How to create a beautiful, low-water-use landscape
Most Valley homeowners use
about 70% of their household water
outdoors. Here in the Valley, we
receive about 8 inches of rainfall in
an average year. With so little rain,
it makes sense to landscape with
low-water-use plants. Low-water-use
plants have unique features that
help them survive and thrive in our
arid state. Xeriscape is the
landscaping method developed
for hot climates like ours that uses
7 principles of xeriscape
- Create a plan that will help you get
the most out of your landscape.
Consider cost, function, aesthetics,
maintenance requirements, water use
and energy efficiency.
- Plant low-water-use plants. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes
They also serve purposes from adding shade and seasonal
color to screening
- Incorporate turf areas appropriately.
Sometimes only grass will do. Small
can be incorporated
successfully with proper planning,
installation and maintenance.
- Irrigate efficiently. Plant trees, shrubs,
ground covers and turf areas each
different valves so you can time their
irrigations separately. Adjust your irrigation
schedule at least four times
- Consider soil improvements. Because
there is quite a variation in soil
composition across the
Sonoran Desert, soil amendments
may be needed when unusual
- Use mulch. Mulch covers the soil and
reduces evaporation. It cools the soil
beneath and helps to inhibit weak
growth and erosion.
- Properly maintain your xeriscape
to save water, time and money.
A well-maintained irrigation system
can keep plants healthy and water
Learn about plants
Inspire your landscape makeover by
touring a xeriscape demonstration
garden to see creative designs and
mature plants. Better yet, take a
garden tour on our landscape website.
- Consider the size of the plant as it
matures. A plant that outgrows the
space available will require pruning
and may crowd nearby plants.
- Consider color and texture. Some
plants bloom almost all year, and
others display color only once or twice
each year. Choose plants with a
variety of foliage colors that blend
well. For year-round color, choose a
mix of plants that bloom during
- Include plants that attract wildlife, such
as butterflies, hummingbirds and other
beautiful bird species.
- Keep poisonous plants and plants
with thorns away from walkways
and play areas.
- Keep plants that drop spent flowers,
leaves or seedpods away from the
Save even more
Water is one of our most precious
resources. The more we do, the
more well save.
- Water between sunset and sunrise,
when temperatures and wind speeds
are the lowest.
- Group plants with similar watering
needs in the same area.
- Add mulch and compost to the soil to
minimize evaporation and help the
soil absorb and store water.
- Adjust sprinklers to avoid watering
sidewalks and driveways.
- Be sure to fix leaks promptly no
matter how small they may seem.