How-To Video: Waterwise Plants for California

Waterwise plants have developed qualities that help them tolerate low rainfall, high heat and drying winds. These characteristics are taproots, leaves with fine gray hairs or high oil content, and bulbous, water-storing roots.

Much of California has a “Mediterranean” climate, with minimal winter rains, hot, dry summers and autumns with hot, drying winds. The lack of winter frosts and imported water makes growing an extremely wide range of plants possible in California. However, gardeners wishing to live in a sustainable way will want to plant water-wise plants in their gardens. Indeed, many cities may soon require it.

Waterwise plants can be found in every area of the garden and include: Bulbs, Perennials, Groundcovers, Shrubs, Trees, and vines.


Waterwise Plant Care

Although all waterwise plants require little water once they are well-acclimated to your garden, all require regular water to become established and unthirsty. It takes an entire year for a plant to become fully established and waterwise. At planting time, create a dirt “well” about 3- to 4-inches deep around each plant to hold sufficient water to penetrate the entire root ball. Water regularly.