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Water-Wise Plants Purchase Tips

Approach the purchase of Xeriscape plants as you would the purchase of any plant materials for your garden. Select healthy, robust plants to get a solid start. Check each plant for bruises or injuries before buying.

Some plants may be available from mail order catalogs. These plants may do fine, but be aware that the shipping method and shipping time can impact success rate.

Bring your landscape plan with you to the nursery or plant store. Discuss your ideas with the local experts and select Xeric plants that will work in your yard given the constraints of sun, shade, wind, water, etc.

You can purchase Xeriscape plant materials at your local nursery, plant store, and sometimes at large discount stores. Before you go to the store it is a good idea to identify the plants you are interested in. There are some excellent reference books that can help you with selections. You can also find a lot of information on the web. Remember that the plants that work well for Xeriscape in one region may not do well in another. It’s always best to consult with a local landscaping expert or plant nursery professional. In addition, many water utilities offer brochures on Xeriscape.

Water-Wise Plants Incentives or Rebates

Some water providers, cities, and utility companies offer financial incentives for replacing bluegrass turf with either Xeriscape plants or low water use grass varieties such as buffalo grass. In some cases a utility may offer low water grass varieties at a discounted price. Sometimes referred to as “cash for grass” programs, these incentive programs can make the conversion from turf to Xeriscape easier on your pocketbook.

For information about incentive programs in your area, contact your local water provider. If your utility doesn’t offer this type of incentive program, you can recommend that they consider offering it.

Xeriscape Books:

Xeriscape Plant Guide, 1999, AWWA, Denver, CO.

Xeriscape Handbook : A How-To Guide to Natural, Resource-Wise Gardening, Gayle Weinstein, 1999, AWWA, Denver, CO.

Waterwise Landscaping with Trees, Shrubs, and Vines: A Xeriscape Guide for the Rocky Mountain Region, California, and the Desert Southwest, James M Knopf (Editor), Maureen McIntyre (Illustrator), 1999, Charisma Books.

The Xeriscape Flower Gardener : A Waterwise Guide for the Rocky Mountain Region, Jim Knopf, 1991, Johnson Books.

Dry-Land Gardening : A Xeriscaping Guide for Dry-Summer, Cold-Winter Climates, Jennifer Bennett, 1998, Firefly Books.

Creating The Prairie Xeriscape :Low-maintenance, Water-efficient Gardening, Sara Williams, 1997, Unknown publisher.

Xeriscape Gardening :Water Conservation For The American Landscape, Connie Loc Ellefson, Thomas L. Stephens, and Doug Welsch. Year and publisher unknown.

A Desert Gardener’s Companion, Kim Nelson, and Paul Mirocha, 2001, Rio Nuevo Publishers.

The Dry Garden : A Practical Guide to Planning & Planting (Wayside Gardens Collection), Mark Rumary, John E. Elsley, 1995, Sterling Publications.

The Dry Garden, Beth Chatto and Thomas Fischer, 1996, Saga Press.

Xeriscaping for Florida Homes, Monica Moran Brandies, 1999, Great Outdoors Publishing Co.

Plants for Dry Climates, Mary Rose Duffield, Warren D. Jones, 1992, H.P. Books.

Xeriscape Color Guide : 100 Water-Wise Plants for Gardens and Landscapes, by David Winger (Editor), 1998, Fulcrum Pub.

Trees and Shrubs for Dry California Landscapes : Plants for Water Conservation, Bob Perry, Robert Perry, date and publisher unknown.

Landscape Plants for Western Regions: An Illustrated Guide to Plants for Water Conservation,Bob Perry, Land Design Publishing, 1992 (Out of Print – Only Available Used or Library Loan).

William Lowe
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