drought friendly edible plants grapes

Top 10 Drought Friendly Edible Landscaping Ideas in the Garden

Here are some drought friendly and edible landscaping plant ideas for the garden for homeowners who want:

  • beautiful landscaping
  • low-water, drought tolerant, or water-wise plants
  • forage in their very own garden of eatin’

Passionfruit – Edible and Drought Friendly Vining Plant

Passion Fruit is rich in vitamin C with amazing and exotic looking flowers. Once established Passionfruit is quite drought tolerant.

It is also evergreen and popular as a privacy screen for both residential and commercial use. This plant needs support such as a trellis or a fence.

The passion fruit vine is perfect for those who want a fast growing edible living fence idea in their homes.

By providing an excellent privacy screen when grown with support i.e. from metal fence, a Passion Fruit living fence is budget friendly compared to the cost of a new fence.

Pomegranate – Edible and Drought Friendly Landscaping Idea

Pomegranate is a bush that can be trained as a tree. The fruits are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Thiamin, and antioxidants.

Pomegranate is an excellent choice for edible landscaping and requires low water once established.

They are also drought tolerant once established and are fast growers in the garden.

As an edible landscaping bush/ tree, they add beauty in the garden with the red fruits that look like hanging lanterns.

As an edible landscaping idea, try planting a red flowering sage underneath the pomegranate for repetition of the vibrant red color.

Fig – Edible and Drought Friendly Tree

Figs are an excellent edible landscaping idea that requires little watering. They are rich in minerals and quite tasty to eat in the garden fresh.

The roots of the fig can be invasive so homeowners should plant the tree away from your home. Fig tree can be grown in containers for small back yards.

A note about drought friendly and edible deciduous trees: use evergreen edible plants if your goal is to block an unsightly view or want privacy from your neighbors,

Golden Dorset Apple – Drought Tolerant Fruit Tree

A deciduous fruit tree that is drought tolerant in the garden. The Golden Dorset Apple is is an excellent self-pollinating variety that ripens mid-June to early July with 250 chill hours required. This is a nice apple tree variety for mild climate areas.

Depending on chill requirements in your location, you may also want to check out the adaptable Pink Lady Apple as an edible landscaping plant.

Drought Friendly Culinary Herbs

Lavender – An excellent drought friendly herb to plan in the garden – the flowers are edible and used for aromatherapy in the home including personal care products.

If you want to landscape your home with low water usage perennial plants that are edible and have medicinal uses, plant the following herbs in your garden.

  • Lavender – Perennial, Drought friendly herb, fragrant and edible flowers, excellent for the mediterranean style garden combined with olive or citrus trees, culinary use. Lavender bunches can also add fragrance and beauty inside your home.
  • Rosemary – Perennial, Drought friendly herb, fragrant, excellent for the mediterranean style garden, culinary use, may have flower blooms in the winter (like Calendulas) which pretty up the garden even when it’s cold and rainy.
  • Thyme – Perennial, Drought tolerant herb, fragrant, excellent for the mediterranean style garden, culinary use, they are great for teas and popularly used medicinally for sore throats. They are also excellent edible plant ideas for replacing the traditional lawn.
  • Oregano – Perennial, Drought friendly herb, fragrant, excellent for the mediterranean style garden, culinary use, they are great for Italian dishes like pizza and pasta! There are low growing oregano that is an excellent plant idea for an edible groundcover in your landscape.
  • Sage – Perennial, Drought friendly herb, fragrant, excellent for the mediterranean style garden, beautiful flowers. Sage pairs well with pork in culinary use.

Not only are these herbs water-wise plants, they also have pleasing aromas, pretty flowers, and attract pollinators in the garden.

Olive Tree – Edible and Drought Tolerant Specimen Tree in the Landscape

Olive trees are drought tolerant, evergreen, and can live for thousands of years. They are commonly used in Mediterranean style – edible gardens.

A young olive tree planted in a small farm in Southern California

The fruits are not edible nor tasty until they are properly cured. If you have plenty of fruit, you can have them pressed for oil and have your very own olive oil from homegrown trees.

