You don’t have to live in arrears with excess downpours to grow your own fresh and delicious fruits. A dry landscape may seem like a recipe for withered, dying plants, but a lot of fruits are perfectly adapted to hot, dry summers.

I’ve compiled a list of the 15 drought-resistant fruits that are perfectly adapted to USDA hardiness zone 9 of California, Utah, and Texas. They are:

  • Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
  • Fig (Ficus carica)
  • Jujube (Ziziphus jujube)
  • Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica)
  • Oriental Persimmon (Diospyros kaki)
  • Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)
  • Date Palms (Phoenix dactylifera)
  • Asian Pears (Pyrus pyrifolia)
  • Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqua)
  • Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica)
  • Pineapple guava (Acca sellowiana)
  • Wine grape (Vitis vinifera)
  • Kei Apple (Dovyalis caffra Warb)
  • Natal Plum (Carissa macrocarpa)
  • Falsa (Grewia asiatica)

The type of fruit you choose to grow may depend on factors such as the space in your yard, the amount of care the plants require, or simply your personal preferences.

1. Pomegranates

Botanical Name: Punica granatum
Other Names: Punic apple, Granatapfel, Melograno
Mature height: 12-15 feet
Canopy spread: 12 – 20 feet
Growth Rate: Less than 1 foot per year
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
LifeSpan: 200 years
USDA Zones: 7-10


Pomegranate is a shrub that can also be trained as a small tree. It can stay alive for more than 200 years if given proper care. The fruit is delicious and juicy and packed with antioxidants. Pomegranates are well adapted to drought-prone areas (with low rainfall and humidity) and slightly acidic soils. They seem to thrive in the heat and produce best if given consistent watering.

Pomegranates are successfully grown in areas of the southwestern United States such as the deserts of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico.

2. Fig

Botanical Name: Ficus carica
Other Names: Common Fig, Edible fig
Mature height: 10 – 30 feet
Canopy spread: 10 – 20 feet
Growth Rate: 1 foot per year
Drought Tolerance: High
LifeSpan: 200 years
USDA Zones: 8- 11


The fig tree can grow as a small fruit tree or large shrub. It can tolerate short periods of seasonal drought due to its large deep roots.

Figs produce deliciously sweet fruits that are rich in potassium, calcium, and other dietary fibers. They are easy to plant in both gardens and containers. It prefers warm climatic conditions and this is why you can make a fig tree a perfect addition to sun-drenched areas of your lawn. Its large, attractive leaves accent small fruits that turn deep purple at harvest time.

3. Jujube

Botanical Name: Ziziphus jujuba
Other Names: Chinese Date, Indian Plum, Malay Jujube
Mature height: 30- 40 feet
Canopy spread: 10 – 30 feet
Growth Rate: 1- 2 feet per year
Drought Tolerance: High
Lifespan: 100 years
USDA Zones: 6-9


Jujubes are a popular fruit tree native to China. These trees can reach 30-40 feet tall and mature trees can produce 40-100 pounds of fruit per season. Jujubes are some of the most drought-tolerant fruit trees out there.

However, some supplemental water will help to aid maximum fruiting yields. The best soil for jujubes is one that is well-draining and slightly sandy. They will also do fine in slightly alkaline or clay soils.

Jujube trees have fragrant yellow flowers that bloom from late spring into summer, and fruits mature from bright green to a deep red in late summer for harvest. Young jujube branches have thorns so you should be cautious when picking fruits off the tree.

4. Prickly pear cactus

Botanical Name: Opuntia ficus-indica
Other Names: Indian fig opuntia, Barbary fig, cactus pear
Mature height: 10 – 25 feet
Canopy spread: 10 – 15 feet
Growth Rate: 1- 2 feet per year
Drought Tolerance: Extreme
Lifespan: 80 years
USDA Zones: 9 – 12

Prickly pear cactus

Prickly pear Cactus is valued both for its ornamental beauty and tropically flavored fruits. Juicy fruits also have a thirst-quenching quality to them. Ranging from white to yellow to orange the flowers are very showy and charming.

