Water-Wise Pollinator Gardens

Water-wise pollinator gardens are a great way to add interest and diversity to the landscape. Water-wise pollinator gardens attract bees, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles,bats, and even hummingbirds. Without pollinators, many of our food crops would not exist.

Many water-wise native and non-native plants can be used in the water-wise pollinator garden to provide nectar and pollen for insects and birds.

Many of these plants have interesting attractive flowers that add beauty to the landscape.  Many annual and perennial herbs are …

Design Features of Native Landscapes

The use of native plants in the landscape is becoming increasingly popular. Native plants are adapted to local conditions and, if planted properly, can thrive on sites non-natives may not tolerate. This can reduce the need for additional pesticides and fertilizers.

A common misconception is that native plantings end up looking like a weed patch, however, garden beds can be attractively arranged using basic design principles.

Native plants can be grouped into clumps or drifts to create a more …

Water-Wise Plant Characteristics: Arid Regions

Plants adapted to arid regions have developed strategies to overcome long periods of water shortage. Note, however, that not all arid region plants are water-wise.

Riparian and wetland plants naturally found in wet areas need significantly more water than drought adapted plants. Avoid planting these plants in the same water zone as drought tolerant plants.

Plants found at higher elevations in most western mountain states may also fail to thrive in adjacent drier, hotter valleys.These plants are adapted to the …

Misconceptions About Using Native Plants in the Landscape

Common misconceptions about using native plants in the landscape include:

Native plants have fewer insect and disease problems – Not always true

  • In nature, a native plant problem might go unnoticed, but the same plant in a traditional landscape may give a poor appearance

Native plants are adapted to the area and have superior growth – Not always true

  • Cold hardy native plants may have superior growth but may not be adapted to disturbed soil conditions often found in residential

What is a “Native” Plant?

In the United States, native plants are generally defined as plant species that have existed in an area before European settlement.

Some Definitions of Native Plants

Federal Register: “Native” plants are “all species of plants and animals naturally occurring, either presently or historically, in any ecosystem of the United States.”

USDA Federal Executive Order 13112: “With respect to a particular ecosystem, a species that, other than as a result of an introduction, historically occurred or currently occurs in that …