The best way to start conserving water in your landscaping is to use plants that don’t require much at all.
We asked Amy Jo Detweiler, associate horticulturist for the OSU Extension office here in Central Oregon, to share her top plant choices for a water-wise landscape. For more ideas on drought-friendly trees, shrubs and flowers well-suited to the high desert, visit a local nursery or download Detweiler’s guide, Water-wise Gardening in Central Oregon, a publication of the OSU Extension service. When initially planted, even a native plant requires supplemental irrigation until its root system are established. In the longterm, a plant with a healthier root system requires less water.
An ornamental tree that flowers in spring and produces nice fall colors. Varieties include rose, pink, red, and white.
A shrub characterized by white flowers in spring followed by red-orange fall colors.
Excellent native perennial for a dry garden that comes in multiple colors. Bonus: They attract hummingbirds.
4. English Lavender
Highly adaptable to the high desert, with gray-green foliage and fragrant blue spikes. Plus, it is a favorite with bees. French lavender is a good option for shady areas, while Spanish lavender is not recommended.
A groundcover with succulent foliage that comes in shades of green to blue. Numerous drought-resistant varieties are available and are ideal for rock gardens.
Editors note: This story was originally published in April, 2018.