Skip to main content


flowers as a demonstration of xeriscaping techniquesWater-Efficient Landscaping

Columbia’s most important reason for water-efficient landscaping is to preserve and extend the useful life of our present water supply — it’s one of our most precious resources. A considerable amount of water can be saved through well-planned and well-managed landscapes. So, try xeriscaping and spend less time watering, and more time enjoying your beautiful landscape!



  1. Divide the landscape into three water use zones: low, moderate and high. Place plants with high water requirements in areas that receive the most water, like drainage ways, depressions or bottom of hills.
  2. Shade, whether from plants or structures, helps cool the landscape and reduces water loss. A shaded landscape can be as much as 20% cooler than full sun areas.
  3. Make sure you select plants according to the site conditions and stresses. Native Missouri plants are good choices since they tolerate wet spring soils and late summer drought. For more information on native plants click here for Missouri Botanical Gardens Plant Finder or Grow Native and look at the list below. Remember the soil in Missouri is dry!
  4. Pay close attention to moisture in the soil to determine when to water. It also pays to do your homework on the water needs of the plants that you have selected for your yard.
  5. Clay soil types commonly found in Columbia don’t absorb water well. Deeply cultivated, amended soil will improve drainage, save water and keep your plants healthy.
  6. Mulch to retain moisture in the soil and prevent water robbing weeds. Avoid using rocks around your plants since the heat they radiate will increase evaporation.



American Filbert- Hazelnut

Golden Currant

Gray Dogwood

Missouri Gooseberry

Ornamental Grasses

Big Bluestem

Indian Grass

Prairie Dropseed

Sideoats Grama

Perennial Flowers

American Basket Flower

Bee Balm

Black-eyed Susan

Cup Plant


Interested in other outdoor water savings tips?

Contact Utility Services


701 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65205


Copyright © 2017 City of Columbia