Home & Garden

Tips and Tricks to Garden Creatively in a Drought

Ingrid Ingebretsen writes blogs about clean water and water filtration systems for LifeSource Water Systems. Ingrid Ingebretsen

Lush gardens with yards of grass, flowers and greenery are beautiful but they require huge amounts of water to maintain. If you’re in a hot, arid climate such as California, Texas, Arizona or Nevada, you likely don’t get enough rain to sustain such water-demanding gardens. These climates only get an average of 10 inches of rain per year but they have the longest gardening seasons. With the proper knowledge and green thumb, people who live in desert climates can cultivate beautiful gardens that are low-maintenance and drought-friendly.  

Many cities even have rebate programs that encourage the switch from water-demanding gardens to low-maintenance gardens. Santa Barbara and Los Angeles both have programs that offer rebates to those who remove their lawns and replace them with alternative landscaping.

There are many low-maintenance plants you can use in your garden. Even if you’re not a fan of the stereotypical desert aesthetic, there are a variety of plants you can plant to create some color. A desert environment isn’t a death sentence for your garden, it’s an opportunity to explore alternative aesthetics! 

Myoporum Parvifolium

Type:         Lawn alternative
Sunlight:   Can grow in full sun or in partial shade
Water:        Once a week until plant is established and then once every two weeks
Benefits:    It quickly spreads over large areas to create dense greenery  

Prostrate Rosemary

Type:          Herb
Sunlight:    Prefers partial shade
Water:        Once a week
Benefits:     Aromatic herb mimics the smell of a pine tree

Blonde Mexican Feathergrass

Type:         Grass alternative
Sunlight:   Grows best in full sun
Water:        Once a week until established and then once a month or as needed
Benefits:    Ornamental grass creates the aesthetic of a cascading fountain


Type:         Succulent
Sunlight:   Needs a few hours of full sunlight and then shade
Water:        Once every two weeks until established and then once a month
Benefits:    Will produce flowers for a few weeks once a year


Type:         Succulent
Sunlight:   Needs a few hours of full sunlight and then shade
Water:        Once every two weeks until established and then once a month
Benefits:    This compact plant can thrive indoors or outdoors

All of these plants appear lush to give your garden the ‘wow factor’ but require very little water to thrive.