Landscape Watering Reminder - January

Light rains were nice on New Year's Eve, but our last appreciable rain was Dec. 4. Warmer temps and dry conditions are in the immediate forecast, so it's a good idea to give your plants a thorough irrigation if you haven't watered lately. Plants in general tolerate frost better when adequately watered and pines especially benefit from winter moisture.

Leaf yellowing or leaf drop occurs naturally this time of year to plants such as palo verdes, mesquites, desert willows, elms, ash, and Texas sage. Leaf-litter provides beneficial mulch for your plants or add the leaves to your compost pile. See below for more details.



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.

Desert Willow

Plants like Desert Willows lose their leaves completely during the winter months. 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.
Bonus tips

    • Leaf litter is great to mix in with your kitchen scraps to make compost! Mesa provides composters made from recycled trash bins for $5. Find more details and tips for composting on the Solid Waste web page.

    • There's still time to TREEcycle! Christmas tree recycling drop-off sites will be open through January 18th. To find the nearest location, visit

    • Citrus Collection for United Food Bank: You've watered it, fertilized it and cared for it. Now if you can't eat it all, the City of Mesa Neighborhood Outreach, in partnership with United Food Bank, has scheduled 3 Saturdays for residents to drop off extra citrus. Details.

    • HortiCultured! Fri. Jan. 16, 6-11 p.m. Mesa Urban Garden invites you to celebrate the beginning of their 3rd amazing year in downtown Mesa with some of the greatest artists and musicians in Arizona. Join them for an enchanted evening of visual art and live music.

    • East Valley Citrus Clinic on Sat. Jan. 17, 8:30 a.m. to Noon at Greenfield Citrus Nursery. A unique event with tastings, maintenance advice and more. Sponsored by UofA Master Gardeners.

    • Urban Farming, Healthy Food and Healthy Living, Thur. Jan. 22, 6-8 p.m. at Mesa Community College. Take advantage of this free program. This will be a year-long monthly program with topics like aquaponics, composting, healthy cooking and more.

    • Smartscape Landscape Training for Professionals includes 20 hours of specialized training in the areas of irrigation, plant material, planting, design, plant problems (and solutions) as well as pest management. Each class is taught by local experts. The next training series will take place from Feb. 2nd to the 25th. Learn more about the program or how to register at the Smartscape website. Go to the same site to hire a Smartscape professional!


    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.