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Native Plants

Utah is one of the most photographed and recognizable states in the Nation due largely to its scenic highways and diverse landscapes.  Homeowners and businesses  enjoy a variety of color and fragrance in their landscapes.  Throughout the West, 40 to 60% of all urban water use goes to landscapes. Research shows that much of the water is applied in excess of plant water needs. Even an effectively irrigated lawn requires substantial water (60 to 80% of the amount of water that would evaporate from a pan of water) (Source:  Utah State University 

It is necessary for Utahns to implement Best Landscaping Practices by using groundcovers and other vegetation that responds well to our climate. Many of our areas currently covered with turfgrass, such as front lawns, parking strips, and other little used or viewed areas, could be replaced with drought-adapted plants that yield beauty, but consume little water.

There are many plants well-suited for low water-use landscapes that originated in similar climates elsewhere in the world. However, focusing on natives for low water-use landscapes is common sense. These plants are already adapted to the summer drought characteristics of the West.  Using native or adapted planting also respects the environment in which we live.  (Research based on Roger K Kjelgren. Associate Professor Department of Plants, Soils and Biometeorology Utah State University).
Brent Morris, President, Brent Morris Associates, consulting landscape architect, recommends the following for ensuring productive landscape and garden designs:

  • Cultivate the soil.  Magna has several types of soil to the soil through rotor
    tilling or hand turning of the soil with a shovel.
  • Landscape an area for seasonal change.  Create a “circumbulation garden” plants and flowers will bloom in a circumference according to the seasons.  (Insert Seasonal Garden.jpg)
  • Choose plants that are both aesthetically pleasing and “water-wise”.  As noted, there are many plants, flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables that grow in our climate.  

Utah nurseries and planting centers are tagging water-wise plants with the symbol below to help you make responsible, yet creative choices for designing your gardens.  For other choices, check out:

Water-wise plant tag.

Desert Sand Verbena

Yellow ground cover is both stunning in color and drought tolerant.

Desert four o'clock: Mirabilis multiflora

Utah Columbine

Sego Lily Flower

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