The Seven Principles of Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a holistic approach to landscaping for the purpose of achieving water conservation and enhancing the relationship between humans and their built environment. Xeriscaping is a process that is
founded upon seven fundamental horticultural principles.

Often, xeriscaping is stereotyped as growing nothing more than cactus in a sea of gravel. In contrast, good xeric design practices result in a rich tapestry of colors, textures and plant materials that are adaptable to any style of landscaping. Good xeriscape design includes practical landscape considerations that affect the home, as well as the outdoor human–built environment.

Principle #1
Develop a Comprehenisve Landscape Plan

Principle #2
Condition Your Soil With Improvements

Principle #3
Limit Lawn sizes or Use an Alternative

Principle #4
Apply Irrigation Water Efficiently

Principle #5
Use Appropriate Plants and Group Them According to Their Water Needs

Principle #6
Apply Mulches to Reduce Evaporation

Principle #7
Maintain Regularly, According to Good Horticulture Practices

This publication was made possible by a generous contribution from the US Bureau of Reclamation as part of an ongoing effort to promote water conservation practices.
Additional funding for technical assistance provided by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.
Fort Lewis College • Office of Community Services • 1000 Rim Dr. • Durango, CO 81301 • 970.247.7333