Gardening Tips

Plants that need little water

Plants that need little water

It is common to have plants as decoration in our gardens and homes. However, meeting the needs of the plants, such as their care, irrigation and the supply of fertilizer and nutrients, can sometimes become a heavy task for which we hardly have time.

One way to deal with this situation is to cultivate or plant those species that require little care. At EcologíaVerde we invite you to discover some of the plants that need little water and minimal care.

Why do some plants need less water than others?

Plants that require little water are called xerophyticbeing able to withstand long periods of drought. This fact is mainly due to the adaptation of the species to dry habitats with little rainfall, since, while some live and develop in humid and warm climates that favor their growth, others face drier and more hostile climates, being necessary the development of physiological adaptations such as:

  • round shapes: By reducing its surface, contact with the wind is less so that the loss of water associated with transpiration also decreases.
  • Small, pointed leaves: As in the previous case, by reducing the surface of its leaves, the loss of water decreases. In some cases, these can have the form of thorns, then having another function, such as protecting the plant from other individuals.
  • Fleshy tissues: These tissues allow them to store water to be able to use it in periods of drought, so that, in periods of greater precipitation or humidity, the plants absorb as much water as possible, swelling and storing it in their tissues.
  • Adapted stomata: When we talk about stomata, we are referring to the pores located in the leaves and stems of plants through which they capture CO₂ from the environment and transpire, losing water from the plant. For this loss, xerophytic plants adapt their stomata by covering them with a layer of wax, reducing their size and number or opening them when temperatures decrease.

Names of plants that need little water

There is a wide variety of plants that need little amount of water. Next, we present some of the genera to which these species belong.


There are about 400 species of this genus, which is characterized by flattened and fleshy leaves arranged in the form of a rosette, varying colors depending on the species in question, being red, gray, green, lilac, etc. This genus can be used as an indoor or outdoor plant, its only requirement is to have a lot of light, although it is usually tolerant to shade and low temperatures without the need for hardly any water, it is enough to water it once a week. Some species of this genus are Echevaria polishedis, Echevaria brown sugar and Echevaria imbricata.


This genus comprises about 400 species of fleshy, flat or cylindrical leaves that can be found either in the form of a rosette or vertically opposite. It is a plant widely used as a decorative element due to the beauty of its star-shaped flowers. It requires a lot of light and air for its maintenance and only needs water during the hottest months, so it can remain for approximately 5 months (from November to March) without water. Species of this genus are Sedum adolphii, Sedum anglicum and Sedum clavatum.


Better known as cacti, it is one of the most popular genera among those plants that require little irrigation, with some 200 genera and 2,500 species. They generally lack leaves, being the stem itself the one that performs photosynthesis. They have thorns as a form of protection and showy flowers. Like the rest of the xerophytic plants, they need sunlight (although some species cannot receive it directly) and little water. It is recommended to water them every 10 days in the warmer months and every 20-40 days in the colder ones. Some popular species are Astriphytum asteria, Coryphantha reduncispina and Echinocactus grusonii.

In this other EcologíaVerde article we show you what the basic care of cacti is.


There are about 300 species belonging to this genus maintaining common features and similar appearance. It has elongated leaves, pointed at their ends and arranged in the form of a rosette. It needs sunlight, and its optimum temperature ranges between 20-30°C. As for irrigation, it requires water during the hottest months, being practically unnecessary in winter. Species of this genus are Agave americana, Agave attenuata and Agave desmettiana.

Plants that need little water - Names of plants that need little water

Advantages of plants that need little water

The plants that require little water They have several advantages, such as the time saving that is invested in your care and attention and your own saving water, since they hardly need to be watered. In addition, the lack of irrigation does not affect their characteristics or their appearance, so these species will continue to fulfill their decorative function and bringing its characteristic beauty and aroma to our homes and gardens.

Lastly, it should be noted that the use of this type of plants allows for gardens with a great variety of species and of singular beauty in dry and arid areas, which would otherwise be uninhabited and without any landscape interest.

Here you can see a video about these plants that need little water, so you can get to know them even better.

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