Quick Facts On Xeriscape: How to Save Water Through Water-Smart Landscaping


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Quick Facts On Xeriscape: How to Save Water Through Water-Smart Landscaping

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Quick Facts On Xeriscape: How to Save Water Through Water-Smart Landscaping

  1. 1. S O U T H F L O R I D A W A T E R M A N A G E M E N T D I S T R I C T Xeriscape: How to Save Water Through Water-smart Landscaping MARCH 12, 2001The South Florida Water Did you know that half of residential water planting. You can mix organic matter such asManagement District is used for outdoor irrigation? You can cut compost, peat, manure or topsoil into sandyis a regional, governmental your outdoor water use substantially with soils for enrichment and to retain moisture.agency that oversees the water-conserving plants and use ofwater resources in the 4. Have limited turf areas. Turf is the single Xeriscape principles.southern half of the state. It largest consumer of water in a landscape.is the oldest and largest of Xeriscape is water conservation through Always look for drought-tolerant turf varieties.the state’s five water creative landscaping. The term Xeriscaping Consider mulch as an alternative to turf.management districts. means water-conserving, drought-tolerant Avoid long, narrow turf areas because they landscaping, or simply the use of the right are difficult to water efficiently.Our Mission is to manageand protect water resources plant in the right place—with proper 5. Water wisely. Drought-tolerant plants canof the region by balancing maintenance and water-wise watering. survive mostly on rainfall. If watering isand improving water Follow the seven fundamentals of Xeriscape necessary, do it only in the early morning,quality, flood control, systematically and you’ll be well on your way and in accordance with any water restrictions,natural systems, and water to saving water! to reduce evaporation. Remember, Floridasupply. Statutes require that all new automatic lawn 1. Design your landscape. Careful planning sprinkler systems must have a rain sensor is crucial to the long-term success of a Xeriscape device or shut-off switch which overrides the landscape. You can minimize your initial system cycle following adequate rainfall. investment by installing your Xeriscape in Water trees, shrubs, flowers and ground phases. First, make a simple site plan drawing covers with low-volume drip or spray heads. of your property. Note slopes, drainage prob- These low-volume methods include “soaker lems and existing plants and trees. Also note hoses” in which water escapes through tiny shaded and sunny areas. Determine the areas holes in the hose. Apply the “soaker hose” to that will be irrigated when you select plants. the root zone of the plant so that the water 2. Select the right plant for the right does not run off the root area. area. Select and group plants according to 6. Use mulches. Mulches limit weed growth their water needs to eliminate unnecessary and retain moisture. Two to three inches of watering. You should have three zones in mulch on garden beds and walkways also Sea grape your site plan: reduces weed growth and slows erosion. Natural zones: Plants in this area can live Avoid cypress mulch. Use other organic on rainfall. They can be native plants or mulches such as recycled mulch, bark chips, cultivated plants that have adapted to Florida. wood shavings or pine straw/needles. Low water or “drought-tolerant” zones: Plants 7. Properly maintain your landscape. in these areas can survive mostly on rainfall. Overwatering increases the risk of plant Moderate or “oasis” water zones: These disease. To encourage deep rooting and more areas require regular watering and should be drought-resistance, water plants thoroughly limited as accents in your Xeriscape. Keep without over-watering. these zones functional, such as entryways, Fertilize properly: excessive fertilizer promotes turf areas and fruit or vegetable gardens. fast, but weak growth and actually increases a 3. Analyze the soil. Determine the acid and plant’s water needs, as does over-pruning. alkaline levels (pH) of your soil before
  2. 2. XERISCAPEPlants for Your Xeriscape Palms and CycadsSome people think of a desert scene when they hear “Xeriscape,” Buccaneer or Sargent’s palm (Pseudophoenix sargentii)but this is not the look of a typical Xeriscape. Some of the “Florida Cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto)Favorites” you can use for your Xeriscape landscape are listed here. Coontie (Zamia pumila)Several of them are lush and tropical-looking. They will add to the Paurotis/Everglades palmbeauty of your landscape while conserving water. (Acoelorrhaphe wrightii)Consult your nursery professional for information on which of Queen sago (Cycas circinalis) Royal palm (Roystonea elata)these plants are appropriate for your region. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) A successfully Xeriscaped yard Thatch palm (Thrinax spp.)TreesBald cypress (Taxodium distichum) FernsDahoon holly (Ilex cassine) Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)Geiger tree (Cordia sebestena) Leather fern (Acrostichum danaeifolium)Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simaruba) Swamp fern (Blechnum serrulatum)Ironwood (Krugiodendron ferreum)Live oak (Quercus virginiana) Accent Grasses, Vines andMagnolia, southern (Magnolia grandiflora) GroundcoversMagnolia, sweet bay Sweet bay magnolia Bougainvillea (Bouganvillea spectabilis) (Magnolia virginiana) Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens)Myrsine (Rapanea guianensis) Cordgrass (Spartina bakeri)Paradise tree (Simarouba glauca) Corky-stemmed passion-flower (Passiflora suberosa)Pigeon plum (Coccoloba diversifolia) Fakahatchee grass (Tripsacum dactyloides)Red bay (Persea borbonia) Florida gama grass (Tripsacum floridanum)Red maple (Acer rubrum) Lantana, trailing (Lantana montevidensis)Sea grape (Coccoloba uvifera) Liriope (Liriope muscari)Silver buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus var. sericeus) Mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus)Simpson’s stopper (Myricanthes fragrans) Purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis)Slash pine (Pinus elliottii) Railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae)Southern red cedar (Juniperus silicicola) Sea oats (Uniola paniculata)Trumpet tree (Tabebuia spp.) Annuals/Perennials/WildflowersShrubs Beach sunflower (Helianthus debilis)Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco) Blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella)Coral bean (Erythrina herbacea) Lantana, pinelandCrinum lily (Crinum asiaticum) (Lantana depressa)Firebush (Hamelia patens) Lantana, wild (Lantana involucrata)Florida privet (Forestiera segregata) Pentas (Pentas lanceolata)Holly, Stokes dwarf (Ilex vomitoria) Porter weedJamaica caper (Capparis cyanophallophora) (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis)Marlberry (Ardisia escallonioides) Sea oxeye daisyNecklace pod (Sophora tomentosa) (Borrichia frutescens)Walter’s viburnum (Viburnum obovatum) Spider lily (Hymenocallis latifolia)Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) Tickseed (Coreopsis leavenworthii) Blanket flowerWhite indigo berry(Randia aculeata)White stopper (Eugenia axillaris) Xeriscape and save time, money and water! For moreWild coffee (Psychotria nervosa) information, go to sfwmd.gov.Wild coffee, dwarf (Psychotria ligustrifolia) SERVICE CENTERS Martin/St. Lucie 561-223-2600 or 800-250-4100 South Florida Water Management District Big Cypress Basin Miami/Dade 3301 Gun Club Road 941-597-1505 305-377-7274 or 800-250-4300 West Palm Beach, Florida 33406 Broward Okeechobee 561-686-8800 • FL WATS 800-432-2045 954-713-3200 863-462-5260 or 800-250-4200 www.sfwmd.gov Fort Myers Orlando 941-338-2929 or 800-248-1201 407-858-6100 or 800-250-4250KR 4/18/01 MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 24680 Florida Keys Palm Beach West Palm Beach, FL 33416-4680 305-289-2739 or 800-464-5067 561-682-6302 or 800-432-2045 ext. 6302