5. Select Plants

Principle No. 5flowers n rock

There are many beautiful, low-water-use plants that grow well in our climate. Use a variety of plants of differing heights, colors, and textures to create interest and beauty.

  • Practice hydro-zoning, which is the grouping of plants according to water need. Also, try placing high-water-use plants in low-lying drainage areas, near downspouts or in the shade of other plants. If there are no areas where water naturally collects, place the high-water-use plantings or lawns where it’s easy to water. 
  • Dry, sunny areas or areas far from a hose are perfect for low-water-use plants. Grouping plants according to water and sunlight requirements ensures that they will flourish in an optimal environment. Plus, the likelihood of over watering drought-tolerant plants or under watering moisture-loving plants is greatly diminished. 
  • Consider areas that have heavy or changing sun exposure. Plants that like full sun should get the south sun while partial sun plants can be closer to buildings that could provide shade.
  • Visit our Plant Finder for recommendations of plants which have proven to grow well in our arid environment. Plants can also be sorted in the list according to water use.
  • Keep in mind that all plants, including xeric species, need regular water to establish a healthy root system. A common misconception is that xeric plants do not need water. After a period of establishment, approximately 3 years, xeric plants may only require water during hot drought periods to survive and thrive.