drought tolerant plant


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

Xeriscape Bulbs – Fall Maintenance Tips

Bulbs provide a colorful surprise in the xeriscape garden when they bloom in the spring. Many gardeners forget exactly where their bulbs were planted and are delighted to see them appear.

Bulbs are considered drought evaders. Since they store water below ground, they may stay dormant during drought conditions.

Fall is the ideal time for planting your spring-blooming bulbs. When the ground is consistently 50 degrees Fahrenheit and before it freezes, typically from late September through November, it is the time to add bulbs to your xeriscape.

If you don’t already have some favorites in mind, consider the following bulbs that will naturalize and spread:

Allium for Xeriscapes Allium – At his website PlantBuzz, Mark McDonough has extensive information about all kinds of allium varieties. Visit Allium Central for more information.
Crocus for xeriscapes Crocus – Among the first flowers to bloom in the spring, crocus sometimes peek up through the snow. They provide a splash of color in a xeriscape garden.
Daffodils for xeriscapes Daffodils – Available in shades from white to deep yellow, daffodils also last a long time as cut flowers in your favorite vase.
Grape Hyacinth for Xeriscapes Grape Hyacinth – You can purchase grape hyacinth bulbs in a variety of colors at Amazon.com.
Asiatic Lilies for Xeriscapes Lilies – Asiatic lilies also come in many colors. Read more about caring for drought tolerant lilies in these lily books at Amazon.com.
Tulips for xeriscapes TulipsDarwin Tulips are among the tallest tulips and they make great cut flowers. To encourage naturalization, after the flowers fade in the spring, clip the flower heads. Let the foliage die back naturally to store energy in the bulb for next year.

If you are inspired to add these bulbs to your xeriscape, you may want to pick up a bulb planter to help make the job easier. Choose an area with well drained soil and bury lots of these bulb treasures to be discovered in your xeriscape next spring.

Maintain Your Xeriscape With A Hori Hori

Nisaku Hori Hori Gardening Knife

When planting or maintaining your xeriscape, a hori hori can make you feel like a garden samurai. This multipurpose digging knife works like a trowel, a weeder, a knife, a saw and even a ruler. Why buy, store and maintain an assortment of tools when this one does it all so well? The Nisaku/Tomita hori hori is one of the better quality gardening knives available.

See the details for this stainless steel hori hori.

Some buyers wanted a sturdier leather sheath for their digging knife, instead of the original vinyl sheath provided by the manufacturer. MB HANA custom designed a durable sheath to fit the Nisaku hori hori. It is made of top grain leather that will protect both you and your knife for years.

Learn more about MB HANA's leather hori hori sheath

Read the full review >

Water Timers Conserve Water, Time and Money

Soil pH Tester scale You have invested a lot in your plants and landscaping. Let a water timer help them thrive, while sparing you the recurring chore of watering. This simple device is easy to program to deliver just the right amount of water at just the right time. The Orbit 3-Outlet Digital Watering Timer has two programmable valves for automatic watering and one manual valve for hand watering. You’ll love the freedom provided by this sturdy, affordable water timer.

Read more >

Check Your Dirt With A Soil pH Meter

Soil pH Tester scale When analyzing your soil, a soil pH meter can get give you a quicker answer than waiting days for results from lab testing. It can also be more cost effective when you need to take readings from multiple areas of your yard. The Kelway “Soil pHD” is a durable, hand-held soil pH meter you may want to consider.

Read more >