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Water-Wise Plant Materials

The plant materials available for your Xeriscape are only limited by the climate and your budget. As this technique of landscaping has gained popularity, so has the availability of attractive, low water use plants.

When you go to your local nursery or plant store you should be able to find a wide variety Xeric plant materials appropriate for your region.

Each region and climate zone will have a unique set of appropriate Xeric plant materials. There may be some overlap, but for the success of your Xeriscape it is critical that you select plants that can (and will) thrive in you specific location.

While you may use many of your old favorites in the oasis zone, there are a wide variety of colorful, fragrant, and beautiful plants for the less irrigated part of the landscape. Many have long blooming seasons and attractive leaves.

Some provide autumn interest with colorful foliage and fruit, while others offer winter interest with their fruit, seed stalks, and winter colors ranging from silver, to gray, to many different green and brown shades.

Xeric plants depend on the formation of extensive root systems to effectively gather water for proper growth. While they may look unimpressive in nursery containers, they rapidly become beautiful plants in the landscape.

When selecting Xeric plant materials, watch out for invasive weeds. Too often in human history non-native plants (and animals) have been introduced to a region with unintended and disastrous consequences.

If you are considering new or unusual species of plant for your Xeriscape, crosscheck it against the list of invasive weeks maintained by your local agricultural extension service. An important element of Xeriscape is maintaining the delicate balance of nature.

Plant Materials Resources by State or Region

Rocky Mt. West




Desert Southwest

California (native plants) (native plants)

Florida (north and east-central Florida)

Pacific Northwest


William Lowe
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