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Top Types of Plants to Use in Xeriscape Landscaping

Xeriscape is a type of landscaping used to cultivate plants in a region that faces drought-like conditions and where it is advised to practice water conservation. The term is derived from a Greek word Xeroes, which means ‘dry’. It is important to note that xeriscape landscaping is not about growing desert plants. The whole point of xeriscape landscaping is to cultivate non-desert plants with the economical use of water.

There are some measures that should be taken into account to develop xeriscape landscaping.

Right Type of Soil: Use of soil that provides better absorption and drainage of water along with optimal oxygen transfer.

Hydrozones: Establishing hydro-zones according to the group of plants with similar watering needs.

Small Turf Areas: Xeriscape landscaping doesn’t encourage larger turf areas because it takes a lot of water to maintain them.

Suitable Irrigation System: It is the most important aspect to develop a xeriscape landscaping. Integrate an irrigation system that doesn’t result in water runoffs. An irrigation system that directly waters the roots is ideal for xeriscape landscaping. This measure helps in promoting water conservation.

Use of Organic Mulch: Xeriscape landscaping can be promoted with the use of organic mulch. It helps in reducing surface water evaporation and growth of unwanted weed.

Let’s have a look at some of the top plants that you can grow in xeriscape landscaping. We are classifying these xeriscape-friendly plants into trees and shrubs.

Xeriscape-Friendly Trees

Red Maples

Also known as swamp maple, this tree can be grown with the economical use of water. It can provide your xeriscape landscaping with a vibrant crimson ambiance during fall.

Shagbark Hickory

It is another species that can be grown in a xeriscape setting. Aside from giving good visual feel in fall, Shagbark hickory keeps a landscape alive during winters. They are distinctive for their peeling bark, which is very similar to that of birch trees.

American Elms

American elm is another drought-resistant tree that can be grown in a large xeriscape landscaping. Elm has got a large green crown that provides shelter against scathing sun of summers. Therefore, it is ideal to grow in landscapes of New Mexico and surrounding areas.

Ginkgo Biloba

This tree species provide a fine yellow ambiance during fall. Moreover, it’s fan-shaped leaves also increase its aesthetic value.


Hawthorn is one of those xeriscape-friendly trees that also demonstrate blooming display. Animated red flowers start to appear at the end of winters, which then grow into berries.

Xeriscape-Friendly Shrubs

Butterfly Bush

Botanists have succeeded in developing a non-invasive type of butter bush that can easily be planted in xeriscape landscaping. With colors ranging from magenta to lavender, you can decorate your xeriscape landscaping with butterfly bushes.


Lantana is another multicolor flowering shrub that can be incorporated into a xeriscape landscaping.

Virginia Sweetspire

Bearing white flowers in springs and demonstrating vibrant foliage shades in falls, Virginia Sweetspire is the best planting option if you want your xeriscape landscaping to look dynamic all year round.

As you can, there are some top plant options that can help you to develop a xeriscape like any other landscaping with multiple features of aesthetics and functionality.