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Xeriscaping – The New Landscaping

February 24, 2015

Xeriscaping is a landscaping technique used for maintaining a lush garden and scenery while using minimal water and irrigation. The method is ideal for regions that are prone to droughts and is also suitable for gardeners who want to maintain vibrant plants, shrubs, and flowers while conserving water.


The method is actually fairly new; the term “xeriscape” was coined in 1981 in Denver, Colorado, when city officials began encouraging residents to adopt gardening practices that required minimal water use. The technique soon caught on and became prominent throughout the U.S., especially in arid areas in the southwest that were prone to dry spells. Today, the method is frequently featured in gardening magazines and promoted by the green industry.

Common Xeriscape Methods

The most common technique is to use plants that naturally thrive off of little water. Cacti plants often come to mind, though there are plenty of other plants and flowers as well, for example:

  • Succulents
  • Yuccas
  • Aloe vera
  • Coneflowers
  • Catmints
  • Agastaches
  • Irises

Additionally, the use of rocks, gravel and pebbles are also helpful. Rock gardens provide aesthetic appeal and take up space that would otherwise be occupied by plants or grassy turf that require water.

Methods also include special techniques for curtailing water use. These may include the use of drip irrigation systems, employing rotary spray nozzles, or the strategic placement of plants. You can, for example, position plants so that they receive water from the house’s downspout. Plants and flowers can also be grouped according to their watering needs. Those that require more water can be placed adjacent to one another, so they can share the same water source.

Also be sure to use mulch. Items like shredded leaves, straw, pine needles, and grass clippings add texture to the landscape as well as lower soil temperatures, which decreases water needs. In addition, the soil can also be amended with compost. This helps it retain water and improves its draining ability.


Preserving water is the obvious benefit, which is ultimately good for the environment and also makes a noticeable impact on your water bill. Drought-friendly plants also typically require less fertilizer, which also reduces the need for harmful pesticides. A Xeriscape landscape also generally requires less maintenance other than an occasional trimming once you have a system established.

A Xeriscape Landscape Provides Curb Appeal While Preventing Water Waste

Establishing the proper method requires time and investment. However, once fully established, you will have a lovely landscape that provides visual appeal while drastically cutting down on water usage. Plus, you’ll also develop a newfound appreciation for environmentally friendly gardening.

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