Creating A Gorgeous Garden

Creating A Gorgeous Garden

Sprinkler Head Guide For Shrub And Groundcover Beds

by Tiffany Gonzales

Borders and island beds containing low groundcover and small shrubs are a common addition to a home landscape. Irrigating these areas can be a challenge, though. The same sprinkler heads used for the lawn may not work so well in these beds. The key is to match your sprinkler system to the types of plants you are growing in the bed. The following guide can help.

Rotary heads

Rotary heads are the type of sprinkler head that usually comes first to mind – they rotate in one direction with short spurts of water, and then move smoothly to their starting position to begin the process again. While these are effective for grassy areas, skip them in your shrub and groundcover beds. They will give broadleaf plants a beating, which can cause irreparable damage.


These produce multiple streams of water as they slowly rotate. Although they don't have the force of a rotary head, the streams of water can still be too forceful for broadleaf plants, so they are best reserved for lawn-only use.

Fixed spray popups

Popup heads are underground until water begins to flow, and then they pop up. A fixed spray pop-up produces a gentle fan of even spray close to the ground. These tend to work well with low shrubs, since most of the moisture will fall directly on the soil and not on plant leaves. They can also be used with groundcovers, as long as the groundcover isn't prone to fungal issues that are caused by wet foliage.


Bubblers are best suited for irrigated only one or two plants. Water slowly bubbles out and saturates a small radius. Use these for shrubs that need moist soil but remain healthier with dry foliage. These sprinklers are also well suited for use in planters or along parking strips, where overspray from the irrigation system can be a problem.

Drip systems

A drip irrigation line is a hose that is laid over the soil surface. There are water emitters spaced along the hose that will drip out moisture right at the base of plants. Drip systems work well for small shrubs as well as for groundcovers – especially if you want to avoid wetting the foliage unnecessarily or need to prevent overspray from the irrigation system.

For more help in designing the perfect irrigation system for your all of your landscape, contact a sprinkler service in your area.


About Me

Creating A Gorgeous Garden

I have always been someone who absolutely adores being outside, which is probably one of the reasons I decided to buy a home with a large lot. However, as soon as I moved in, I realized that yard work was a lot more challenging than I had anticipated, which is why I called in a team of professional landscapers. They were amazing to work with and got right to it, and within a few days, the yard was looking amazing. I wanted to create a blog all about creating beautiful outdoors spaces so that other people can help to beautify the world.