A smart way to fight drought and save water

Xeriscape landscaping, better known as xeriscaping, is a form of landscaping for specific areas that are susceptible to drought or for areas where water conservation is practiced. Xeriscape landscaping is not limited to desert plants, but rather a wide variety of plants that conserve water.

A common element to xeriscaping, is the reduction of lawn grass areas as these types of areas are often the worst offenders of water conservation. Another widespread method of xeriscaping is the use of native plants. These plants deem well as xeric plants are many times native, drought-resistant plants and can be arranged in efficient, water-saving ways.

How To Practice Xeriscape Landscaping

In order to practice xeriscaping, there are a few factors that need to be measured:

  • What plants you choose to grow
  • What plants you avoid growing
  • How you organize your plants

Irrigation, Soils, & Mulch

In the west, irrigation is essential. The underlying principle in xeriscape landscaping is low-pressure systems. These types of systems are designed to deliver water to the root zone and nowhere else. The drip system depth is also essential to luring roots downwards to harvest the moisture when the surface soil is dry.

Soil conditions do come into play with xeriscapes due to the preferences of how the plants have adapted to drought conditions. If planted in heavy clay, the root system can be stunted, and the soil may not be able to reach or absorb enough water to support plants.

Mulches aid in preventing moisture from evaporating from the surface of the soil. In the heat of the summer, mulches also shade the soil and allow the soil to penetrate and moisturize the roots properly. Mulches are also vital in preventing any weed growth that competes with xeriscape plants for limited water.

Xeric Plant Types

Plants most suited to xeriscape landscaping include low water requirements and are well adapted to droughts. However, droughts in different regions of the United States can differ. Keep these considerations in mind as you browse xeric plant types:

  • Drought-tolerant trees
  • Drought-tolerant shrubs
  • Drought-tolerant ground covers

Some more colorful options from these or other xeric plant categories:

  • Maynight Salvia (perennial)
  • Pink Muhly (ornamental grass)
  • Silerado Sage (Shrub)
  • Sedum (Groundcover)
  • Vitex (Tree)