[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”5ua4pmnghg” question=”Please leave a feedback on this” opened=”0″]California just came through one of the driest winters in years.[/wpdiscuz-feedback] Snowfall from the mountains didn’t yield as much runoff as experts had hoped, and now Californians will be facing water shortages this summer. In order to conserve water, authorities have enacted a water conservation program in the state. Anyone caught breaking it will be forced to pay hefty fines. Considering the tons of water that is used to maintain lawns and gardens, Californian green thumbs are forced to restrict their water usage.
What a pain, especially if their gardens require a lot of water maintenance. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, if you’re considering planting your own garden, there are ways in which you can have a beautiful garden and conserve water at the same time.
When planning your garden, choose plants that are native to California, especially ones that don’t require a lot of water maintenance. The state is filled with beautiful trees and wildflowers that are as equally pleasing to the eye as your garden variety rose or honeysuckle, but have the extra added advantage of being great water conservationists.
When choosing a native tree or plant, the first thing you should take into consideration is whether it is drought tolerant. This simply means that the plant doesn’t require a lot of water to maintain and can even flourish under drought conditions. There are many varieties of shrubs, trees, and plants to choose from.
Water shortages and new water restrictions during some of the worst droughts in years is an issue that’s affecting more than one state. [Drop article specifics here, such as town name]
If you’re looking for ways to conserve water, try adding these plants to your garden:
1. Italian cypress
This evergreen conifer is great for privacy screens or windbreaks and can survive even on just a little bit of water each week. It provides a nice green color year-round and is extremely fire retardant!
2. Pomegranate tree
This exotic fruit tree is a beautiful addition to any yard because it blooms with red flowers in the spring before producing delicious pomegranates in the fall. Although this tree is deciduous, it turns a bright orange and red in the winter which adds a nice pop of color. Not to mention, you can use pomegranate seeds in your cooking!
If you have room for a grove or even just one bamboo plant, you’ll get lots of benefits from these plants that help control erosion and provide food for wildlife. They’re also extremely quick-growing plants with grass-like leaves, making them perfect for creating privacy screens!
This drought-friendly ground cover can be easily found at most garden centers or nurs and looks amazing in rock gardens or between stepping stones. It requires very little maintenance once it’s established and is great for controlling erosion on steep banks.
Sage is a drought-resistant herb that not only provides greenery but also can be used to season meat dishes! This plant needs full sun and well-drained soil, so it’s perfect for adding to rock gardens or any other area that doesn’t retain water well.
This Mediterranean herb is an extremely fragrant shrub with lush green leaves all year long if planted in the right conditions – meaning lots of sunlight, good drainage, and minimal watering! Rosemary can grow up to 18 inches tall so make sure you have room for this beautiful shrub.
7. Russian sage
This drought-resistant perennial blooms with purple flowers in the summer and is extremely heat tolerant! It’s a great choice if you like to grow plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies, and it requires very little water once established.
8. Pineapple guava
This small evergreen tree is perfect for landscaping because it provides year-round color and texture due to its pinecone-like fruit and dense foliage. Not to mention, pineapple guava trees often flower twice a year, making them especially attractive! Although these plants require more water than some of the others on this list, they’re worth the extra effort because they provide beauty and food for wildlife.
This drought-resistant tree can grow up to 10 feet tall, which makes it a great choice if you have limited space but still want to add color and texture to your garden or landscaping design. Hawthorn’s red berries attract songbirds during the winter months when food is scarce which helps bring more life into your yard!
10. Wild plum
This fruit tree is a great addition to any yard because of how adaptable it is – not only does it do well in many soil types, but it also tolerates partial shade and drought conditions quite well. In fact, wild plums are often found growing on hills and mountains and require very little water once established.
This plant is the perfect choice for areas that don’t retain water well because it requires very little irrigation and can also be planted between other plants to prevent weeds from growing! Its seeds are great for making pancakes, muffins, and bread, or you can just leave them to naturally dry out and use as a healthy addition to your favorite birdseed mix.
This fragrant herb is extremely drought-resistant and looks beautiful planted in rock gardens or ground covers! It’s best cultivated in full sun exposure but does alright with some shade – lavender requires full sun to produce its beautiful purple blooms, though!
13. Wild strawberry
This is one of the easiest plants to grow because it does well in just about every soil type and requires very little water once established. A great choice for children who need a project to keep busy during the summer months!
Also known as green onion, chives are extremely drought-resistant plants with edible flowers that attract bees and butterflies! These beautiful plants are best planted between stepping stones or pavers so you can enjoy their beautiful blooms all season long.
