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


Naturalistic prairie style meadow. Photo credit: Jamie and Marina Berger Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Native woodland garden in spring features different plant layers (Brooklyn Botanic Garden). Photo credit: dogtooth77 Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Native plants in an Arizona demonstration garden. Photo credit: Susan Buffler

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 …

Water-Wise Plant Characteristics: Arid Regions


Drought adapted Rubber Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa) has many small light colored leaves.
Photo credit: Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org CC 3.0


Drought adapted Yucca filamentosa
Photo source: Wikipedia


Drought adapted Scarlet Globemallow (Sphaeralcea coccinea) has light colored, hairy leaves.
Photo source: Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0


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 …

Misconceptions About Using Native Plants in the Landscape

  California Poppies and lupine. Photo credit: Isolino Ferrerira Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Use of native prairie plants in a prairie garden landscape. Photo credit: eXtension.org: Gardens, Lawns, and Landscapes  Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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 …

What is a “Native” Plant?

  Rocky Mountain Columbine (Aguilegia caerulea). Native columbines make a beautiful addition to the native garden.
Photo credit: Susan Buffler
  The native mid-western drought tolerant grass Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) adds attractive fall color to the landscape.
Photo credit: Carolannie Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  The shrub Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra) in a native landscape.
Photo credit: Bryant Olsen Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0
  Colorful Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) blooms in spring and is native to