Landscape Watering Reminder - December

While our typical first frost date is around Dec. 12, early frosts have already nipped the tops of some cold-sensitive plants causing the tips to wilt or turn black. Learn about frost and how to protect your plants in a University of Arizona publication.

For frost warning advisories, visit the National Weather Service Phoenix Web site and click on "Read watches, warnings and advisories."



Recommendations are for plants that are established in the landscape (in the ground about 2 years).

Note: These recommendations are a general guideline only and may need to be modified for your specific site conditions.

frosted ficus tree

A new color for the crayon box, Ficus Brown occurs when temperatures dip too low.

Photo by Donna DiFrancesco.

Lawn watering:
Summer grass (Bermuda) - once every 30 days
Overseeded cool season grass (rye) - once every 10 -14 days
If trees and shrubs are on the same valve:
Desert Adapted - once every 35 days
High Water Use - once every 18 days
Tree watering:
Desert Adapted -once every 45 days
High Water Use - once every 21 days
Shrub watering:
Desert Adapted - once every 30 days
High Water Use - once every 14 days
Groundcover and vine watering:
Desert Adapted - once every 28 days
High Water Use - once every 14 days
Cacti and succulent watering - if needed
Annual & vegetable watering - once every 7-10 days

Wildflower watering - once every 10 -15 days

Reduce your landscape watering 30 to 50 percent by adjusting your irrigation each season. Landscape Watering by the Numbers: A Guide for the Arizona Desert will help you determine how much water to apply and how long to run your system. Visit the interactive Web version or request a free copy of the booklet at
Bonus tips

  • Thank you for being a subscriber this year... and for all of your efforts to save water! Be sure to also sign up for our Living Green Events EMAIL ALERT. These alerts notify subscribers of sustainable and green programs, events and opportunities. Go to our Email Lists page and select "Living Green Events" and follow instructions. Or, you can follow us on Twitter.

  • Looking for water saving gift ideas? How about a Water Sense labeled weather-based irrigation controller, showerhead, toilet or faucet? If you are looking at washing machines or dishwashers, find water efficiency (and energy) ratings at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency site. Find a gift that keeps on giving (water, energy and dollar savings month after month). Find great info in our December Sustainability Savings Tip.

  • Deadline is Dec. 31st for the WUIW PHOTO CONTEST. Win $500 gift card to a local nursery! Water – Use It Wisely invites you to join us in reflecting on one of our region’s most precious resources: water. Take an original photo that you feel celebrates the importance and wonder of water in Arizona. The most creative and compelling photo will be awarded a $500 gift card to a local nursery from Water – Use It Wisely and the Arizona Nursery Association’s Plant Something campaign. Learn about the new website!

  • Are you looking for a landscaper? A great new website directory of Smartscape trained professionals is now available. Smartscape graduates have 20 hours of specialized professional landscape training that emphasizes sustainability and stewardship of natural resources in the maintenance of beautiful urban environments. Contact a Smartscape graduate today! 

    To register for monthly watering reminder emails, visit and click on Email Alerts located in the right navigation bar. Choose Landscape Watering Reminder, and follow the registration instructions. You can remove your name from the list at any time.

    For more information about Mesa's water conservation programs, visit