Arid landscaping can be done anywhere, irrespective of climate or weather conditions. The idea is to include plants and materials that are generally found in desert environments in the general landscape plan.

27 Arid Landscaping Ideas

Mixing various sizes and colors of plants with textures from natural and artificial materials will produce a beautiful landscape for your yard or garden. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of Arid landscape ideas for you to try. 

List of Arid Landscaping Ideas

Here’s a list of 27 Arid landscape design ideas for your yard:

1. Use Plants Native To Arid Regions

One way to make beautiful desert landscapes is to use the plants that grow naturally in the area. Plants that are drought-tolerant, such as cacti, are prevalent in desert regions.

Use Plants Native To Arid Regions Arizona Desert Native Plants with Flower

As a result, they won’t only thrive, but they’ll also add beauty to your yard. You may additionally take it one step further by adding different materials like marbles or pebbles to the terrain.

This simple and minimalist use of native plants and other materials makes it easy to maintain your yard.

2. Make a Rocky Pathway

Rocks and stones of varying shapes, colors, and sizes can make all the difference in your desert landscaping. You can use large rock slabs to create a pathway, with some desert plants and contrasting gravel distributed around. This is an inexpensive choice that will improve the look of your yard.

Make a Rocky Pathway For the Garden from Stones or Wood

3. Create an Artificial Lawn

You can create an artificial turf by spreading out a patch of artificial grass in your desired area to give it a lush look it naturally won’t have. Remember that a few desert plants like prickly pear cactus and desert palm trees can spice things up and complete the look.

Create an Artificial Lawn For The Yard and House Backyard Green Patch

4. Make a Plant Wall

You can get creative by making a plant wall if you don’t have ample space or lawn. Select a patch of wall to grow your desert garden vertically. Nonetheless, this will not only be a save spacer, but it will also look fantastic. You can play with a mix of succulent and colorful plants to make the wall interesting and colorful.

Make a Plant Wall Garden Storing Plants and Flowers on a Wooden Wall

5. Recycle Old Items

Don’t throw your old items away! Consider converting things like old pots, stools, tins, chairs, and tires to garden-useful materials. They can give your desert garden a new look if they’re used creatively. You can paint them in a simple way, and they will fill in the landscape.

Recycle Old Items Big Pots for Flowers and Plants

6. Use Large Garden Pots

Large garden pots often add to your landscape’s aesthetics if placed strategically. You can use brightly colored pots or keep it simple using earth-toned pots. You can plant large succulents or even small trees in them.

Use Large Garden Pots Garden Hacks and Tricks

7. Plant Agaves

Succulents like Agaves are typically found in deserts. They have large leaves with pointy tips and come in varying colors. Agaves require very little maintenance, and their unique features can add a modern touch to your garden ideas.

Plant Agaves In Your Garden Desert Plants Green

8. Ornamental Grass

Most decorative grasses are colorful. You can use this to your advantage and mix grasses of various colors to make your garden pop. The combination of decorative grasses and drought-tolerant plants in arid regions provides a beautiful landscape.

Ornamental Grass with Desert and Tropical Feel Garden

9. Add Detailed Decoration

The perfect detail could be artificial bones, rocks, pots, or anything that can add that extra appeal. Don’t hold yourself from getting creative and having fun using different colors and textures. In addition, they would bolden up the aesthetics of your land.

Add Detailed Decoration Desert Inspiration Bull Skull

10. Create a Synthetic Shallow Pond

It is uncharacteristic to find ponds or large bodies of water in arid regions, unlike in humid landscapes. Building a pond can be a way of switching things up. It might be challenging to keep the pond from drying up with little or no rainfall. However, a little waterfall or pump system can help to keep the water flowing.

Create a Synthetic Shallow Pond for Desert Gardens and Homes

11. Lighting

For night-time in Arid regions, lighting is crucial. Bright lights illuminate the area while showcasing the details of your Landscape. Proper lighting helps highlight your architecture and your plant choices.

Lighting on a Fence in Arid Yard

12. Raised Desert Bed

Doing too much in a large yard can have the space look clumsy. A good solution is to create a raised bed in the center of the area. You can plant an assorted variety of drought-tolerant plants in the raised bed. Numerous unique desert choices are offered by this expertly positioned oasis of greenery.

Raised Desert Bed with Stones

13. Wide Open Spaces

Keeping it simple by planting desert plants sparsely around the yard is another great idea for landscaping. The sparse arrangement of desert plants, like the golden barrel cacti, keeps the yard looking open to view. This type of arrangement encourages quick and easy maintenance.

Wide Open Spaces in Green Garden

14. Place Bold Statements

There are so many desert plant options, which can often confuse you on what to pick. This is especially true and applicable if you’re not an expert landscaper. One major way to cancel out your confusion is to make bold statements with plants.

Place Bold Statements in Backyard

Opt for a few large desert plant varieties and mix them with filler plants to make a bold statement in your yard. Make sure that you place them with some space being left between each other, this way you will be giving each a value, so that they won’t be cluttered up together.

