Everything You Need To Know About Xeriscaping

Everything You Need To Know About Xeriscaping

Jun 9, 2022
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Xeriscaping is defined as “the practice of designing landscapes to reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation.” In simpler terms, xeriscaping is choosing plants that are more tolerant of dry conditions and can easily handle longer periods of drought.  

Xeriscaped landscapes are especially ideal for those who live in hot, dry environments where water is not as readily available. This landscaping practice was first practiced in the western United States. 

When you choose to xeriscape a space, you are making an informed decision that works to save money, promote an overall healthier landscape, while also conserving the important resource of water. 

Xeriscaping History

The practice and term of xeriscaping was coined and trademarked in the 1980s in the Denver, Colorado area. While experiencing a severe drought, the Denver Water Board was working to promote lower water usage in a wide range of activities. 

Xeriscape derives from the combination of the Greek term ‘Xeros’ and the English word ‘Landscape;’ translating over to the basic meaning ‘dry landscape.’ 

As the US population has become increasingly more eco-conscious, the practice of planting drought tolerant plants has gained traction all over the country. 

How To Implement Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping has 6 basic principles that should be followed for a fully sufficient, drought tolerant landscape. Read on to learn those basic principles!

1.Planning and Design

Before you start your plant selection, there is some basic planning that needs to be done. You need to determine what your main water resources are in relation to where you’d like to plant. It’s important to note that hardscaped areas will affect the water cycle.

The location and grouping of your plants can significantly impact the amount of water that you use in a landscape.

2. Implementing Practical Turf

A grassy lawn takes a lot of upkeep and water to maintain a healthy state. While we realize that a yard with no grass is unideal, where possible we recommend places with frequent foot traffic be replaced with an alternate path like dirt, gravel, or stone. 

3. Selecting Drought Tolerant Plants

The most important step in xeriscaping is the plant selection and placement. We recommend selecting plants from our Drought Tolerant Plant Collection, for these are all plants that can withstand long periods with little to no water. 

Once you’ve chosen your plants, you should evaluate their overall watering and lighting needs. If you live on a hilly landscape, as a rule of thumb, you should place the plants that require less water higher on the landscape, whereas the thirstier plants should be at lower elevations so they can collect excess water. 

4. Soil Evaluation and Improvement

Next on our list of steps to xeriscape a landscape, is to evaluate the growing medium of your plants. Soil preparation is an extremely important step because with the right soil, your plants will better retain moisture and require less water overall. 

For a xeriscaped landscape we would recommend a silt-based soil for they are well draining but also retain a good amount of moisture.

5. Watering

Although you’ve specifically chosen plants that need less water, you still need to do your research on your specific plant’s needs. Some plants can go weeks without water, others months, whereas with more sensitive plants, you would need to water them multiple times throughout the week. 


Specifically during the first few weeks of planting, you will need to water your plants more frequently until they are established. 

6. Mulch

Last but not least on the list of completing your xeriscape is mulching. Mulch is such an important factor when it comes to conserving your overall water usage in the garden. By mulching around the base of your plant you are keeping your plant’s roots cool while also minimizing water evaporation. 

Shop Garden Goods Direct

Whether you’re looking to xeriscape for the planet, or you’re just aiming to have a nice yard that is low maintenance, Garden Goods Direct has the drought tolerant plants that you need to complete the landscape! Shop online today to have your plants conveniently shipped to your front door.