DIY Turf Blog

5 Drought Tolerant Plants for Your Yard


We all know that switching from natural lawns to artificial turf can save a ton of water. However if you’re still watering other plants on your property, your water bill still has a way to go. Over the last few years, we have seen many people converting their yards to be more resistant to the California drought. This is great, and if that’s something that you’re looking into for your home, this article is a great starting point, so here are 5 drought tolerant plants for your yard.


Salvia Clevelandii

Salvia clevelandiiThe salvia clevelandii, otherwise known as the blue sage, is a perennial plant that grows 3 to 4 feet tall. The plant requires little to no supplemental irrigation, although an occasional deep watering will help it reach its full potential. It is native to southern and Baja California. The salvia clevelandii was named to honor Daniel Cleveland, a nineteenth century lawyer and amateur botanist. It grows relatively quickly, and continues to look good year round.



Mexican Plum

mexican plum treeMexican plum trees can range in height from 15 to 35 feet, depending on the condition of the soil and the nutrients they receive. Older trees have a bluish-gray hue to the bark. Blooms are originally white, fade to pink or purple plums that are smaller than other varieties.

The fruit can be used to make jams and other preserves, and can be consumed by birds and other assorted mammals.

The Mexican plum tree makes an excellent understory tree because of its understory branches.



California Yarrow

california yarrow

The official name for the yarrow is the Achillea millefolium, and is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The yarrow is an erect, perennial plant that grows 0.2 to 1m tall, with leaves 5-20 cm wide. Its scent is similar to chrysanthemums, and grows from sea level to 3,500 meters above.

It is used in many nurseries and gardens because of its adaptability to diverse climates, and can be used in teas or foods. In addition to that, its leaves can be dried and used as an herb for cooking.




Echinacea plant

Echinacea is commonly used to treat cold symptoms. What people don’t know is that the coneflower, specifically the echinacea genus, is an excellent drought-tolerant plant to grow in your garden. This perennial plant grows up to 4 feet and is a member of the sunflower family.

The plant has a long lifespan and can save significant amounts of water for a home garden.



Santa Cruz Island Ironwood

santa cruz island ironwood

The Santa Cruz Island Ironwood is a tree that grows natively in the Channel Islands region of Southern and Central California. It tends to grow on rocky slopes between 100-1600 feet in elevation.

The tree’s bark is a reddish gray or brown, and it features shiny evergreen leaves. The leaves resemble fern leaves, and the fruit is a pair of hard follicles.




It’s important to note that not all plants are approved by local governments, because some can actually be more harmful than helpful. For example, some drought tolerant plants are extremely poisonous to domesticated animals, and therefore should not be installed in yards. The City of San Jose has released a list of all approved plants for parks and trails. While this is not in perfect congruence with residential landscaping guidelines, it should provide useful suggestions on which plants to avoid.

Switching to artificial turf is hugely beneficial for water savings, but there are multiple ways to optimize water savings. Stay tuned to our blog to learn more ways to save water!