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Lawn Alternatives

Drought Tolerant Grass Replacements

Lawn Alternatives

Enjoy a beautiful landscape and save water. Grass lawns are one of the thirsty areas of the landscape that need water at least twice a week in the hot summer months and once a week in the cool months for survival. If your area only allows once a week watering or your looking for save more water; here are some great lawn alternatives for all or part of your grassy lawn.


Walkable Lawn Alternatives

dwarf carpet of stars

Dwarf Carpet of Stars 
Ruschia lineolata ‘Nana’

A perfect drought-tolerant grassy lawn alternative that doesn't need to be mowed and take foot traffic.

  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Grows 1-2 inches tall & up to 2 feet wide
  • Blooms spring and fall

Dymondia margaretae

A drought-tolerant, grass-like, dense groundcover that can take light foot traffic.

  • Full sun
  • Grows 2-3 inches tall & 12-14 inches wide
  • Stemless yellow flowers in summer


A versatile, drought tolerant groundcover that replaces traditional lawns. Establishes quickly and takes light foot traffic.

  • Full sun
  • Grows 6-8 inches tall & up to 15 inches wide
  • Blooms in spring to late summer

UC Verde

Buffalo Grass 
Bouteloua dactyloides

The ultimate grass lawn alternative that thrives in droughts and extreme temperatures.

Save Water: Thrives on 1/4 inch of water a week

Save Time: Easy to plant, grows quickly, mow less often or not at all - your choice!

Sneeze Free: Allergy-friendly with a low pollen rating

a lawn with trees and bushes

Non-Walkable Lawn Alternatives

Common Thrift Armeria martitima Drought Tolerant groundcover

Common Thrift 
Armeria martitima

A waterwise clumbing evergreen groundcover that produces pink or white blooms in spring.
  • Partial shade to shade
  • Grows 6-8 inches tall & 10-12 inches wide
  • Blooms in spring
mixed gazania

Gazania rigens

Often times called African daisy, this drought-tolerant groundcovers has large, dramatic colorful flowers.

  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Grows 6-12 inches tall & wide
  • Blooms nearly year round
delosperma ice plant

Ice Plant 

Various types of plant with fleshy leaves and colorful flower that can be used as a drought-tolerant groundcover. It's named Iceplant due to it's tiny hairs that reflect light resembling ice crystals.

  • Full sun
  • Grows 6-12 inches tall & 2-3 feet wide, depending on variety
  • Blooms winter through summer, depending on variety



Create an elegant, drought-tolerant green carpet perfect for replacing lawns and on slopes for erosion control. Produces small white flowers in summer followed up ornamental purple fruit.

  • Full sun
  • Grows 3-6 inches tall & 6-12 feet wide
  • Blooms in summer
Senecio Mandraliscae

Senecio Mandraliscae 
Senecio ficoides 

Large blue-green, succulent leaves with upright stems perfect as a drought-tolerant, colorful lawn alternative.

  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Grows 16-18 inches tall & 2 feet wide

Edible Waterwise Groundcovers

creeping rosemary

Creeping Rosemary 
Rosmarimus officinalis 'Prostratus'

A fast-growing herbal lawn alternative. The fragrant foliage can be used when cooking meat, veggies and even drinks.

  • Full sun
  • Grows 6-12 inches tall & wide
  • Small white flowers in spring
creeping thyme

Creeping Thyme 
Thymus serpyllum

A fragrant, edible groundcover with blue-green foliage that spreads quickly once established.

  • Full sun
  • Grows 2-6 inches tall & 6-18 inches wide
  • Blooms in summer

Artificial Grass

Want the look of grass with no maintenance & no watering? Today's artificial turf looks real and will last for years to come.