The Okanagan Xeriscape Association


You have just opened the door to a whole new way of looking at your landscape, whether that’s the yard around a house; the landscaping around your condo; the entrance to your business; or the welcome to a new home or subdivision you’ve built.

The Okanagan Xeriscape Association is a registered charity founded in 2009 to help people Garden with Nature, conserving water and energy in the process, but creating beauty.

Join us.
Support us.
Enjoy our website and extensive plant database of waterwise plants.
Come to a class or workshop.
Visit our Xeriscape Demonstration Garden in Kelowna.
Learn while volunteering. Ask questions of our experts.

By learning more about xeriscape, you are learning how to create colourful, attractive outdoor spaces while minimizing your use of water—a resource that’s in short supply in the arid Okanagan climate, as well as elsewhere.

That means you save money on water, but at the same time, when you employ xeriscape principles you also save money on pesticides because you’re growing plants that suit their natural environment so they are less vulnerable to insects and diseases.

We would love you to join us! Find out more.

Plant of the Month-


Echeveria is a large genus of succulent perennials encompassing approximately 150 species. These perennials are native throughout Central and South America, extending north into Texas. They are particularly common in the southern and eastern Mexican states.

Here in the Okanagan Valley, Echeveria are considered tender perennials for they are hardy in zones 9-11 and will perish in our low winter temperatures. These succulents form rosettes of thick, fleshy, waxy leaves in colours ranging from pale green to icy blue and reddish-purple.

The popularity of these perennials has exploded in recent years with approximately a thousand cultivars currently available. The interesting forms and foliage of Echeveria make them an excellent choice for low-care succulent bowls and patio pots—easily able to flourish in the hot and dry conditions of our valley.

Beginning in Summer and continuing into Fall these succulents will produce star-shaped blooms in fiery shades of orange and pink. At the end of the season, these tender perennials can be brought inside and successfully overwintered in a bright area with indirect light.

As with many succulents, over-watering is the most common issue when growing these plants and can lead to root rot and plant failure. Whether planted outside or used as a houseplant, good drainage is essential for successfully growing Echeveria.

Choose a sharp-draining growing medium when potting up your succulent and ensure the plant is positioned slightly higher than the surrounding soil

If you are planning to take your Echeveria back outside in the Spring, be patient, waiting until temperatures are reliably above freezing and acclimatize them slowly to outdoor conditions.

Our Blog

Our new blog, On The Dry Side, is an opportunity to share information on how to garden with nature while conserving water in the Okanagan Valley.

As a group blog and forum, we welcome your contributions and comments and hope to create a blossoming community of xeriscape gardeners as well as a valuable archive of articles.

Trimming Ornamental Grasses

Trimming your ornamental grasses depends on whether they are Evergreen, Cool Season, or Warm Season varieties.

Seasonal Ornamental Grasses

An important distinction in the world of ornamental grasses is whether they are warm season, cool season, or evergreen.

Drip Irrigation Maintenance

A well maintained drip irrigation system is the most effective way of watering plants in the Okanagan. It distributes water directly to the root zone with the minimum evaporation waste.

Growing the UnH20 Garden

OXA has just completed the first phase of an expansion of the UnH2O Garden. The new garden area will illustrate drought-tolerant trees, shrubs and cedar hedge alternatives.

Soils of the Okanagan Part II

A good understanding of the composition and texture of your soil is key to successful xeriscape gardening

Garden Design

A well-designed landscape is a balance: of size, shape, colour and texture. Repeating groups of similar plants throughout the garden creates a sense of continuity and will be more pleasing to your eye.

Plan Your Garden

Whether planning a small condo patio or a large acreage, a renovation to an inherited space or the blank slate that comes with a new build, planning your garden is paramount.

Soils of the Okanagan Part I

A good understanding of your soil is one of the keys to successful gardening.

Allium for the Xeriscape Garden

Allium can provide wonderful additions to the xeriscape garden


About Xeriscape

What is xeriscape and why it is perfect for the Okanagan environment? Learn how you can start conserving water in your own landscape.

7 Principles of Xeriscape

Find information on how to xeriscape for both new and established gardens, including a complete description of the Seven Principles of Xeriscape.

Xeriscape Classes

Current information about our Xeriscape Gardening Classes which run twice a year, in the spring and fall, as well as any other special workshops, classes or events.
Use our Okanagan Plant Database to help you find the best plants for your garden. Search criteria includes plant types, heights, spread, water/light conditions, bloom months, bloom colours, foliage colours and special features .

Get Inspired

The UnH2O Garden

A complete guide to our UnH2O Demonstration Garden – a 4,000 square foot garden, planted in 2010, which includes six theme areas to illustrate xeriscape possibilities. (See the Get Inspired tab in our main menu)

Xeriscape Stories

Our Xeriscape Garden Stories include photographs and stories showing xeriscape in action right here in several gardens in the Okanagan including winners from our 2011 and 2013 Xeriscape Garden Contests.


Informative resources, including an extensive list of the best books on xeriscape for our climate, links to websites of interest, and a directory of xeriscape gardens to visit in the Okanagan.

We would like to thank the Okanagan Basin Water Board and Okanagan WaterWise for their support and funding

Did you know?

  1. There is LESS water available per person in the Okanagan than anywhere else in Canada
  2. The Okanagan has one of the highest rates of water use per person in Canada
  3. The 2nd largest use of water in the Okanagan is for watering our household lawns & gardens

Here’s a reminder to check out the Make Water Work website to make your pledge to reduce water waste. Xeriscape is a very effective way to make water work.