How Can I Tell If My Landscaping Plants Are A Low-Water Variety? TextAudioPicture

LOW-WATER-USE PLANTS ARE A GREAT WAY TO HELP CONSERVE WATER

Water – Plant It Wisely is a spring campaign by Water – Use It Wisely to help promote low-water-use plants and how beautiful water conservation can be..

1 | Tell us about Water – Plant It Wisely. Why is it beneficial to know about this?

Rosie on the House Water Plant It Wisley

This spring, Water – Use It Wisely is sowing the seeds of water conservation with a campaign called Water –It Wisely. We have put together the Ultimate Arizona Spring Landscaping and Planting Resource for landscaping tips and advice.

Since spring is the season when homeowners work on their yards, we thought it was a good opportunity to spread awareness about how gardening, landscaping and water conservation go hand-in-hand.

As stewards of water conservation awareness throughout the Valley and the state, we want to let residents know that they can have beautiful landscaping that also conserves water.

We hope this campaign helps educate everyone on the many benefits of low-water-use plants.

As a leading authority on water conservation, Water – Plant It Wisely encourages our communities to consider the bigger picture when doing their spring gardening, to use plants that have a minimal impact on our water usage, which is so important to sustaining our precious water supply for future generations.

2 | What if we don't want a barren-looking landscape?

Aren't we limited by the types of desert plants that don't use a lot of water?

Part of the perception of low-water-use plants is that they only include cacti and drab bushes. That is not true.

There are so many other wonderful low-water-use plants that grow well in our desert – all sorts of beautiful shrubs, flowers, trees, vines and groundcover that people don't know about.

Desert flora doesn't require much water to thrive and adds a variety of colors, sizes, functions and yes, even a lush greenery to your landscaping.

The sheer number of heat and drought resistant species native to our southwest deserts or from arid climates around the world may surprise you – there are hundreds of choices.

3 | What are some examples of low-water-use plants for your garden?

Want to plant edibles?

Rosie on the House Drought Tolerant Landscaping

Indian Fig Prickly Pear – a cactus with showy fruit and tree-like sculptural qualities

Pomegranate – Grows colorful fruit in a variety of flower colors and comes in a variety of sizes

Want to plant pollinators?

Bee Brush is a shrub with small scented flowers and can grow to six feet. The flowers attract bees and help pollinate the other plants and trees in your garden.

Want to plant fragrances?

Chihuahuan Sage – Grows well in poor soil and features fragrant purple flowers and grows into a good informal hedge.

Desert Lavender – This shrub is a woolly gray color with fragrant foliage and attracts hummingbirds and needs very little water.

Want to plant butterflies?

Woolly Butterfly Bush – silvery leaves with bright clusters of flowers grows to five feet attract butterflies, requires very low water to grow.

Desert Milkweed – Native to Sonoran Desert. This strong vertical accent plant attracts butterflies.

Rosie on the House Water Wise Landscape

Want to plant hummingbirds?

Firecracker Penstemon – Native to Southwest US, this small perennial grows bright flower spikes that attracts hummingbirds.

These are just some examples of low-water-use plants. You can find out all about hundreds of desert plant varieties here: Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert and it will take you to a searchable database with pictures and information on all types of desert plants. Whatever you decide to plant, double-check to make sure it is available at one of our great local nurseries.

4 | Gardening plants actually helps conserve water.

It seems counterintuitive, but there are actually many interesting facts that support the benefits of low-water-use plants:

  1. Considering that up to 70% of water use is outdoors, low-water-use plants are a wise way to help conserve water with little effort and can help you save money in the long run.
  2. You can save up to 550 gallons a year with each low-water-use plant you place in your landscape.
  3. A beautiful garden can make you breathe easier, literally: In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles. (Source)
  4. Not only are there water-saving gains but there are financial gains to planting low-water-use plants: A gorgeous landscape can increase a home's value by up to 15% and accelerate its sale by five to six weeks.
  5. Plants and shade trees help prevent evaporation from the soil and by retaining water in the ground, it means less watering.

While we're really here to discuss the water conservation aspects of spring gardening, environmentally speaking, low-water-use plants make sense for a variety of reasons other than just saving water. Besides saving water, when you have plants adapted to your local weather conditions, they will need little to no pesticides or fertilizers, they need less maintenance, and they help to restore natural habitats for wildlife.

5 | What other info will you have for people to learn more about low-water-use plants?

Go to our website waterplantitwisely.com for more information.

Besides providing information on easy-care plants, we will have links to the numerous blogs and resources on our Water – Use It Wisely website that provide tips on Landscaping Design & Installation. Topics include:

Rosie on the House Xeriscape Design

  1. Principles of Xeriscape Design
  2. Landscape Knowledge that will make you waterwise
  3. Scottsdale's Residential Landscape Revitalization Workbook
  4. Drab to Fab Backyard Rehab 10-part video series
  5. Information on Turf/Grass Care & Maintenance and much more

10 Reasons Why Artificial Turf May Not Be What You're Looking For has ranked as one of our website's most visited blogs for years. It is a must-read for anyone who is considering artificial turf this spring.

 
Resources:

Arizona Municipal Water Users Association | Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert

Arizona Department of Water Resources | Conservation Landscaping, Residential & Professional

Water Use It Wisely | 10 Reasons Why Artificial Turf May Not Be What You're Looking For

Rosie on the House | 5 Ways To Make Your Desert Yard More “Sustainable”

Podcast

Donna DeFrancesco introduces the ultimate Arizona spring Landscaping And Planting Resources: Water Plant It Wisley.com. Plenty of tips to have a nice spring garden, great landscaping and more using less water.

###

 

#SpringPlantingPrep

Sponsored by Water - Use It Wisely

Water Use It WiselySince 1999, the Water – Use It Wisely conservation campaign has made smart water use fun, easy and practical for everyone by sharing tips on highly effective water-saving devices like a toothbrush, broom, and irrigation timer. These, and 100+ other tips, remind consumers to think about the water they're using when they come across the items in everyday life. Water-saving device #1 is, of course, you! With a goal to keep water-saving ideas in the forefront of people's minds, the campaign employs a variety of media outlets to promote our 100+ tips, information on desert landscaping, proper irrigation, xeriscape, WaterSense labeled products, and more! Today, twenty partners drive Arizona's coalition, sharing a commitment to sustaining our most precious resource by reducing our water use.

Water – Use It Wisely is a coalition of local municipalities, private water companies, and water agencies working together to share messaging and resources that will keep water conservation top of mind among all our residents.