Xeriscaping: The Low-Water (Low-Effort) Landscaping Solution

By HomeAdvisor

Updated October 20, 2016

Xeriscaped yard
Xeriscaping is a style of landscaping that reduces the need for consistent watering. Xeriscaping and other low-water landscaping designs are popular in areas that have minimal rainfall and limited water sources.

Low-water landscaping favors drought-tolerant plants, but it doesn’t have to appear barren and arid. Depending on where you live, you can xeriscape your yard by mixing drought-friendly plants like Terra Cotta yarrow and California sage brush with your normal plant varieties. As a rule, always “zone” your plants according to their watering needs. Keeping your drought-friendly and water-loving plants segregated will ensure that each variety gets the moisture it needs.

If you live in an area that naturally supports grass, ask your local nursery about drought-friendly turf. Centipede grass and Bermuda grass work well in low-water environments across most of the United States. Drought-friendly turf is also an easy way to cut back on your water usage — benefiting your utility bills and local water supply.

In drier, hotter climates, high levels of evaporation require excessive watering to maintain healthy landscaping. Use mulch to trap much-needed moisture in your gardens and flowerbeds. Mulch is also great for outlining paths through your gardens or other landscaping features.

Whether a hardscaping or a mixed aesthetic (drought-friendly and water-loving plants) approach is right for your home will depend on your location, budget and overall landscape design. If your yard is completely xeriscaped, include elements of hardscaping. In lusher landscapes, hedges, shrubs and other plants create an attractive blend of xeriscaping and traditional elements.

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