California Friendly Landscapes

Water Conservation

Water conservation has been an important topic in Southern California for decades. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California created Be Water Wise to assist Southern California residents to implement water efficiency strategies around their homes and businesses. 

Indoor water use was addressed early on through the manufacturing of toilets, shower heads, faucets, and clothes washers designed to conserve water. Irrigation products have become more efficient as well by applying water slowly at the precise location it is needed.  Deep watering of trees is a great example of water efficient landscape practices.  Please visit our Tree Maintenance page for information on deep watering trees.  

Residential Water Use

For many of us, over 50% of our residential water use is applied to landscapes. Therefore, it is important to select plants that rely on little water for survival and can withstand periods of drought. 

There are two basic categories of drought-tolerant plants, California native and non-native. There are many plants, trees, and groundcovers to choose from when looking for ways to reduce outdoor water use.

Easy Waterwise Gardening

Easy Waterwise Gardening (PDF) has been provided by Sunset Magazine for step-by-step guidance on creating beautiful water-efficient gardens.

Local Landscaping Events

There are a number of local events that focus on transforming the landscape from turf to low water plants. Visit the Over Watering is Out page for a list of upcoming events in Orange County. The topics vary, but the central theme is reducing outdoor water use.

Be Water Wise

Metropolitan's Be Water Wise is a wonderful resource for those interested in changing their landscape. It provides:

  • Irrigation advice
  • List of local nurseries
  • Photos of local drought tolerant gardens
  • Plant database and search to help you find the perfect plants for your property
  • Step-by-step planning guidance

OC Water Smart Gardens

The Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) provides landscaping resources through their OC Water Smart Gardens program.  

Photo Gallery

View a photo gallery of a variety of drought tolerant plants.

  • The photos in the photo gallery are from Be Water Wise and provide an idea of the variety of drought tolerant plants available. 
  • California natives have a poppy in the lower right corner of the picture.