Apart from drought-prone regions, it can do well in mild climates and can tolerate some cold (-8 C) and wet climates. For a fruiting and thriving plant, it is best to plant this fruit in a sunny spot.

5. Oriental persimmon

Botanical Name: Diospyros kaki
Other Names: Oriental Persimmon, Sharon Fruit, Divine Fruit
Mature height: 10 – 30 feet
Canopy spread: 10 – 25 feet
Growth Rate: 1- 2 feet per year
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
Lifespan: 80 years
USDA Zones: 5-11

Oriental persimmon

Oriental Persimmon is a national fruit of Japan that is unique and nutritious. In winter, the bright orange-red fruits dangling on bare branches are enough to add winter interest to any landscape.

It is a medium-sized deciduous tree native to Eastern Asia and India, the persimmon thrives in sunny, warm weather and is an excellent choice for privacy hedges or front yard ornamentation. It blooms in spring, and 3- to 4-inch fruits ripen in late fall. You can harvest the fruits to eat or leave them on the tree for winter interest.

This fruit will do well in neutral to slightly acidic soil. It can tolerate short drought periods but thrive best with regular watering. There are many varieties available for both cold and hot climates.

6. Tamarind

Botanical Name: Tamarindus indica
Other Names: Imlee, Tamarin, Tamarindo
Mature height: 40 – 70 feet
Canopy spread: 30 feet
Growth Rate: 1 – 2 feet per year
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
Lifespan: 200 years
USDA Zones: 9 – 11


This is the fruit tree that thrives on neglect. It is widely used in cuisines for flavoring, and in many Asian curry and chutney recipes, its pulp is a key ingredient. Plus, it is used in traditional medicines because of its laxative properties and effectiveness against bacteria and fungi.

Tamarind fruit prefers deep loamy soil with good drainage. A well-established tamarind tree can tolerate long periods of extreme drought. In cool climates, you can keep it indoors in winter while growing it in containers. It’s also grown as a bonsai.

7. Date palms

Botanical Name: Phoenix dactylifera
Other Names:  Date Palm, Canary Island Date Palm
Mature height: 75 ft.
Canopy spread: 25 ft.
Growth Rate: 1 – 3 feet per year
Drought Tolerance: High
Lifespan: 80 – 120 years
USDA Zones: 9 – 11

Date Palms

Date Palm helps to bring the tropical feel of deserts to your backyard with this low-maintenance palm. Water a couple of times a month in winter, whereas in summer, water weekly. It suffers damage from frost and cold, so it provides shelter if growing in a cool climate.

Constantly look for common pests such as mites, aphids, scales, whiteflies, and mealy bugs. For growing in a container and indoor plantation, go for the Pygmy date palm, which is smaller in height than the true date palm.

Note: For information on trimming or removing palm trees in Texas, see our complete guide here.

8. Asian pears

Botanical Name: Pyrus pyrifolia
Other Names: Chinese pear, Nashi pear, Japanese pear
Mature height: 30 – 40 feet
Canopy spread: 30 – 40 feet
Growth Rate: 1 – 2 feet per year
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
Lifespan: 50 – 150 years
USDA Zones: 5 – 10

Asian Pears

Asian pear is a unique fruit that combines the common pear’s sweetness and juiciness and an apple’s crunchiness. It needs regular and deep watering to ensure the plant is established. While it can tolerate a season of drought, keeping the soil slightly moist lets the plant remain in optimum condition.

9. Carob tree

Botanical Name: Ceratonia siliqua
Other Names: St. John’s Bread, Carob, Locust Bean
Mature height: 50 feet
Canopy spread: 50 feet
Growth Rate: 1 – 2 feet per year
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
Lifespan: 100 years
USDA Zones: 9 – 11

Carob tree

The carob tree is an evergreen shrub or tree grown in the Mediterranean area for its sugar-rich pods and gum-containing seeds. It has a broad hemispherical crown, a thick trunk, and sturdy branches. The carob tree has an extensive root system with a deep taproot and lateral roots which makes it easy to tolerate dry soils and drought conditions.

