What Does a Water Conserving Landscape Look Like?

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape February 11, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

Dry creekbed design.
Photo source: gardengirly Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Bearded Iris are drought tolerant. Photo credit: Hope Abrams. Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0






A water conserving landscape will look different depending on where it is located. Water conserving (water-wise) landscapes may look like the surrounding natural landscape or a more formal design might be used.

Water conserving landscapes tend to have smaller lawns and utilize plants that use less water than in traditional landscapes.

Mulches and drip irrigation systems may also used to conserve water.  

The Utah Water-Wise Plants for Utah Landscapes website specifies that for a plant to be considered water wise it should be watered at most, every two weeks after establishment.  In other areas of the US, water needs for specific plant species may be greater or less, depending on rainfall, temperature, and humidity.

Make sure water penetrates the root zone each time plants are watered. 

You might be surprise to know that many traditionally used perennial garden plants such as bearded iris, daylilies, and dianthus are considered low water use plants. Attractive water conserving plants are becoming increasingly available at local garden centers.

Additional Resources:

Click on links below for examples of water conserving garden designs.


California - Water-wise Gardening
Nevada - SNWA Landscape Awards
Utah - Water-Wise Landscaping in Action

Similar Articles:

Water-wise Traditional Garden Styles
Tips for Creating a Traditional Water-wise Landscape
Traditional Contemporary Versus Water-wise Landscapes

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.