One of the benefits to having a native plant garden is that almost all California native plants are very resistant to drought conditions. This makes them an excellent choice in desert areas, or in areas where water restrictions are commonly put in place throughout the year.

Whether you are just looking for a few attractive plants to have near a walkway or under a shade tree, or want to create a garden that is friendly for pollinating insects and hummingbirds, choosing California native plants is an excellent option.

Watering Drought Tolerant Plants

Proper watering is vital for plants to thrive without fungus issues, and even plants that enjoy drought conditions need occasional watering, especially while they are getting established in your garden after a transplant.

The root ball on newly added plants should be kept extremely wet for the first few months after transplanting. This helps the roots settle in and become established in the new soil, while also lowering the stress the plant can experience by providing hydration and nutrients right from the start.

After three months have passed, you can reduce the amount of watering drastically and move to twice a month light waterings. After the plant has established itself for around a year, you can cut back watering to every month or every two months, or can simply allow natural rainfall to water the plant for you.

Popular Native Plants

Matilija Poppy

Also known as Romneya coulteri, this strain of poppy is very popular throughout California. It’s native to the southern part of the state, but can thrive throughout the state quite well. This poppy loves sandy or ashy soil, and is often found growing in areas right after a wildfire. The Matilija poppy will spread quickly and can cover a large area of your yard or garden in short order.

California Lilac

With a scientific name of Ceanothus, this plant loves areas with plenty of sunshine and low amounts of rainfall. It’s a great addition to a butterfly garden or any place where you want to encourage pollinators to visit. The petit clusters of pastel pink, blue, or creamy white flowers are highly attractive and give off a sweet odor.

American Dogwood

As one of the most common ornamental flora additions to drought prone areas, Cornus sericea is a shrub that thrives in both dry and damp soils. It blooms each year and produces small white blossoms and berries, but most often will be covered in just deep green wax-coated leaves. These dogwoods love full sun and will spread quickly if given enough room.

Shaw’s Agave

Popular in rock gardens and cactus planters, Agave shawii is a very common succulent that grows natively throughout California. It is extremely drought resistant and grows slowly making it a very long-lived plant as well. These succulents are common in coastal environments, but can thrive throughout the state as well as into Mexico making them a great choice for transplanting further up north.