drought tolerant plant

xe-ri-scape/ˈzi(ə)rəˌskāp/

Noun: A garden or landscape that needs little supplemental water.
Verb: Landscape an area using water conservation principles.
Xeriscapes do not have to be cactus or rock gardens. Often they include other native and drought tolerant plants. When you think of dry gardening, you may picture a wild, natural looking landscape. But the xeriscape water conservation principles can be applied to different styles of landscaping. You can create a more formal English, Southwestern, or Japanese garden using the same basic principles.

Tired of mowing your lawn and paying for all the water to keep it green? Explore xeriscaping and see if it is right for you.

In arid and semiarid climates, where water conservation is important, xeriscaping is a wise choice. The concept of xeriscaping was developed in the 1980s in Colorado, as a result of water shortages. Xeriscaping can also be used to reduce the amount of maintenance required for a beautiful yard or garden.

Xeriscaping incorporates seven basic principles of landscaping to achieve water conservation. The Xeriscape Principles page provides additional information on each of these topics.
  • Planning & Design
  • Soil Preparation
  • Turf Considerations
  • Plant Selection
  • Efficient Irrigation
  • Mulching
  • Maintenance

xeriscape principles

Benefits of a Xeriscape

Saves Water. Throughout North America, more than 50% of residential water use is for lawns and landscaping. Xeriscapes can reduce the water needed for landscapes by 50%-75%. This results in a costs savings as well.

Reduces Maintenance. Xeriscapes eliminate the time required to mow and fertilize a large lawn. Drip irrigation systems save time spent watering.

Improves Property Value. A good xeriscape improves property value, by creating curb appeal and reducing water costs.

Provides Wildlife Habitat. Native trees, shrubs and groundcovers in a xeriscape provide seed, fruit and nectar for local wildlife. Insects attracted by the plants in turn attract birds and reptiles.

Reduces Pollution. With smaller turf areas, pollution from gas-powered lawn mowers is reduced or eliminated. A reel mower may be sufficient for the small areas of grass included in a xeriscape.

No Fertilizers of Pesticides. Xeriscapes usually need fewer pest control measures and less fertilizer than traditional landscapes. This too saves money.

Latest Posts

Go from Ugh to Ooh with an Elegant Soil Moisture Sensor

new soil moisture meter

Gardeners with an interest in xeriscaping also care about growing healthy indoor plants with less water.

Until recently you had the choice of using a soil moisture meter or sticking your finger in the dirt to gauge the moisture level.

The finger-test method is a favorite of people who have had a bad experience with existing moisture meters. While it is simple, sticking your finger in the soil has problems too. Besides getting you finger dirty, you may not be able to reach deep enough to feel the soil where roots are seeking water. Feeling with your finger can also break tender roots.

Soil moisture indicators are a bit more elaborate and fall into two main types. With one type you leave the device in place over time to monitor the soil as it dries. With the other type, you take quick readings with a removable device you can use for multiple plants. Product reviews for these types of devices show that often reliability is a problem. Customers have been frustrated by poor quality manufacturing, dead batteries and easily broken probes – not to mention their “ugh-ly” appearance.

soil moisture indicators

To overcome these issues, the Sustee Aquameter was developed with help from professional growers and award-winning product designers. The sleek appearance of the Sustee adds a sophisticated touch to your plants while it continuously senses soil moisture. It does not look like a scientific instrument or a child’s toy. You can choose from four colors to best match your pot or plant: green, brown, pink or white.

potted plant soil moisture probe

The Sustee does not use electricity, so there are no batteries to replace. Because you leave it in place, there is no need to clean or protect sensitive metal probes. After about a year, when it is time to replace your Sustee, there is no electronic waste requiring special handling.

Get one today to try it with your favorite plant. Then get more for all of your potted plants. Be thoughtful and include a Sustee when you give a potted plant as a hostess or housewarming gift.

Learn more about Sustee soil moisture meter

Adjustable Small Garden Rake

Adjustable Shrub Rake

This small hand rake is an unusual product which you may find useful in your xeriscape garden. It has been manufactured by the same Japanese company for over 30 years, but it is not widely available in the United States. Recently, MB HANA started importing it for US gardeners.

Unlike other small shrub or fan rakes, the width and length adjust to 4 different locking positions. The bright orange handle makes it easy to spot in the garden. The tines are stainless steel and the handle is durable ABS plastic making it lightweight, so you can use it without fatigue.

It's perfect for raking leaves and spreading mulch around small plants and shrubs. It also makes a pretty good back scratcher!

Click Here To Read Our Review

Attract Butterflies To Your Drought Tolerant Garden

Want to attract butterflies to your xeriscape garden? The Asclepias, or Butterfly Plant (also known as Milkweed) is drought tolerant and attracts monarch butterflies. It is also a nectar source for hummingbirds and bees.

Watch this video to learn how to plant a native butterfly plant. It is a great perennial to have in the garden. With over 140 known species, you should be able to find one that grows in your region of the United States.