15. Grow a Carpet of Grass

Growing carpet grass might seem impossible in areas with very little rainfall, like desert areas. However, it is doable with an adequately constructed irrigation system and very little rain.

Grow a Carpet of Grass for the Arid Yard

All you need to do is select the best spot for your grass and plant it. While it would look beautiful with other desert shrubs, maintenance is very important so it doesn’t wither and dry up.

16. Build a Waterfall

Waterfall in a desert? Yes, that can be possible! Since deserts don’t have a lot of rainfall or a steady stream of water, a pump would need to be put in place to keep the waterfall flowing. Not only will this add a pretty visual to your garden, but it’ll also attract beneficial insects and birds that will keep your garden flourishing.

Build a Waterfall in Backyard Ideas

17. Plant Trees

Palm trees do so well in desert areas, and as such, they will be an excellent addition to your yard. They grow well in deserts because they adapt well to hot weather and survive on little water.

Plant Trees in Desert Garden

An advantage to having palms grow in your garden is that they provide shade, which encourages young desert plants’ growth. The look works if the trees are strategically planted and adequately spaced.

18. Rocky Landscape

Some desert areas have rocky terrain. If you build on this type of terrain, you might find it difficult to do proper landscaping. Don’t be deterred by this. Take design cues from the terrain. You can include native plants and naturally formed rocks in your landscape.

Rocky Landscape for an Arid Garden

As planting might be difficult on this type of terrain, you can make use of pots and beds to grow more fragile plants.

19. Turn It into a Large Patio Spaces

Large patio spaces are commonly found in southern homes. They provide an extra relaxing area while adding to the beauty of the landscape.

Large Patio Spaces for Arid Backyard

You can choose to grow potted plants on the patio to give it a more comfortable feel. A couple of chairs and a table would make the look come together more. You can even place big tiles that will give the ground some aesthetic of its own.

20. Build a Pool

Arid regions have a hot and dry climate. One way to deal with the heat and beautify the landscape simultaneously is to build a pool. Most homes in desert regions have pools in their backyards for this very reason; to survive the heat. 

Build a Pool in Arid Backyard

Once it gets too hot, you can always cool down in your backyard pool. The pool will have a contrasting effect on the area, adding nice visual effects to it.

21. Brick or Cement Walkways

Walkways don’t have to be functional alone. Building cement or brick walkways can be an exciting way to add color and drama to the front of your home.

Brick or Cement Walkways in House Backyard

If you have in your budget and wouldn’t mind spending a little extra cash on landscaping, you can decide to add a brick walkway that leads to the entrance of your home.

Throw in a few desert plants to both sides of the walkway, and you have beautiful scenery guests would stop to admire.

Additionally, this arrangement will help to limit the amount of desert dust that gets into your space.

22. Potted Plants

Desert soil is generally difficult to manage and difficult to dig into. Also, the soil doesn’t have a lot of nutrients unlike in fertile landscapes. As a result, desert soil doesn’t encourage the growth of so many plants.

Potted Plants for an Arid Backyard

Different sizes of pots can be used to grow native desert plants and other types of plants in this region. While potted plants would take away from the stress of digging the hard ground, they are also aesthetically pleasing when they’re appropriately arranged.

23. Create a Cactus Patch

This is one of those things that anyone can do easily. All you need are small pots, choice succulents, and cacti. It’s a fun way of adding a few plants to an otherwise empty area. You can do this on a small patio, backyard, or even at the side of the house.

Cactus Patch in Home Arid Garden

A cactus patch doesn’t need so much maintenance, just the occasional watering of the desert plants.

24. Dry Stream Beds

Creating a dry steam bed in your yard is an excellent arid landscaping idea. Dry steam beds are a beautiful sight and aid in water conservation by reducing runoff. You can create this look using stones and pebbles of different or similar sizes.

Arid Yard with Dry Stream Beds

25. Bright and Vibrant

When you think of a desert, the first few things that come to mind are dry, hot, and dull green or brown plants, even though that is mostly true; however, some desert plants produce colorful leaves. Planting a variety of these types of plants will make for a colorful desert landscape.

Bright and Vibrant Flowers Arid Backyard Ideas

26. Use Stones and Rocks To Create Raised Areas

You can use rocks and stones to create striking features. Some examples of these features include; raised stone slabs as chairs, short stone walls, etc. Combining these features with plants changes the look of your landscape.

Stones and Rocks Raised Areas in Yard

27. Add a Fire Pit

While hot during the day, deserts can become chilly and cold at night.  A fire pit added to your yard is an excellent way to help keep you warm at night while enjoying the scenery. The fire pit would not only provide warmth, but it would also add character to your backyard. You can opt for portable fire dishes if you want a less permanent fixture.

Fire Pit in Arid Backyard


In arid landscaping, the idea is to use many different plants and materials to incorporate colors and textures into the scenery. Whether you’re looking for warm, elegant scenery or a bright, vibrant yard, you’ll need to utilize different materials and get creative. 

There isn’t just one thing that you can do, so many options are available and you might find some of the desert landscaping ideas in this post useful. 

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