Best Plants for Xeriscaping

by Scotty Ledford, P.A. 10/03/2019

Xeriscaping, or dry-scaping, is a method of gardening intended to minimize the need for irrigation and ongoing watering. You can develop a xeriscape in any climate, using the right plants, but it most commonly appears in drought-prevalent areas with more mild winters and hot summers. If you live in a desert or southern climate, this might be the right solution for you. Xeriscaping is an excellent option for those dealing with yards that are tough to irrigate. They're also a fantastic cost-saving solution to avoid needing any additional irrigation for your yard, and for lowering water usage throughout the life of your yard.

In this series discover some great go-to plants to consider when building your xeriscape plan. One of the best types of plant you can employ in your xeriscape is ornamental grasses. Ornamental grasses grow big and full making them tremendously useful for fleshing out your xeriscape. Add a selection of different grasses for variation in color and size throughout your landscape. Here are some beautiful species to consider when designing your xeriscape.

Purple Fountain Grass — Of all ornamental grasses this fountain grass is one of the most popular and preferred grasses for gardens of all types and is perfect for your xeriscape. It is a perennial that loves full sun and only occasional watering. You can plant Purple Fountain Grass in all seasons and enjoy rusty, rose and purple colored plums from summer through fall. This plant combines very well when clumped with other drought-tolerant plants but can also stand on its own as a statement piece in your landscape.

Mexican Feather Grass — This annual grass is a very light wispy and finely textured grass. It produces green and brown coloring year-round with small flower heads through Summer. Mexican Feather Grass, a highly drought-tolerant plant, prefers full sun and dry soil. This grass has scant watering needs and is very sensitive to water. For best results keep the plant dry. Though it is an annual, this grass reseeds on its own making it an excellent option for creating coverage in sloping yards or meadows. It also adapts very well to flower beds and containers for more controlled growth.

Blue Oat Grass —The silver-blue leaves of this grass are a striking addition to any landscape. Blue Oat Grass is drought-tolerant and even salt resistant, allowing it to thrive in warm environments with dry soil. Considered semi-evergreen this beautiful grass requires little maintenance while providing color year-round and creating beautiful plumes through the summer.

Artificial Turf — A significant part of xeriscaping involves reduced lawn areas in your yard. You want to create a sustainable xeriscape, but you also need some area of your yard for children or pets to run around. So maybe it's not an actual plant, but artificial turf grass is an excellent solution for your lawn. Add a small amount of turf for the final touch on your perfect eco-friendly yard. The initial cost of artificial grass is higher than live turf, but the ongoing maintenance and environmental costs saved on watering, fertilizing and mowing are significant. Before you start planting ornamental grasses, flowers and trees determine whether or not you need an area of turf. 

Now that you have some essential grasses to start your xeriscape plan read on to the next part of this series for some beautiful flowering plants to add for pops of color in your landscape.

About the Author
Author

Scotty Ledford, P.A.

Originally from Southern Maryland and the Washington D.C. Area, Scotty graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1980. Upon earning an Associated Degree in Business from Prince George's College in 1982 he secured a manager position at Homes & Land Magazine of Southern Maryland.

In 1986, Scotty opened his own franchise; Home & Land Magazine of Prince George's County and later became the managing partner of the Southern Maryland Publication. For twenty-three years Scotty always placed in the "Top 20 Publisher's Club" in an arena of over 300 publishers/owner. He also won the coveted "Publisher of the Year Award" in 1991.

After purchasing a condo on the West Coast of Florida in 2001, Scotty hired a property manager and put it in the monthly rental program. If the condo didn't rent on a given month, he would come down from Maryland and stay at the condo for a couple of weeks at a time. Well, it didn't take long for Scotty to dislike having to go home at the end of his stay. It was apparent that Florida was going to become his new full time home and he moved to Sarasota in January of 2003.

Having always been in the real estate industry, Scotty obtained his Florida Real Estate License in 2004. Shortly after that, he sold his Homes & Land franchises in Maryland. Scotty held his license with a couple of large national brokers initially but decided that a local firm was a wiser idea. Recently Scotty became affiliated with Fine Properties saying "No other broker can give me the tools needed to succeed in representing my clients and their interests better than Fine Properties."

As a residential agent representing both sellers and buyers in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, Scotty has the experience, resources and marketing background to help anyone realize their real estate goals in the Sarasota-Manatee County market.