15. Salvia (Mexican sage)
Mexican sage is another perennial with edible flowers that are best known for attracting bees. It has a long bloom time – from late spring to early autumn – and requires very little water once it’s established, making it an attractive choice for any lawn or garden.
This is another plant that does well in almost any soil type and only requires minimal watering! Yarrow grows into a perennial flower fast, meaning you can cut back on mowing your lawn this summer by adding yarrow plants around the area where grass usually grows. These plants are great because they’re drought-resistant with medicinal properties so you can kill two birds with one stone by planting these beauties!
Roses are a classic choice for any garden because of their beauty and fragrance, but did you know they’re extremely drought-resistant? Although roses require a little bit more water than others on this list, their blooms attract butterflies and other wildlife to your yard leaving a fragrant aroma behind that will make it well worth your time.
18. Bee balm
This colorful plant is also known as red monarda, bergamot or wild bergamot due to its clove-like scent. It’s best planted in full sun exposure with moist soil but does alright in limited exposure too – bee balm can be grown from root cuttings which makes it easy to share!
19. New England aster
This beautiful flower with purple petals and yellow centers is one of the largest asters around! It’s best planted in full sun exposure with dry soil so it doesn’t retain too much water. If your soil tends to hold on to water, you can plant New England Aster away from areas where grass usually grows because it will do better if it’s not getting its feet wet often.
20. Black-eyed Susan
These bright beauties are one of the hardiest flowers out there, making them an excellent choice for any garden – they’re drought resistant and require very little watering once established! Black-eyed Susan plants attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife to your garden and are best planted in full sun exposure with dry soil. And like many of the plants on this list, they do better if you leave them to naturally dry out every once in a while instead of watering too often – it will help promote new growth and make your black-eyed Susan plants healthier!
21. Penstemon (beardtongue)
This beautiful plant is native to California and does well in most soil types with very little watering! It thrives in full sun exposure but can be grown in partial shade as well – penstemon flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your yard making it an excellent choice for summertime!
This daisy-like flower is most commonly referred to as coneflower due to the cone shape at the center of its bloom. It’s native to California and thrives best in poor soil with dry conditions! The Echinacea plant attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators which makes it an excellent choice for your summertime garden.
23. Blackfoot daisy
This beautiful bloom is native to California and requires very little watering once established. It prefers full sun exposure but can do alright in partial shade – blackfoot daisy flowers attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to your yard!
24. California redbud.
The California redbud is a deciduous plant that provides lovely colors throughout the year. During the summer, the plant blooms in magenta flowers on leafless stems, which then turn into crimson seed pods with heart-shaped blue-green leaves. During the fall, the leaves turn yellow and red. The California redbud also has the added advantage of having a long life and blooms more profusely as it matures. A beautiful addition to any garden, the California redbud is also drought-resistant, which would make this plant ideal for water conservationists.
25. Cleveland sage.
During summers, this plant has pale lavender or violet-blue flowers that have a fragrance that can carry 20-feet on warm summer nights. The Coffee Berry is another ideal plant that is extremely drought resistant. Its leaves turn dark green to yellowish-green and it flowers berries that turn from green to red to black during its ripening period. The Coffee Berry can grow 3 to 15 feet tall and can grow 8 feet wide, making it a shrub that can be easily pruned and shaped.
There are also trees native to California that don’t require a great deal of water maintenance as well. The Western Sycamore, for instance, is drought tolerant once established, and can grow 15 to 20 feet in 5 to 10 years. Western Sycamores also attract hummingbirds and butterflies, making this tree a most ideal addition to any California yard.
There are also native perennials and annuals that you can plant in your garden that are drought resistant. The Island Alum Root, for instance, is a lovely evergreen perennial that blooms in showy pinkish-white flowers in 2 to 3-foot clusters during spring. Ideal for ground cover or borders, the Island Alum is not only drought tolerant, but cold resistant as well. Deer Grass makes another ideal plant for any California garden. Their bright green leaves grow in dense clumps upwards of 4 feet and higher, sporting yellow or purple flower spikes during autumn. Deer grass can grow in direct sun or in light shade and require little to no water for maintenance.
Another plant that is ideal for water conservationists are succulents. The Chalk Dudleya, for instance, can thrive and flourish in containers with very little water. All it needs is well-drained soil and sun, and this lovely succulent will increase in size as it forms new rosettes.
Anyone of these plant varieties can make ideal additions to your garden, providing years of color and beauty to your yard. But, more importantly, they can help keep the water bills down and contribute to water conservation efforts in the state.