How much and how often do you need to water landscape plants in the Coachella Valley? This is a common question asked by many desert gardeners, particularly by newcomers. Answering this two-part question is complex: drying winds, soils that drain fast, soils that drain slow, and the wide range of water requirements of the many plants that grow here impact how much and when to water. For example, established natives and desert-adapted plants need much less water than tropical or subtropical shrubs and trees, shallow-rooted annuals, non-native perennials, ground covers and lawns. Other factors play important roles, such as competition for water from the roots of nearby shrubs and trees, age of plants, time of year, and exposure to the sun, including reflected heat from buildings and streets. 

Lush tropical plants may require daily watering during the summer and twice weekly during the winter. Even low to moderate water users may need irrigation every other day during the summer, depending on the water-holding capacity of the soil.

Succulent plants, including cacti, do well without regular watering. Established cactus gardens can survive with hand watering from a garden hose two to four times a year, depending on rainfall. And we know that this year there has been very little measurable rainfall in the Coachella Valley. Generally, monthly or bimonthly watering through the summer is appreciated by even the most drought-tolerant plants. 

The water needs of plants are also dependent on the cultivar of a species, where it was originally native to, and the genetics of the individual plant.

To find out how much water your landscaping requires, check out our handy drought irrigation guide. And, to find out if your water agency offers rebates on irrigation upgrades, visit our rebates page.

Source: Lush & Efficient