As droughts become more frequent and severe, many homeowners in drought-prone states like California, Nevada, and Arizona are looking for ways to mitigate this risk. One solution to consider is drought-tolerant landscaping. In this blog, we’ll explain this type of landscaping, the benefits, and the plants, grasses, and designs that could work best for you.
What Is Drought-Tolerant Landscaping?
Drought-tolerant landscaping incorporates plants, trees, grass, and shrubs that can endure extreme temperatures and minimal water usage during drought season.. This type of landscaping relies heavily on utilizing inorganic materials — e.g., artificial turf, decorative stones, pebbles, rock, gravel, etc. — to minimize the need for water.
Why Should You Consider Drought-Tolerant Landscaping?
The idea of drought-friendly landscaping may seem limiting, but there are many benefits to opting for this alternative, including:
When you build a drought-tolerant landscape, you’ll spend less time watering, fertilizing, pruning, and tending to other landscaping duties. Drought-tolerant plants tend to have a deep root system, which will help retain water better, keep the soil in place, and prevent erosion. You will have more time on your hands and more money in your pocket since you won't spend as much on fertilizer and other gardening supplies.
Less Water Usage
Since drought-tolerant plants have adapted to drier conditions and lower water requirements, you’ll naturally use less water. Water is a limited resource, so making efforts to converse some water can help preserve our ecosystem and wildlife during the drought season.
Reduced Water Bills
Since drought-tolerant plants require minimal water to thrive, you won’t be nearly using your irrigation system as much. This means you’ll likely see a decrease in your monthly water bills, making your landscape more inexpensive and eco-friendly.
A drought-tolerant landscape doesn't mean you have to fill your lawn with rocks. Plenty of beautiful, hardy plants will imbue your home with color all year long. While you still need to research and plan what you want to grow, just like a regular landscape, you won’t have to worry about constant watering or maintenance when it’s all said and done.
Increased Home Value
A well-maintained landscape can be a huge influence on your home’s value. After all, the front yard is essentially the first impression of your home, so designing a gorgeous drought-friendly landscape in a hot, dry climate can instantly boost your home’s value. If you decide to put your house on the market, potential homebuyers would love to purchase a property where they don’t have to put much time and money into maintaining the landscape.
Common Drought-Tolerant Plants and Grasses
One of the most important considerations to keep in mind when designing your drought-tolerant landscape is picking the right plants and grass for your location. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Drought Tolerant Plants
- Thyme — Not only is thyme a delicious spice to incorporate into your savory cooking, but it’s a lovely plant that beautifully complements taller herbs. There are several varieties, but silver edge thyme is one of the hardiest herbs to withstand droughts.
- Lavender — This fragrant plant is native to the Mediterranean and Middle East, so it can certainly endure hot, arid conditions. Consider growing lavender along your pathway to give your home a vibrant, welcoming entrance.
- Lupine — Lupines are an excellent choice if you live in a rural area. These perennials can not only withstand droughts, but their fragrance helps keep deer away, ensuring your flowers won’t get eaten.
- Artemisia —Artemisias are perfect for accentuating ornamental grasses and other perennials with different colors. They thrive in full sun and use minimal water, but they need soil with excellent drainage.
Drought Tolerant Grass
- Zoysia grass — Zoysia is a drought-tolerant grass that grows slowly, so you won’t have to mow as often. It also provides a dense turf that handles foot traffic well.
- Bahia grass — Offering a coarse blade texture, bahia grass forms a deep root system that makes it extremely drought tolerant.
- Bermuda grass — Bermuda is a finely textured grass ideal for hot and dry climates. It handles foot traffic well, but it’s also a fast grower, so you may need to mow it more frequently.
- Artificial turf — Since artificial turf isn’t real grass, it’s easily the most low-maintenance grass available, requiring no irrigation, mowing, or fertilization.
Drought Tolerant Landscaping Ideas
While drought-tolerant landscaping has more restrictions than traditional landscaping, you can still come up with beautiful designs that seriously boost your curb appeal.
- Minimalist — A minimalist landscape replaces most plants and natural grass with decorative rocks, decomposed granite, and some cacti and succulents.
- Southwestern — A Southwestern landscape combines native plants, succulents, and cacti. The ground is also often covered with decorative rocks and decomposed granite.
- Californian — This type of landscape utilizes a tasteful blend of native California plants — e.g., salvia, ceanothus, rhamnus, etc. — and ornamental grasses like fescue and buffalo grass.
- Mediterranean — A Mediterranean landscape provides the most color thanks to plants like lavender, sage, and rosemary. However, it needs a little more maintenance than other landscape styles.
Drought-tolerant landscaping is an excellent way to conserve water and have a beautiful yard without maintaining it as much as a traditional landscape. If you live in a drought-prone area, you’re susceptible to raging wildfires, so it’s crucial to have homeowners insurance to give you peace of mind when disasters occur. Consider Mercury Insurance, where we offer best-in-class coverage at an affordable price.