Here in the desert, low water use plants not only conserve our precious resource many are native and those that are not appear as though they have been here in the desert all along. Xeriscape plants are low water plants that provide a southwestern feel to your yard.
Xeriscape in Your Phoenix Yard
Low Water Use Design
Xeriscaping is landscaping and gardening with plants that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water (other than rain water). When planning a xeriscape garden there are three elements to keep in mind:
Grouping plants according to their sun and water needs help reduce the amount of water used in your garden. When choosing plants to group keep in mind the function or the views of the garden you are looking to maintain.
A tip I found helpful was to stand back and visualize how the garden will look from the curb and then go inside and visualize what it will look like from your windows.
The third element is time, one of the advantages of xeriscape design is that maintenance is kept to a minimum. Keep in mind the height and width of the mature plant as well as whether or not they will provide shade. Many newer subdivisons in Phoenix require xeriscape in the front yard and no lawn.
Advantages of Low Water Use Plants
There are several advantages in planting low water use plants:
- a lower water bill
- conservation of water
- less maintenance
Your wallet with thank you. Water is expensive and low water use plants can save you money. Water is a precious resource, choosing plants that use less water helps to conserve and to take advantage of the rainfall. Low water use plants require less maintenance, so you’ll have more time to spend admiring your garden rather than working in it.
The term Xeriscape was coined by Denver Water. The word “Xeros” meaning dry, and “scape” as in “landscape.”
Xeriscape Plants to Grow in Phoenix Arizona
Your choices in low water use plants and trees are plentiful in Phoenix, Arizona. Of course our native cactus and succulents are always a good choice for minimal water usage.
Cacti are tough plants that require little water and many are native to Arizona and thus are very well suited here in the desert.
In many people’s minds Phoenix, Arizona is synonymous with cactus. In the spring the cactus blooms are stunning. Even something prickly like a cactus can produce something beautiful for us to enjoy. Some even produce yummy fruit for animals and humans.
If you are ever in Sedona or Tortilla Flat try some Prickly Pear ice cream. You can also purchase jellies and syrups and a Prickly Pear Margarita is a perfect summer drink.
Some cacti cannot tolerate light frost and young plants may have to be covered in January during frost warnings.
If you are looking for color and shade in your yard and still keep your water bill to a minimum below are some great low water use plants to help you get started.
Some popular Cactus in Phoenix Arizona
- Golden Barrel
- Beavertail Prickly Pear
- Purple Prickly Pear
- Mexican Fence
- Argentine Giant
- Organ Pipe Cactus
Aloe & Succulents
- Parry’s Agave
- Medicinal Aloe
- Red Yucca
- Octopus Agave
- Palo Verde
- Chinese Pistache
- Chilean Mesquite
- Texas Mountain Laurel
- Orange Bells
- Texas Sage
- Creosote Bush
- Red Bird of Paradise
- Cape Honeysuckle
- Pink Trumpet
- Lilac Vine
- Baja Passion Vine
- Mexican Flame Vine
- Autumn Sage