A Guide to Native Plants and Water Conservation
Did you know that some plants can actually help you conserve water at your California home? Although the state boasts a glorious climate where a myriad of plants can thrive, the best plants for water conservation are actually native to the state. It’s not uncommon for residential gardeners to feature Mediterranean or some sub-tropical plants in their landscapes, but these plants often require more care—and more water—to maintain health. By choosing to garden with native California species, you can more easily create a captivating garden that requires less work and less water.
Native vs Non-Native Plants
Plants that are native to California are part of the region’s natural eco-system. They’ve evolved certain characteristics over time that have allowed them to grow and thrive in their native environment. Today, garden centers feature hundreds of plants that are native to other parts of the country—other parts of the world! While these non-native species may be grown in California, they often require more pampering than native species. And, there’s a strong likelihood that they have more substantial water needs than native plants.
Are There Any Native Plants to Avoid?
In most cases, gardeners can rely on native plants to provide them with a healthy and attractive landscape. It’s mainly plants from other parts of the globe that can threaten the well-being of your property. For instance, non-native species bull thistle or Kentucky blue grass can be highly invasive and difficult to eradicate. Homeowners should keep in mind that there are many native California plants that are poisonous, so these should be avoided in areas where young children and pets are present.
What Are Some Good Native Plants for California Landscapes and Gardens?
California is a large state with many diverse regions. What grows well in San Diego may not do as well in San Francisco. So, when planning your native landscape and garden, be sure to research some plants that are native to your particular area. Of course, if you are concerned about water conservation, you’ll want to focus on drought-tolerant species that don’t require much water. Some of these include:
- Desert Willow
- Blue Palo Verde
- California Yarrow
- California Mountain Lilac
- White Sage
- Coyote Mint
- Blue-Eyed Grass
- Tree Poppy
- Bush Sunflower
A Drought-Resistant Landscape Conserves Water
Homeowners invest substantially in their landscapes and gardens. Watching them suffer through the dry season can be taxing, but hauling out the hose day after day leads to substantial water use. By choosing drought-resistant plants that are native to your setting, you can reduce the need to water yet still enjoy an attractive landscape. In fact, some drought-resistant plants only need to be watered once or twice during the hot summer season.
Before heading to the garden center and its smorgasbord of lovelies, do some research about plants that are native to your area. Then, you can shop for plants that are likely to thrive on your property without extensive maintenance. When purchasing any native plants, it’s still important to investigate the plant’s care requirements. While fertilizer or water may only be a minimum requirement, you’ll need to take some soil and sunlight preferences into mind.
You can achieve a dazzling garden and landscape by relying on native California plants. Best of all, they don’t require much maintenance or watering.
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