10 Xeriscaping Tips For A Drought-Resistant Landscape

You’re probably tired of hearing about California’s drought, but I’ll continue to bring it up until it stops being a problem. 

So long as water restrictions remain in place and the state’s reservoirs are at record lows, our landscapes need to adapt. One way to save water while still enjoying your garden is by xeriscaping, or landscaping with drought-tolerant plants that don’t need much supplemental watering. 

But what exactly constitutes a xeriscaped landscape? What are some tips for creating one? And how can you make sure your low-water landscaping doesn’t look boring? 

We’re glad you asked! Here are 10 great ways to turn your yard into an oasis without spending every weekend hauling buckets from the well:

Smart Landcapes – Drought-Tolerant Landscapes
Key Takeaways
Sustainable landscaping can benefit both homes and communities, while also promoting environmental health.
Xeriscaping is a practical and beautiful landscaping technique that conserves water and resources.
Choosing native plants and incorporating sustainable design elements can help create a drought-resistant landscape.
Sustainable landscaping practices can help reduce waste and save resources, while also promoting a healthier planet.
Creating a beautiful and eco-friendly outdoor space is possible with the right knowledge, techniques, and inspiration.

Research Low-Care Plants

First, let’s define xeriscaping.

Xeriscaping is a landscaping style that focuses on plants and other elements that thrive in hot and dry climates. The goal of xeriscaping is to use less water by choosing drought-tolerant plants, using mulch for soil moisture retention, and avoiding unnecessary watering.

Now that you know what it is, let me tell you about some low-maintenance plants I would recommend for your garden! They are:

Sustainable landscaping is not only good for the environment, but it can also benefit our homes and communities. Learn more about the many benefits of sustainable landscaping and explore the various ways in which you can make a positive impact on the planet.

Plant In Mass

Mass planting is a great way to create a lush, green landscape that requires less maintenance and provides natural privacy. 

You can save water by grouping plants that share similar water needs together and planting them in large clumps or banks. 

For example, try planting some small shrubs near the front door of your home; they’ll offer privacy from neighbors while adding color and texture to your yard!

Improved visual impactStudies show that planting in mass can create a more cohesive and visually appealing outdoor space.
Reduced maintenancePlanting in mass can reduce maintenance time and costs, as it typically requires less watering, weeding, and pruning.
Enhance ecological benefitsPlanting in mass can benefit the environment by improving air quality, reducing erosion, and creating habitats for wildlife.
Seasonal interestPlanting in mass with seasonal blooming plants can create a beautiful and ever-changing landscape throughout the year.
Conserves resourcesPlanting in mass can help conserve resources such as water and fertilizer, as it reduces the amount of space that needs to be watered and treated.

Group Small Shrubs

Group shrubs to create a hedge. A well-planned hedge of shrubs can add structure and color to your landscape.

To group by color, select a variety of shrubs with different shades within one color family. For example, you might choose three or four species that range from deep purple to light pink in the heather family.

Or you can group by shape: Try lining up all the flat-topped plants together or forming two lines side by side using tall spires at each end that alternate in height until they meet at the center point of your garden bed (you just need three or four shrubs). This creates interesting visual contrasts while still creating an effective barrier between beds and pathways—and saves space!

Sustainable landscaping can be easy and accessible for everyone. If you’re new to this concept, check out our Sustainable Landscaping 101 guide to learn the basics and get started on creating a beautiful, eco-friendly outdoor space.

Add A Small Lawn

You can still have a lawn, just not a big one. Xeriscaping is all about designing your garden to reduce water usage.

A small lawn is much more manageable than one that covers the entire landscape, and it looks great too.

There are many types of low-maintenance grass that require less care than traditional turfgrass varieties.

Use Groundcover Between Mulch Beds

Groundcovers can be used to cover bare soil, create privacy, create a sense of enclosure and continuity and add color. They also help to moderate the temperature and prevent weed growth. Groundcovers are low-growing shrubs or perennial vines that bloom throughout the year but are not necessarily evergreen. 

Some common ground covers include pachysandra, lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina), ivy (Hedera helix), creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum) and creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera).

Creating a sustainable landscape requires the right knowledge and techniques. Find out the top 15 sustainable landscaping practices that you need to know about to make your garden and outdoor space more environmentally-friendly and sustainable.

Install An Attractive Drip-Irrigation System

It may seem like you’re saving water by watering your lawn with sprinklers, but what you’re really doing is wasting water. 

A drip irrigation system is more efficient than sprinklers and can deliver water directly to the root zone of plants. This means that less water will evaporate from your landscape, so there’s no need to over-water or worry about runoff into storm drains when it rains.

