Xeriscaping Done Right

July 23, 2019

Xeriscaping is a form of gardening that uses drought-tolerant plants, grasses and different types of rocks and mulch. The word stems from the Greek xeros, which means dry. Xeriscaping is intended to help people produce a beautiful home or business landscape while using less water. Read on to learn more.


If you’re thinking of xeriscaping your yard, you might first want to take a good look at the property. Find out which are the sunniest and which are the darkest parts of your site. Record where the sun is shining. Do a soil analysis to find out which nutrients are readily available in the soil, as well as the pH and the type of soil. These factors all affect which types of plants can thrive on the site. Take a look at rainfall patterns as well. How many inches or centimeters does the site get per year?


Next, classify the zones at your site. Everything can fall into three areas: oasis, transition, and arid. Oasis zones exist close to a large structure where they can benefit from rain runoff and shade. Arid zones are furthest from structures and receive the most sunlight. Transition areas act as buffers between the other zones.


Your next step is to find plants appropriate for your region, then start arranging flowers by zones. At each focal point in your yard, add a few bright, eye-catching specimens that are well suited to local conditions. Group the flowers that need the most water near structures. Consider using containers for these plants so the water doesn’t seep into the surrounding soil and produce weeds. Further away from each focal point, add plants that are more drought-tolerant and less bright. Plant the most drought-tolerant, sun-friendly plants in the arid zones where the sun will be brightest. Fill the transition areas with plants that fall in the middle of the spectrum, as far as water and sunlight needs, as well as aesthetics. Go from tall, bright plants in the oasis zones to shorter, less flashy plants in the transition zone to hardier, subtle plants in the arid zone.


Adding mulch or rock to your landscape helps insulate the soil around plants and flowers. Mulch and rock also help accent certain areas of your yard to create a focal point. Other uses for mulch and rock include: suppressing weed growth, reducing erosion, defining a path, separating different plants and foliage, and providing nutrients.


If possible, install some sort of water-thrifty system to nurture your plants. Drip irrigation is a nice option, which allows you to give plants just the right amount of moisture they need.

Xeriscaping can be beautiful if you do it right. By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to producing a landscape that uses water carefully and still looks good.