Resprouting is a plant persistence strategy in response to disturbance or stressful environmental conditions. Resprouters can dominate in stressful environments such as tropical dry forests (TDFs), but our knowledge of resprouting in TDFs is limited. Here, using a dataset of forest inventories in 16 TDF fragments (covering 15,642 trees and 321 species), we investigated patterns of resprouting in ecosystems subject to substantial seasonal water stress. We focused on two resprouting metrics: the proportion of trees that are multistemmed (resprouting frequency) and the number of stems per tree. In addition, we investigated the relative importance of environmental factors, taxonomic identity, and evolutionary history in resprouting response. Taxa with low to medium resprouting frequencies (17.19%–40.2%) are the most prevalent in TDF, compared to non-resprouters and high-frequency resprouters. Overall, resprouting ability appears to be an intrinsic trait that varies in response to environmental conditions but only within a range constrained by taxonomic identity. However, we found no phylogenetic signal above the genus level for any resprouting variables. Thus, the variation in resprouting across TDF lineages likely has been shaped by divergence between closely related taxa and convergence between distantly related ones, reflecting the specific environmental and disturbance factors to which they have been subjected.