Jump to: Halawa Xeriscape Garden | Xeric Seed Program | FOHXG | Native Hawaiian Plants | Oahu Planting Guide | Workshops | Tours

halawa xeriscape garden gazeboThe Halawa Xeriscape Garden displays a series of xeric (dry) plants in a residential-scale setting to demonstrate species capable of providing a visually attractive garden, while using less water than most currently popular plants. It was opened to public in September 1989, after several years of effort by the Board of Water Supply (BWS), as a way to educate Oahu residents on ways to save water in lawns, gardens, and landscaped areas.

Features at the Garden

halawa xeriscape garden landscapingIn these demonstration gardens, you can familiarize yourself with the kinds of plants and grasses that need less irrigation, as well as the variety of approaches that use water more efficiently in the garden. These approaches include irrigation techniques, cultural practices, and landscaping ideas that will provide for drought-tolerant gardens and landscapes.

Among the water-efficient irrigation systems demonstrated in the Halawa Xeriscape Garden are automatic timers, moisture sensors, rain shutdown devices, and low output irrigation equipment such as spray sprinkler heads, micro-spray sprinkler heads, emitters and dripper lines.

Suggested cultural practices that can save water are also seen at Halawa. These include: mulching, soil alteration, turf mowing practices, thinning of planted areas, weed control, and fertilization.

Some kinds of plants need far less water than others; there is a wide range of "less thirstiness." To illustrate that range, the Halawa Xeriscape Garden is divided into several sections.

The Hawaiian Garden showcases a planting of native species adapted to hot, dry conditions. They are attractive, readily grown, and require far less water than most exotics.

The International Garden boasts a collection of plants from the world's dry tropics. It includes newly-introduced experimental species whose reaction to varying levels of drought will be evaluated over the next several years. The introduction and evaluation program is an important aspect of the xeriscape project.

The Bromeliad Garden features a collection of "less thirsty" pineapple relatives from the tropics of the New World. This garden presents a kaleidoscopic palette of species of widely varying forms and sized for both sun and shade in the xeriscape.

The Tree Garden is a collection of drought-tolerant tree species, including several experimental species from all over the globe.

Activities at the Garden


As of July 2014, the BWS no longer offers free mulch at the Halawa Xeriscape Garden in order to align with statewide efforts to prevent the spread of invasive pests. Mulch piles are potential breeding sites for the Rhinoceros Beetle, an invasive scarab beetle that feeds on coconut palms. For alternative free mulch giveaway sites, check with the City Department of Environmental Services (ENV).

Volunteer at the Garden

Volunteers are welcome on Weedy Wednesdays and Spruce-Up Saturdays. For more information, call (808) 748-5363.


The Halawa Xeriscape Garden hosts workshops that generally include instruction on how to xeriscape, efficient irrigation, propagating native plants that save water, soil improvement/mulching, lei-making with xeriscape plants, and wreath-making with xeriscape plants, among others. Sponsored by the Friends of Halawa Xeriscape Garden, these workshops are generally scheduled on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.


Free tours are offered by appointment; self-guided tours and visits to the garden are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

halawa xeriscape garden tour diane moses

Hours of Operation

The garden is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. unless otherwise posted. All visitors need to check-in with garden staff on arrival.

halawa xeriscape garden sign

For More Information

Call (808) 748-5041 or email contactus@hbws.org.

Halawa Xeriscape Garden
99-1268 Iwaena Street
Aiea, HI 96701
(get directions)