If you want to avoid litter in the garden, there are varieties of olive trees that are non-fruiting or even low growing. The leaves of Olive are also used medicinally.

Specimen olive trees can be slow growing depending on the variety but they have such a nice presence in the garden with their silver- green foliage.

For edible landscaping idea, plant an olive tree with other Mediterranean edible plants like rosemary and lavender.

Loquat Tree – Drought Friendly and Edible Tree

Loquat trees can be fast growing and an excellent choice for a drought-tolerant tree that produce edible fruits in the garden.

Aloe Vera – Drought Friendly and Edible Succulent

There are so many types of Aloes in the succulents plants family. However, Aloe Vera is the edible variety that has great medicinal uses.

This edible variety is commonly used for sunburns, etc. They are also used as ingredient for nutritional supplements and personal care products.

As an edible landscaping idea, mature Aloe Vera plants provides beautiful yellow blooms that attract hummingbirds in the garden.

Grapes – Drought Friendly and Edible Vines

Here’s our very own early harvest of red flame grapes in June. Pomegranate and grape vines pictured in the background.

Grapes have deep roots and do extremely well in dry garden conditions. It takes three years for a young grape to bear fruit – so plant this edible vine in the garden now if you want to eat homegrown grapes from your garden soon.

Red flame and Thompson grapes are good eating grapes varieties for your edible landscape. However, feel free to plant grape varieties that are good for wine-making, too!

The leaves of your garden grapes can be used for cooking, too. Try making Dolmades with fresh squeezed lemon from your backyard.

Red grapes are rich in resveratrol and good for the heart.

As an edible landscaping idea, plant grapes on arbors or trail around the gazebo. The vines will also do well planted near a fence for support.

drought friendly edible plants grapes

Guava – Edible Fruit Tree in the Garden

The pineapple guava is a popular fruiting tree to plant in the garden that is both drought friendly and edible.

It is also used as a hedge or a privacy screen if planted en masse.

There are other types of guavas that are drought friendly once they are established after 4 to 5 years. See the photo below of a yellow guava easily grown in San Diego.

Edible landscaping idea for the garden: Guava – a great source of Vitamin C

As an edible landscaping plant, Guava trees fruit abundantly and typically fall on the ground for bugs and birds to enjoy.

Mulberry – Edible and Water Wise Fruit Tree in the Garden

Mulberry is a drought friendly fruit tree that provides luscious fruits for you to eat fresh at home.

As an edible landscaping idea, there are varieties that stain the areas around where it is planted.

They can also grow into big trees with invasive roots, so plant at least 30 ft from other structures if you have room in your backyard.

Dragon Fruit – Edible Succulent for the Landscape

Succulents in general are increasingly replacing traditional lawns because of their low water needs and low maintenance plant profile.

There are only a few succulents that are edible, i.e. aloe vera, paddle cactus, and dragon fruit.

As an edible landscaping idea, dragon fruit is a vining succulent that requires sturdy support.

New Zealand Spinach – Edible Ground Cover and Drought Tolerant

New Zealand Spinach thrives in hot weather and easily spreads in the garden. Unlike other spinach, this edible plant idea will survive with minimum watering.

As an edible landscaping ground cover, they have thick green leaves and tend to produce an abundance of seeds which may attract birds. This spinach is low maintenance and quite tasty in the kitchen.

Echinacea – Flowering Medicinal and Drought Tolerant Plant

Echinacea thrives on dry climate and provide beautiful blooms in various colors. These drought tolerant plants are also used medicinally.

As a landscaping plant idea that has medicinal use, they attract pollinators in the garden with their beautiful flowers.

We started this post with the top 10 edible landscaping ideas that are drought tolerant or water-wise. Now we have more than 10 plant ideas and the list keeps growing!

Hope you enjoyed this article inspired by the fruit trees and edible plants growing in our San Diego garden. If you have other plant ideas that are both edible and waterwise for the home gardener, please share with Jean and Ken by contacting us at myteam@dreamwellhomes.com.

Also check out our blog articles on how to detoxify from chemicals overload at home.