inexpensive desert landscaping ideas

20 Inexpensive Desert Landscaping Ideas

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So, if you want some inexpensive desert landscaping ideas for your front or back yard, my friend, you are in the right place as I will give ten unique ideas that are easy to implement and cost-friendly. But you have to work a bit by yourself to complete this project.

These desert landscaping ideas will include dry stone designs, planting cacti, and succulent plants, using rocks to build a desert mountain-like look, water fountains like a pond in the desert, and many more.

Inexpensive Desert Landscaping Ideas

Below are my top ten inexpensive desert landscaping ideas. Choose the one that fits your yard and matches all other things perfectly. 

Because one single idea may not be enough for your yard. You have to consider all of them and then pick those that may improve the overall appearance of your desert yard. So we begin.

Also, read: Landscaping ideas with rocks and mulch

1. Build a Succulent and Cactus Garden (Recommended)

Build a Succulent and Cactus Garden

A desert landscape is not complete without some Cactus and Succulent plants. If you plant just a single Cactus, it will look like a Desert.

Combine different types of Cactus and Succulent plants and use them with rocks. So you can get the maximum of your effort.

Get it now: 5 Best Type of Cactus Plants for Landscaping

2. Build a Sand Bed for Plants

Build a Sand Bed for Plants

With rocks and Cactus also set up a sand bed. Plant some smaller trees that are only grown in the desert. Do not try to make a clean design, just mess things up like you may have seen in the movie where they shoot in the desert.

The sand will also help those plants to grow and reduce any debris in your yard. But if you have a big front yard, then it will be costly for you to buy those sandbags.

3. Use Stones and Rocks to Make it Look Like a Desert

Use Stones and Rocks to Make it Look Like Desert

Another desert landscape idea is to use big and small stones and throw some plant seeds in there. So that after a few days, plants can grow and make it like a mountain slope. 

Get some stones and rocks and combine them as you like, and then make this landscape design.

Get it now: Decorative Polished Multicolor Rocks

4. Install a Desert looking Water Feature

Build a Waterscape

A water feature can be anything you want, like a pond in the desert, a water flow, or running water over the rocks. The idea is to build a small oasis in the desert and use some plants around it with stones.

You do not need any expensive design for this water feature. You can use stones that are already available. Use them and then create a water source to support it, or buy a water fountain that has an electric motor to throw the water into the sky. 

5. Plant Some Aloe Vera in Your Front Yard

Plant Some Aloe Vera and Barrel Cactus

Do you like Aloe Vera in your front yard? If yes, then it can be a great option to expand the overall appearance of your desert by using something pure green like aloe vera. 

You can also use other green plants that survive in the deserts, but aloe vera is the best in this kind of situation. 

6. Build a Rocky Pathway in Your Front Yard

Build a Rocky Pathway

It is one of the easiest and most inexpensive desert landscaping ideas. You just have to take some larger stone slab pieces, lay them on the walkway, and fill the gap using small stones. 

People also use wood instead of stones for their desert landscape but choose woods that are not good in shape and look like broken tree branches.

7. Plant Ornamental Grasses

Plant Ornamental Grasses

You may have seen Ornamental grass that glows in the sunlight. You can plant those grasses on the border side of your desert and complete your landscape. These grasses are low maintenance and do not cost much.

Use a combination of large and small ornamental grasses to cover your yard sideways and cut those plants that automatically grow in the area. That means you just have to remove those garbage plants once a month to give the grasses exposure. 

8. Use Large Containers to Fill Empty Spaces

Use Containers to Fill Empty Spaces

If you have empty spaces and can not decide what to do about them, you can use large container boxes to fill those gaps and then paint some flowers, aloe vera, or other plants.

But be careful when choosing a box, as you do not want the soil to spill over the yard ad make a mess. Choose a well-cover box where plants can glow easily and not cost you a cleaning. 

9. Build a Small Desert Oasis in Your Yard

Build a Desert Oasis

I told you to develop an Osais in the previous ideas, but this one is a bit different. Here build an oasis by combining all the plants, stones, rocks, grass, and sand, then create a circle around it. If you want, you can use some small fish in it to make it more natural.

10. Build a Water Feature in Your Garden

Install a Desert looking Water Feature

Building a water feature is easy in your front yard. Just make a tunnel, pour water in it, and then have a water feature as your front landscape design. Use a few stones around it to stop the water flow in the opposite direction and protect the water feature. 

11. Mix Flowers to Build Your Front Lawn (Also Recommended)

front house desert garden
cultivar413 on Flickr

Get it now: Different Types of Wildflower Seeds

12. Just Add Some Desert Greenery

ulrick trappschuh for desert landscaping

13. Separate Your Landscape with a Walkway

Clovis Botanical Garden
Krzysztof Ziarnek, KenraizCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

14. Use Big Rocks to Make it look Like a Hill

hill side desert landscaping
cultivar413 on Flickr

15. Landscape Your Tree Roots with it

Arizona Cactus Garden
Oleg AlexandrovCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

16. Combine all the Desert Plants

Cactus Garden
inkknife_2000 (7.5 million views +)CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

17. Use Red Mulch or Peebles

red mulch desert garden
Michael Coghlan on Flickr

18. Just Plant Anything Randomly

front yard desert garden

19. Build a Desert Oasis

desert villas

20. Plant a Cactus in a Pot at the Fence Line

cactus backyard

Last Words

So these are my top ten inexpensive desert landscaping ideas that you can install with ease. I recommend you combine all the ideas and make a new design that perfectly suits your front yard. So let the work begin.

My Recommendations

Get one of these designs to have a desert look.

20pc Live Succulent Plants (Best Overall)

4pc Potted Desert Plants (Most Affordable)

35 Flower Seeds for Decoration (Premium Quality)

Desert Landscaping FAQs

Desert landscaping FAQs

What is the cheapest desert landscaping idea?

Planting aloe vera and cactus with a few rocks will cost you almost nothing. Plus, if you can add some sand in the yard, the landscape will shine in the sunlight like a real desert.

How do I make a desert landscape in my yard?

Plant some desert plants like succulents, aloe vera, and cacti and your front yard or garden to make it look like a desert, and do not clean those plants. Let there be dust in them.

What is a famous desert landscape idea?

A mixture of cactus, and aloe vera with a few rocks with a water feature here and there, make the best combination of the desert landscape as many people use it.

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About Author

Nazim Ali

Nazim Ali is an engineer who loves fixing things at home. He loves to try new things and share the knowledge with the world.