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Zeroscape Vs Xeriscape Differences + Benefits

Want to save money and water around your home? Xeriscaping, a type of landscaping that uses plants and other materials adapted to your local climate, is one way to do that.

However, be careful to distinguish the process of xeriscaping from zeroscaping if you want to enjoy a beautiful green yard with plants and flowers. Learn more about the differences between these landscaping approaches and some ideas to create your beautiful xeric backyard.

Zeroscape Versus Xeriscape: What's The Difference?

It’s easy to confuse xeriscape with zeroscape primarily because they sound similar. Let’s look at the main differences between them before starting on your project.

Zeroscape: A Simple Landscape, With Stones And No Plants

A zeroscape is a landscape design made entirely of dirt or gravel with few or no plants. Because few plants can survive in such hot and dry climates, these are also popular in desert areas. Because zeroscape landscapes require no planning or design, you won’t necessarily need to hire a landscaper if you go this route.

If you add plants, your yard will be made of gravel, regular soil, and possibly a few plants here and there. Zeroscape yards are pretty plain, but if you want one of the cheapest, low-maintenance landscape options, zeroscape is your best choice.

succulent in dry weather

Xeriscape: A Green Garden That Preserves The Environment

On the other hand, xeriscape is an organized landscape design that does incorporate plants. However, the key to a xeriscape landscape is using native plants that hardly need water. If you live in a dry climate, xeriscape designs are a great idea to implement because you can have a beautiful yard with little maintenance.

Xeriscaping can also help reduce water usage by up to 50%, using native, drought-tolerant plants and an efficient irrigation system. A xeriscaped yard can look just as good as any traditional garden. You can play with rocks, boulders, decorative stones, and other features.

And the best thing about it, besides the low water requirements, is that its low-maintenance plants will allow you to spend more time with your loved ones and less time caring for the landscape.


Benefits Of Zeroscape Landscaping

Zeroscaping is a landscaping method that focuses on using stones and eliminating the need for plants. This approach reduces water usage and maintenance, making it ideal for arid and semi-arid regions.

In addition to being water-efficient, zeroscaping can significantly cut down on costs related to irrigation and fertilization. This method also helps in preventing soil erosion and conserving the local ecology.

Cost Savings

Reducing the reliance on water and fertilizers translates to financial savings over time. Initial investment in zeroscaping can be offset by the reduced ongoing costs, making it a cost-effective landscaping solution in the long run.

Low Maintenance

With fewer or no plants to care for, zeroscaping significantly cuts down on garden maintenance duties. There’s less weeding, pruning, and fertilizing required, offering home and business owners the convenience of a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape.

Removing The Need For Water

Zeroscaping drastically reduces water usage by minimizing or eliminating the need for irrigation. This is especially beneficial in arid regions where water resources are scarce and prioritizing conservation efforts is essential for sustainable living.

zeroscaping landscape example with stones and rocks

Benefits Of Xeriscape Landscaping

If you live in Colorado, there are many benefits in choosing a xeric garden compared to a traditional one. They are far more beautiful than zeroscape options. Discover some below and get inspired to transform your yard into a beautiful space.

More Free Time For Your Loved Ones

A traditional yard requires periodic care: watering, thinning, mulching, fertilizing, cultivating, seeding, and pest and disease control.

A Place For Relaxation

Just because we live in a dryer area doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a beautiful garden. If you have the time and financial means to transform your yard from a zeroscape to a xeriscape yard, it will create a beautiful place for you and your family to relax and will help with your water bills, too.

Water Conservation

Xeriscaping is critical for water conservation: Native plants specifically adapted to your region, climate, and soil type) require much less water than turfgrass, and many don’t need any additional water once their root system is established. Plus, hydroscoping (grouping plants based on water requirements) reduces overwatering and underwatering.

Ideas For Creating Your Own Wonderful Xeric Yard

If you want to do xeriscaping on your own, you might need to consider some important aspects. Check some useful xeriscaping tips below.

Change the grass for gravel

Gravel can be replaced for grass in a xeriscape. When you consider the time and effort required to rake and maintain a lush, grassy lawn, xeriscape begins to sound appealing. Consider using gravel and hardscape pavers as an alternative to ground cover in dry or heavily trafficked areas.

Consider seasonal interest

Carefully choosing plants allows you to enjoy the beautiful effect of dried bouquets billowing throughout the garden in autumn and winter. This way, you can enjoy a custom-made garden all year round. Planting different flowers, cacti, and succulents will make your garden look perfect, combined with rock and other garden materials.

Select plants carefully

According to Love Your Landscape, you should choose your plant material for drought tolerance and for its overall aspect. Since various areas of your property might have different amounts of moisture and sunlight, you should choose plants accordingly. Native plants in your area usually make good xeriscaping choices.

Improve your soil

Good soil retains moisture and promotes healthy plant growth. Consider incorporating compost or other organic soil types. Keep in mind that different plants have different soil requirements. For example, there are native plants that require a lot of organic material. It’s always a good idea to consult a landscaper for more information.

Tend your xeriscape regularly

Once established, xeric landscapes require little maintenance. However, a landscape is dynamic and requires proper care to maintain visual and safety standards. Pruning, fertilizing, aerating, and other tasks should be done regularly to keep your landscape looking perfect.
plants for xeriscaping and a set of stairs


Your choice when choosing between zeroscaping and xeriscaping shouldn’t be too hard now. If you still need help deciding, here’s our expert opinion:

Redoing your entire yard can be challenging to follow on your own. Consider working with a professional landscape architect when you plan to create a xeriscape yard. It is easier for you to get the garden of your dreams and ensure that your specific landscape requirements are met.

At Land Designs By Colton, we match refined creativity with professional installation to give you a perfect xeriscape landscape. As certified landscape architects, we offer xeriscaping and deck building services in Denver, Englewood, Arvada, Centennial, Littleton, and more of Colorado.