Some Myths about Drought-Resistant Landscaping

In the average household, water use doubles in the summer, primarily due to landscape irrigation. But, conserving water does not have to mean a dry, grown landscape.

MYTH #1 Drought-tolerant landscaping isn't colorful. 

In truth, many drought-tolerant plants are prolific bloomers. In addition, by carefully choosing foliage colors and textures for contrast, you can bring color interest to the garden year-round.

 

MYTH #2 Drought-tolerant landscaping doesn't require any water at all. 

Even drought-resistant plants require some initial watering to become established. However, once they are established, drought-resistant plants will get by on considerably less water than we have been accustomed to lavishing on our landscape.

 

Ways to Save Water in Your Garden:

 

  • Use a variety of attractive low-water-using plants.

  • Use a drip irrigation system to apply water slowly, reducing run-off and promoting deep rooting.

  • Lay mulch, which can be made from readily available wood chips or leaf mold, act as a blanket to keep in moisture, and help prevent erosion, soil compression, and weeds.

  • Preserve existing trees. Established plants are often adapted to low water conditions. Porous paving materials such as brick, decomposed granite, or gravel used in patios and walk-ways help keep water in the garden rather than in the gutter.

  • Set automatic timing devices, which allow efficient watering on a schedule suited to each area of the landscape.

  • Water in the cool parts of the day to cut down on evaporation.

  • Add compost to your soil to improve its water-holding capacity.

  • Check for and repair leaky hose connections and sprinkler valves. Small leaks can be very wasteful.

  • Ask your nursery person about low-water-using turf, and raise your lawnmower cutting height. Longer grass blades help shade each other and cut down on evaporation.

  • Don't over-water – water only when the soil is dry.

  • Water trees and shrubs – which have deep root systems – longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants, which require smaller amounts of water or more often.

  • When planting, remember that smaller-size container plants require less water to become established.

Help your trees survive the drought:

Be water-wise. It's easy. Here's how.

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California Friendly Guide for Landscapers:

A maintenance guide for landscapers, gardeners and land managers (PDF)

In the average household, water use doubles in the summer, primarily due to landscape irrigation. But, conserving water does not have to mean a dry, grown landscape.

 

Conservation Ordinance 2009

Click on the link below to learn more about Water Conservation.

Conservation Ordinance 2009


 

How to Conserve

In the garden, try these water-conserving techniques:
 

  • Use a variety of attractive low-water-using plants.

  • Use a drip irrigation system to apply water slowly, reducing run-off and promoting deep rooting.

  • Lay mulch, which can be made from readily available wood chips or leaf mold, act as a blanket to keep in moisture, and help prevent erosion, soil compression, and weeds.

  • Preserve existing trees. Established plants are often adapted to low water conditions. Porous paving materials such as brick, decomposed granite, or gravel used in patios and walk-ways help keep water in the garden rather than in the gutter.

  • Set automatic timing devices, which allow efficient watering on a schedule suited to each area of the landscape.

 
 
 

Low-Water/Drought-Resistant Plants

This list is a good representation of low-water consuming plants that are easily available.

Please check with your local nursery for their suggestions about what is best suited to your area.
 

Flowering Plants

  • Achillea (yarrow)

  • Aloe

  • Callistemon citrinus (lemon bottlebrush)

  • Cassia artemisioides (feathery cassia)

  • Centranthus Tuber (red valerian)

  • Cistus (rockrose)

  • Convolvulus cneorum (bush morning glory)

  • Cortaderia selloana (pampas grass)

  • Coreopsis verticillata

  • Cotinus coggygria (smoke tree)

  • Cytisus and spartium (broom)

  • Echium fastuosum(pride of Madeira)

  • Escallonia

  • Eriogonum (buckwheat)

  • Fremontodendrom (fremontia)

  • Garrya elliptica

  • Kniphofia uvaria (red-hot poker)

  • Lantana

  • Lavandula (lavender)

  • Lemonium perezii (sea lavender)

  • Nerium oleander (oleander)

  • Ochna serrulata (Mickey Mouse plant)

  • Pennisetum setaceum (fountain grass)

  • Plumbago auriculatta (cape plumbago)

  • Poinciana gilliesii (bird of paradise bush)

  • Romneya coulteri (Matilija poppy)

  • Satureja montana (winter savory)

  • Teucrium fruticans (bush germander)

 

Foliage Plants

  • Agave

  • Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree)

  • Artemisia (wormwood)

  • Atriplex (saltbush)

  • Centaurea gymnocarpa

  • Dodonaea viscosa (hopseed bush)

  • Elaeagnus

  • Pittosporum (some species)

  • Portulacaria afra (elephant's food)

  • Prunus lyoni, P. ilicifolia, P. caroliniana

  • Rhamnus alaternus, R. crocea ilicifolia

  • Rhus ovata (sugar bush)

  • Senecio cineraria (dusty miller)

  • Xylosma congestum

  • Yucca
     

Trees

  • Acacia (certain species)

  • Casaurina (Beefwood)

  • Cedrus deodara

  • Certonia siliqua (carob)

  • Cercis occidentalis (western redbud)

  • Cercidium (palo verde)

  • Cupressus glabra (Arizona cypress)

  • Eriobotrya japonica (loquat)

  • Eucalyptus

  • Geijera parvifolia

  • Hakea (tree types)

  • Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon)

  • Juglans hindsii (California black walnut)

  • Lyonothamnus floribundus asplenifolius (Catalina ironwood)

  • Melaleuca linarifolia, M. styphelioides

  • Olea europaea (olive)

  • Palms

  • Parkinsonia aculeata (Mexican palo verde)

  • Pinus (pines)

  • Pistacia chinensis (Chinese pistache)

  • Quercus (oaks)

  • Rhusiancea

  • Robinia (locust)

  • Schinus molle (California pepper)

  • Sequoiadendron gigantrum (big tree)

  • Tamarix apliylla (salt cedar)
     

Vines

  • Bougainvillea

  • Campsis (trumpet creeper)

  • Solanum hartwegii (cup-of-gold vine)

  • Solanum jasminoides (potato vine)

  • Tecomaria capensis (cape honeysuckle)

  • Vitis vinifera (wine grape)

  • Wisteria
     

Ground Cover

  • Baccharis pilularis (dwarf coyote brush)

  • Gazania

  • Hypericum calycinum (creeping St. Johnswort)

  • Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)

  • Santolina chamaecyparissus
     

Many Forms

  • Ceanothus

  • Cotoneaster

  • Grevillea

  • Juniperus (juniper)

please visit

EOCWD

185 North McPherson Road, Orange CA 92869-3720

Phone: (714) 538-5815

Fax: (714) 538-0334

ABOUT US

The East Orange County Water District encompasses an area of approximately 10,000 acres and is a member of the Municipal Water District of Orange County which is a member of the Metropolitan Water District and therefore entitled to receive Colorado River and Northern California imported water through the distribution facilities of the Metropolitan system.

East Orange County Water District. Copyright 1998 - 2017. All Rights Reserved.

LAST REVISED 6/14/18