Complete Guide to Xeriscape Landscaping

Xeriscaping is a word derived from the Greek word “Xeri” meaning dry. Xeriscape landscaping is something that has been popular for decades now in certain areas. Lots of places in the USA, or elsewhere in the world, are becoming more susceptible to droughts, and having plants that are resistant to this can help you to have a thriving garden.

Xeriscape landscaping

What is xeriscape landscaping?

Xeriscape landscaping is designed to minimize the amount of irrigation you need in your garden. Saving water is essential, and this method is recommended in certain areas by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Office.

It uses certain types of plants that don’t require a huge amount of water, and therefore don’t require regular irrigation. These are recommended to be planted in a xeriscaped garden. Also, other methods such as the way you plant your trees and plants can make the most of the limited rainfall and ensure the garden thrives without being demanding on water use.

The process can be done yourself, or landscaping companies in Las Vegas and other warm states which are susceptible to droughts, can be brought in to advise you on the best way to treat your space.

What plants to grow and what plants to ignore?

There are certain plants that are ideal for these circumstances, and others which will stand no chance at all. You will often find the appropriate plants advertised and referred to as ‘xeric’ plants. These have low needs in terms of water and can put up with droughts.

There are quite a few different options for trees, shrubs and ground coverings which can fit the bill and work nicely for your yard even if you live in a dry area. Trees such as Sunburst Honey Locust, and shrubs like the Red Bird of Paradise can be examples of the sorts of flora that can grow well in xeriscape landscapes.

How to organize plants?

For xeriscaping, there are a number of ways to organize plants. Firstly, make sure you don’t put plants in high traffic areas as these can get worn. Certain types of xeric grasses may be appropriate for this. Don’t use ‘thirsty’ types of grass.

Opt for raised bedding areas if you wish, and combine these with rock garden areas, which are a good way to maximize the limited water supply.

Always be sure to group plants together which have roughly the same requirements when it comes to light and water irrigation. Put them in the right area for their light level based on the shade around your garden through the day.

Irrigation System

Xeriscape landscaping - Irrigation

You should use some form of an irrigation system, and even though the purpose is to minimize the amount of water you need, you still need some form of water to get to the plants. When working out how to do xeriscape landscaping, establishing the amount of water needed is vital.

When you do water, you can do so manually or using sprinklers. However, you should make sure you water infrequently but deeply so that the plants get deeper roots and this helps them to grow in a xeriscaped landscape. Don’t water during the day, this can cause the water to evaporate and not have the full effect.


The choice of soil will be utterly vital to a properly xeriscaped garden. It is likely that you will need to treat and amend the soil that is already in your yard.

Most xeric plants will get far more out of compost than the soil already in your yard. The soil can retain water better if it has been treated in this way. Depending on where you are located and which plants you have chosen, the desert plants may like gravel soils more.

Once you have chosen your xeric plants for the xeriscape landscaping, it is vital that you do some research on the conditions they need and ensure you match these up in your yard.


Mulch is another essential aspect of xeriscaping. It is one of the most useful tools. You can use a lot of different types of mulch like wood grindings or bark, and a few inches of coverage will help a lot. This becomes a lot more resistant to wind and rain.

The amazing properties of mulch include keeping the roots of your xeric plants cool, avoiding crusting and generally keeping the condition of your soil better, and stopping some water from being evaporated by the heat.

Try not to use rocks too much as these can make it a lot hotter and this can cause evaporation of any water.


Xeriscape landscaping is a must in certain areas. If you are looking to keep your Vegas yard in great condition and even save money on water, Xeriscaping can be your new best friend.