10 Best Plants for Xeriscaping


Raise your hand if you a) lack a green thumb, b) care about the environment, c) care about your environment or, d) all of the above. Congratulations! You’re the perfect candidate for xeriscaping.

As a desert dweller, I know firsthand that this eco-friendly method of gardening conserves water, requires minimal upkeep, significantly reduces your water bills and yields stunning greenery and flowers. But, you don’t have to live in an arid region to get into this low maintenance style of gardening. To get you started, here’s a list of the best plants for xeriscaping.


Equipped to survive even the driest climates, succulents can retain water and survive dry spells (and forgetful gardeners). Plus, there are hundreds of varieties to choose from.



This fragrant flowering plant is popular among amateur gardeners and can grow in a variety of soils.



More commonly known as air plants, tillandsias don’t even need soil to grow. Instead of receiving sustenance through the roots, their leaves absorb essential nutrients and water.

Fairy Duster


Due to a slow growth rate, these drought-resistant shrubs rarely need to be pruned.

Purple Sage


This low-maintenance perennial releases a sweet aroma when its beautiful buds bloom.



Able to flourish in poor soil with little water, these plants produce flowers in an assortment of brilliant colors like red, white, yellow and pink.

Red Bird of Paradise


This flowering shrub thrives in warm shades of red, yellow and orange when exposed to ample sunlight.



Since this vining shrub grows rapidly, it’s best used as a ground cover or hanging plant.

California Poppy


The state’s official flower, the California poppy is self-seeding and nyctinastic.



Bougainvilleas flower from season to season in vibrant hues like orange, yellow, pink, red, purple and white.

Images: Anika Malone, ILoveButter, eutima, cliff1066, ClatieK, Bill & Mavis, James Gagen, bbjee, jalalspages, The County Clerk

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6 thoughts on “10 Best Plants for Xeriscaping

  1. Pingback: Recent News on Xeriscaping | Newholisticliving's Sustainable Gardening Blog

  2. Hi Ann, Ray, thanks for pointing out the errors. We’ll look into a correction.

    Ann, as for the names – I’m sorry the post disappointed you so much. The intent was certainly not to make any statement about intelligence.

  3. The flowers in the photograph are iceland poppies (papaver nudicale.) What do they mean by “purple sage” anyway? Can we be a little more specific here…are we so dumbed-down that we can’t handle latin names anymore?

  4. hmmm, look like california or icelandic poppies. Oriental poppies usually have darker centres in the flower.

  5. Also I notice the irony of being picky and making a stupid (possibly several) typo(s)

  6. Sorry to be picky (I hate being “that guy”) but:
    Tillandsia don’t need much liquid water but, for the most part they do require very high humidity and are not be xeric.

    While the plant labeled red bird of paradise, is in fact called that, it is a common name used by at least two other non-related plant species. It is usually sold as pride of Barbados.

    The poppies shown are not California poppies but are oriental poppies, which are a different species.

    Again, I know I am being annoying but yeah….. sorry.


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