only continue to increase in the future, and drought-tolerant landscape design can help to not only reduce your utility bills but also contribute to overall conservation efforts in your community. 

account manager and property manager inspect plants at HOA

Drought-resistant plants in Texas generally require less maintenance than traditional landscape choices because they are hardier and better suited to withstand Houston’s climate. In addition, they promote biodiversity by supporting our local wildlife. 

While the initial investment in drought-tolerant landscape design may seem costly, the long-term financial benefits are substantial. Reduced water usage, lower maintenance costs, and fewer plant replacements result in significant savings over time. Contrary to common misconceptions, drought-resistant landscaping can be just as beautiful as traditional landscape design. With a wide variety of colors, textures, and forms, these plants can create stunning, diverse landscapes that enhance your property value and curb appeal.

Drought Resistant Landscaping Ideas

For drought-tolerant landscape design to be effective, your landscape requires a variety of landscaping techniques to ensure success. Try incorporating each of these drought resistant landscaping ideas:

1. Proper Soil Preparation and Mulch Installation

Before planting begins, it is wise to address the soil at your commercial property or HOA. Enhancing soil quality through the addition of organic matter can improve water retention and root development, making plants more resilient to drought conditions. Sandy soils drain too quickly to sustain even drought-resistant plant choices. 

landscaping installation crew installs mulch into planting bed

In addition to amending soil, applying mulch around plants helps to retain soil moisture, reduce weed growth, and moderate soil temperatures. Organic mulches decay over time, enriching the soil with nutrients to help feed your plantings.

2. Effective Irrigation

Installing smart irrigation systems that adjust watering schedules based on weather conditions and soil moisture levels can greatly improve water efficiency. Drip irrigation may be appropriate for drought resistant plants in Texas as it delivers water directly to the plant roots with minimal waste.

irrigation team installs drip irrigation to tree

3. Proper Plant Selection

Choosing the right plants when implementing drought-resistant landscaping in Texas is crucial. Native plants are inherently more adapted to local climate conditions and require less water. There are many plant options that will thrive in the Houston area including:

flowers and shrubs planted in raised bed


  • Lantana
  • Salvia leucantha
  • Salvia greggii
  • Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’
  • Turk’s Cap
  • Muhly Grass
  • Rudbeckia
  • Salvia
  • Coneflower
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Buddleia
  • Agapanthus
  • Bat Faced Cuphea
  • Coreopsis
  • Daylily
  • Iris
  • Plumbago


  • Sunshine Ligustrum
  • Abelia
  • Texas Sage
  • Most varieties of Hollies
  • Drift Roses


  • Crape Myrtle
  • Red Bud
  • Red Oaks
  • Loblolly Pines
  • Bald Cypress
  • Vitex

Regardless of which plantings you select, it is important to group plants with the same water requirements in the same area. Consider each plant selection’s sun requirements before installation as well. Shade-loving plants must be planted in an area that will provide much-needed shade for example. 

plantings and mulch in landscape bed at shopping center

In addition, when planting new trees in your landscape, plan for their growth. In 10-20 years, new trees may have grown to a size where they create unwanted shade areas. If this occurs, you may need to replant formerly unshaded areas that had sun-loving plant materials with new shade-loving plants. Neglecting to plan for plant growth can result in an unplanned expense to renovate these areas.  

4. Incorporating Rock Gardens and Hardscaping

Adding rock gardens and hardscaping into your landscape is another effective way to promote drought-tolerant landscaping in Texas and reduce water usage. 

rocks garden near pond

Rock gardens are an excellent way to create a visually appealing and low-maintenance landscaping feature. By using a variety of rocks, gravel, and drought-resistant plants, you can design a garden that requires minimal water and upkeep. Be sure to confirm all plantings have similar water requirements and select contrasting plants such as flowering perennials against a green ground cover. For example, Drift Roses can look great paired with Agapanthus.

hardscaping patio at shopping center near green grass

Incorporating other hardscaping elements like patios, walkways, retaining walls, or dry creek beds can reduce the amount of lawn and garden space that requires watering. These materials require little to no maintenance and can be used to create functional spaces, redirect rainwater runoff, and help reduce the need for irrigation.

5. Creative Succulent Displays

Succulents are among the most drought-resistant plants in Texas, making them an ideal choice for sustainable landscapes. These plants store water in their leaves, stems, or roots, allowing them to survive long periods with minimal water. Along with their low water requirements, they require minimal maintenance, offer versatile design options, can help control soil erosion, and enhance the visual appeal of your landscape. These are some of our favorite varieties:

  • Agave
  • Cacti
  • Yucca
  • Sedum (many varieties)
  • Senecio
  • Hens and Chicks
  • Aloe Vera (which offers beneficial medicinal properties too)

red yucca planting at HOA

Hiring Commercial Landscaping in Houston, TX

As the pressures of increasing water costs and the need for sustainable practices continue to shape landscaping decisions for commercial properties in Houston, property managers, and HOA boards face a critical challenge. The transition to drought-tolerant landscaping isn’t just about saving water and reducing maintenance–it’s about transforming landscapes into resilient, cost-effective assets.

To achieve this vision, partnering with a knowledgeable commercial landscaping team is paramount. At Monarch Landscape Management, we specialize in crafting and maintaining drought-tolerant landscape designs that thrive in Houston’s demanding climate. 

By collaborating with our team of experts, you can navigate the complexities of drought-resistant landscaping with confidence. We ensure your landscape not only meets aesthetic standards but also exceeds sustainability goals.

Ready to transform your landscape into a model of drought resilience and beauty? Contact us today by filling out our contact form, and we can explore how to design a landscape that provides long-term savings and enduring appeal. 

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Written By: Monarch Landscape Management

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