When compared to hand watering, drip systems are also more effective at delivering nutrients and moisture where they are needed most at their roots! 

Drip irrigation can be used in any landscape because nozzles can be placed anywhere needed for optimal plant health.

Popular Drip Irrigation Brands

Drip Irrigation Brands
Rain Bird
Jain Irrigation Systems

If you’re looking to install an attractive drip-irrigation system in your garden, there are several top brands that offer high-quality and efficient products. In this table, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular brands in the market, including Rainbird, Hunter, and Netafim, to name a few.

These brands offer a wide range of drip-irrigation products, from tubing and fittings to emitters and timers, that can help you water your plants more effectively and sustainably.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, investing in a reliable drip-irrigation system can save you time, money, and water in the long run, while also keeping your garden looking lush and beautiful.

Use Large Rocks To Create Borders

Use large rocks to create borders. Rocks have many uses in xeriscaping and can be used to create borders around your landscape, whether they are straight or curvy. Rocks that are a variety of colors and textures will add to the visual appeal of your garden area.

To learn more about how you can use rocks in your landscaping, read our article on How To Use Boulders In Landscaping & Garden Design!

Xeriscaping not only saves water but it can also save you time and money! Learn more about the benefits of xeriscaping and find out how to make the most of your low-water garden to achieve a beautiful and sustainable landscape.

Use Boulders To Create Focal Points

Boulders are an excellent way to create focal points in your xeriscape landscape. They can be used to give the illusion of enclosure, privacy, and safety.

Xeriscaping is the practice of landscaping with minimal water use by incorporating drought-resistant plants and other elements into the design. 

By choosing native soil and plants that thrive in sun or shade (or both), xeriscaping can help conserve water while creating beautiful landscapes that require minimal watering.

Create Your Own Garden Art

Try creating a garden focal point. Using rocks, plants, or water features to draw attention to certain areas of your yard can help make the most of space and create a more cohesive look for your landscape.

You can also add some simple garden art (like this gorgeous solar-powered birdbath we spotted at a local nursery) to give your yard some character.

DIY Garden Art Ideas
Upcycled Bottle Vases
Mosaic Stepping Stones
DIY Birdhouses
Hand-Painted Rocks
Repurposed Metal Garden Sculptures
DIY Wind Chimes
Garden Pinwheels
Fairy Garden Accessories
DIY Garden Signs

Add A Water Feature

Water features can add interest and beauty to your landscape, and they can help you save money on your water bill too! If you choose the right kind of feature for your space, it will attract birds and other wildlife and those are two things that everyone loves in their yard. 

Birds have been shown to reduce the amount of pests in an area as well as boost garden productivity with their droppings (aka fertilizer). 

And if you do decide to add plants around or near your water features, they’ll benefit from being watered naturally without having to be hooked up to an irrigation system.


If you are looking for a way to make your landscape more drought-tolerant and reduce your watering time, then xeriscaping is for you. 

These ten tips will get you started on the road to a more natural and beautiful garden that is not only easy on the eyes but also on your water bill!

Further Reading

10 Ways to Create a Drought-Resistant Landscape Design – Learn how to create a beautiful and sustainable landscape design that is resistant to drought with these helpful tips and tricks.

Xeriscaping: An Eco-Friendly Landscape Alternative – Explore the concept of xeriscaping, an eco-friendly alternative to traditional landscaping, and discover how to create the perfect low-water garden.

Xeriscaping Ideas – Get inspired with these stunning xeriscaping ideas from Martha Stewart, featuring low-water plants, decorative rocks, and other stylish design elements.


What is sustainable landscaping?

Sustainable landscaping is the practice of creating and maintaining a beautiful outdoor space while also conserving resources, reducing waste, and promoting environmental health.

What are the benefits of xeriscaping?

Xeriscaping can help you save water, time, and money while also creating a beautiful and low-maintenance outdoor space. It can also reduce your carbon footprint and benefit the environment.

How can I create a drought-resistant landscape?

There are several ways to create a drought-resistant landscape, such as choosing plants that are native to your area, using hardscaping features like stones or gravel, and installing a drip irrigation system.

What are some key xeriscaping techniques?

Some key xeriscaping techniques include selecting low-water plants, using mulch or gravel to retain moisture, and incorporating sustainable design elements like rain barrels and compost bins.

How can I make my backyard more eco-friendly?

You can make your backyard more eco-friendly by implementing sustainable landscaping practices, such as choosing native plants, using organic soil and fertilizers, and using renewable energy sources like solar-powered outdoor lighting.