10. Loquat

Botanical Name: Eriobotrya japonica
Other Names: Japanese medlar, Nispero, Maltese plum
Mature height: 15 – 30 feet
Canopy spread: 15 – 30 feet
Growth Rate: 1 – 2 feet per year
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
Lifespan: 100 years
USDA Zones: 8 – 10


The Loquat tree is an ideal tree for an all-year-round appeal to your yard. It is a rapid-growing evergreen tree with apricot-like fruits that ripen in mid-spring (instead of summer and fall, like most fruit trees), it’ll welcome the season with a bounty of sweet, homegrown treats.

Loquat thrives in tropical climates where temperatures do not fall below 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Its lovely leathery leaves offer plenty of winter interest, and its fragrant, creamy white flowers attract hummingbirds and bees for a gorgeous backyard show through fall and winter.

11. Pineapple guava

Botanical Name: Acca sellowiana
Other Names: Feijoa, Guava, Guavasteen
Mature height: 15 feet
Canopy spread: 15 feet
Growth Rate: 2 feet
Drought Tolerance: High
Lifespan: 50 years
USDA Zones: 8 – 10

Pineapple guava

Pineapple guava is a beautiful, dense shrub that blooms in spring and attracts songbirds. It’s excellent as a privacy hedge or in an edible garden. It blooms and carries unique character into the garden all year round with its silvered, evergreen foliage.

This spectacular landscape plant is the parent of a familiar tropical fruit, the Guava – a unique landscape ornamental and tropical fruit that deserves much wider use in southeastern gardens.

12. Wine grape

Botanical Name: Vitis vinifera
Other Names: Grapevine
Mature height: 50 feet
Canopy spread: 40 feet
Growth Rate: 1 – 2 feet per year
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
Lifespan: 50 years
USDA Zones: 7-10

Wine Grapes

Wine grapes are very common and grown commercially for wine production, juice production, and table grapes. It is very drought-resistant and can tolerate heat.

It blooms better in an area where it can receive 6-8 hours of sun each day in well-draining sandy or loamy soil. Choose an area of your lawn that’s sunny and shielded from high winds, and support your grapevines on a climbing structure like a trellis.

13. Kei apple

Botanical Name: Dovyalis caffra Warb
Other Names: Kai Apple, Kau Apple
Mature height: 30 feet
Canopy spread: 25 feet
Growth Rate: 1-2 feet per year
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
Lifespan: 100 years
USDA Zones: 9 – 11

Kei apple

Kei Apple is a South African native tree of small to medium size. It can grow to a height of 30 feet at maturity. The fruit is ovate and possesses an acidic flavor which leaves an extremely acidic and funny but pleasant taste in the mouth. Also, the fruit is highly aromatic and used in jams, sorbets, and fruit salads.

14. Natal plum

Botanical Name: Carissa macrocarpa
Mature height: 30 feet
Canopy spread: 15 feet
Growth Rate: 1 foot per year
Drought Tolerance: High
Lifespan: 20 years
USDA Zones: 9 – 11

Natal Plum

Natal Plum is an easy-to-grow spiny evergreen, perennial shrub with dense leathery green leaves, fragrant white flowers, and showy edible red fruits. It is a typical small plant of about 5 to 7 feet tall but can reach a height of 30 feet.

Natal Plum will do well in full sun or light shade and organic soil in a warm, moist, tropical environment. It is easy to grow and can be sheared or hedged to fit the environment.

15. Falsa

Botanical Name: Grewia asiatica
Other Names: Falsa, sherbet berry
Mature height: 25 feet
Canopy spread: 20 feet
Drought Tolerance: Moderate
USDA Zones: 9-11

Phalsa Grewia asiatica

Phalsa is a large shrub or small tree that can be grown in containers. It produces berries similar to grapes in shape, size, and taste. The berries are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, and other nutrients. You can prepare delicious phalsa juice or consume the berries raw.

The Phalsa plant prefers a warm climate, making it easy to grow well in drought-prone areas. It may require some watering to support it during fruiting.

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.