Drought Tolerant Fruit Trees For Arid Climates

Living in an arid or desert-like environment doesn’t mean you’re stuck growing cactuses.

Living in an arid or desert-like environment doesn’t mean you’re stuck growing cactuses. There are many different fruiting trees that are perfectly suited for dryer climates. These drought tolerant fruit trees are sourced from around the world, though, so before you plant, be sure you aren’t accidentally planting an invasive species!

Kei Apple

Kei apple trees are originally from South Africa and grow best in zones 9 through 11. These apples have a bit more of an acidic taste, but it is still incredibly pleasant. It grows well in full sun or partial shade.



Have you ever had a Jujube? They’re delicious! They are in some ways similar to figs but grow to about the same size as an apple. These fruits are also delicious dried. They grow well in full sun and are well suited for zones 6 through 9.


Alright, we’ll admit it: pomegranate aren’t technically a tree. They’re classified as a shrub. But the fruit of a pomegranate shrub is so delicious, we had to include it! These shrubs are a bit on the shorter side, topping out at around 15 feet tall. They are long-lived though. Plant a pomegranate shrub and in 200 years, people will still enjoy its fruit. It grows well in zones 7 through 10 and enjoys full sun to part shade.



Succulent, sweet, and a bit tangy at times, guava trees are an excellent addition to any arid garden. These trees handle being contained in pots very well too, so they’re perfect for a container garden. It thrives in zones 9b through 11 and, on the cooler side of those zones, may need some protection from frost.


Who doesn’t love a mango? Mango trees handle drought conditions very well and are a delicious addition to any yard. They do require a very specific climate though, growing well in zones 10 and 11. They grow best in full sunlight and also handle being confined to a container fairly well.


We’ve written about Moringa trees in the past. They’re truly a wonder tree! So many different uses. These trees grow in zones 10 and 11 and can easily thrive in poor soil and very dry conditions. Its fruit is high in calcium, potassium, citamins A and C, and antioxidants.

Date palms

If only good dates grew on trees… Oh wait! They do! Date palms, which thrive in zones 9 through 11, are a great tree to add to your yard if you want to bring a more tropical feel. Dwarf date palms are also available and can be grown in containers. These trees don’t mind dry conditions but do appreciate occasional watering in the winter.

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