Colorado homeowners are choosing xeriscaped yards to save water, time, and money, while honoring the beauty of Colorado’s natural landscape.
Xeriscaping is a landscape design that incorporates native plants that can thrive in natural conditions. Xeriscaping is not the same as zero-scaping, which uses no plants in favor of patios, porches, gravel, or hardscaped designs. Instead, xeriscaping relies on plans which have low water demands to reduce the amount of water needed to maintain the outdoor space.
Why Choose Xeriscape?
The trend towards xeriscaped home yards grew out of the need to conserve water, thanks to the low water demands of the plants. In drought conditions, many people switched to xeriscaped yards to conserve water. Today, many people choose xeriscaped yards for reasons other than strict need to conserve water.
Xeriscaping is a great way to go green! By selecting native plants that survive well in natural conditions, you can significantly reduce the amount of water and maintenance needed to keep the landscape looking its best. This is a great way to save both time and money.
Xeriscaping also has aesthetic appeal for many Coloradans. By switching to native plants, the home’s outdoor spaces will match the natural environment in Colorado. As you explore public parks and open spaces across Colorado, you can see the same plants you have in your yard.
Native Colorado Plants
Lawns often require the most water and maintenance in yards. Replacing, reducing, or eliminating the amount of yard space occupied by lawn can drastically reduce the amount of water needed to maintain your yard. Replace your lawn with natural grasses that can be found in Colorado’s environment and survive primarily on rainfall. Buffalo grass and blue grama grass are common choices.
When choosing other plants for your yard, favor native or other well-adapted plants that thrive in Colorado. ABC landscaping suggests the 6 best plants for your Colorado xeriscape, which includes:
- Poppy Mallow
- Apache Plume
- Kentucky Coffee Tree
- Agastache (Hummingbird Mint)
- Festuca Boulder Blue
As you begin to layout your outdoor space, arrange plants with similar water demands together. This creates irrigation zones which can help you adjust your sprinkler system based on the plants water demands.
Finish your xeriscaped yard with mulch and ground cover. This will prevent moisture from evaporating into the air, allowing the water to get to the plants that need it. Mulch also shades the soil, preventing it from absorbing heat during hot summer days. Wood chips, gravel, and ground bark are great ways to protect your yard and look nice, without demanding more water and maintenance.
The mantra for xeriscaping is, “right plant, right place.” By switching to native Colorado plants, you can save water, time, and money. Follow REcolorado on Facebook for more ideas on xeriscaping and outdoor living in Colorado.
Originally published November 2, 2017 — Updated April 30, 2020