Planning a water-efficient garden is no longer a luxury as rising water costs and a growing population make it a need. It’s a common misconception that water-wise gardening is restricted to arid regions or that you’re limited to using only native species, cacti, and succulents. By using techniques like water harvesting and reuse, we can reduce our water footprint and foster a more sustainable gardening culture. Those who do not have the time or energy to tend a water-intensive garden might also benefit from this method. Investing time and energy into researching and planning a garden that conserves water is a worthwhile endeavour.

A water-wise designed landscape is grounded in sound horticultural practices. We have highlighted a few tips to help you create water-wise landscaping.

water wise landscaping tips

How to Create Water-Wise Landscaping


Plan first, then plant.


Taking into account the light, shade, wind, and soil conditions of your garden’s future home is an important part of the garden planning process. Organise your plants by their watering requirements. Make sure to think about the watering system for your plants. Will you have to trek all the way across your yard to reach those faraway, thirsty plants? Planning ahead will prevent wasted effort and time.

Scale back your lawn’s size or become lawnless all together.


In the Gauteng summer, lawns can use up to 25 mm of water per week to be green and lush, while a water-efficient bed may only need half as much water. If you turn half of your lawn into a garden, you can cut your water use for that space in half.


Mulching Techniques


Mulches reduce water loss through evaporation, slow down soil erosion and decomposition, and stop soil temperatures from fluctuating. Compost, bark or wood chips, and straw are all excellent mulching materials. The soil is improved through the decomposition of mulch over time. You should add more mulch once or twice a year, but never let it get more than a few centimetres or pile it up right up against the trunks of your trees and plants. While rocks and pebbles can be utilised, it’s best to avoid laying down big sections of paving or rocks in hot gardens, as this will cause the soil and plants to overheat.


Use Local, Indigenous Plants That Can Withstand the Drought


Plants that are indigenous to your area have already adapted to your environment and will require less water after they’ve grown roots.

It is best to start with what is already growing in your area when selecting these drought-tolerant shrubs and plants. Finding a piece of property that hasn’t been maintained is ideal. You’ll discover the most hardy vegetation there. The vast majority of these plants are simply weeds, but a select few might pique your interest. To find a local nursery that sells the plant or its seeds, you could use one of the many apps that provide plant identification.


Low water bunch grasses are low maintenance and have a wide range of possible uses. Aloe plants are another excellent option because of the diversity of colours and interesting shapes they may take.

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