Drought-Tolerant Plants And Other Water-Wise Landscape Trends

We always encourage using drought-tolerant plants and other savvy methods of reducing water waste in the garden, but this year it’s extra important! Our projected rainfall for the year is much less than typical, so every drop of H2O counts. To save you from spending all your hard earned cash on drinks for your thirsty plants, try these drought-tolerant plants and other methods of reducing water usage. 

The Best Drought-Tolerant Plants For Orange County

We’ve got a pretty solid lineup of drought-tolerant plants in Orange County. We couldn’t possibly list them all! Instead, we’ve narrowed it down to some of our favorites, for a colorful, trendy garden that looks amazing, without the excessive irrigation.

drought-tolerant plants oc succulents

California Yarrow

One of the easiest ways to reduce water usage in the garden is by planting drought-tolerant native species! As you can probably guess by the name, this species of yarrow is well accustomed to California living. It’s a shrubby, herbaceous perennial that will grow back each year with a showy display of yellow or white clusters of delicate florets. We love their sweet floral scent, and so do the local butterflies!


Purple Sage

Another California native, this fabulously fragrant perennial is a continuous bloomer that lights up the landscape with vibrant purple blooms. It’s about as drought-tolerant as a plant can get, handling poor, sandy soils and direct, full sunlight like a total champ. The flowers emerge on tall stalks, grabbing the attention of butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and plenty of other pollinators.

drought-tolerant plants oc succulents

Agave Attenuata

The spiky, sculptural quality of this succulent landscape plant brings a cool, modern edge to the landscape. As with most desert dwelling plants, the agave is drought-tolerant because its plump leaves are full of water reserves that keep it hydrated for longer. It’s a simple way to have consistently rich, vibrant emerald green color in your yard without having to drench it with the hose every morning.


California Mountain Lilac

This native species of lilac is one of our favorite drought-resistant shrubs, and the fragrance is out of this world. We can’t get over how pretty those crystal blue flowers are! Use it in mass planting to create a privacy hedge, or just plant them on their own to fill up any bare spots in the yard that could use a little color. 


Aloe Arborescens

A classic aloe with those signature spiky leaves, bursting with bold color and plenty of attitude. Even better, it has these amazing orange flowers that rise up like a torch flame! These spectacular succulent plants can grow up to 10 feet tall and wide, so they’ll make quite the statement in your drought-tolerant garden. 

drought-tolerant plants oc succulents

Aeonium Arboreum

This gorgeous desert plant has the hardiness of a drought-tolerant succulent, but with the romantic beauty of a flowering rose bush. Its swirling rosettes rise up from atop tall, curving stems, bringing a sweet femininity to the landscape. We especially love the varieties with burgundy-tipped leaves and lime green centers. The color contrast is nothing short of spectacular!

Euphorbia Tirucalli “Fire Sticks”

A long-time favorite here at OC Succulents, this eye-catching succulent shrub has the most peculiar and beautiful foliage! They’re shaped like skinny, green pencils that grow upward, and are topped with blazing red-orange hues that can be seen from a mile away. It grows up to 8 feet tall, so it makes a stunning focal point for the garden when surrounded by shorter, more mounding plants.  

Now that we’ve covered some amazing water-wise plants, let’s discuss other ways to make your landscape water-savvy.

Create A Perfect Patio Area With Hardscaping 

Another strategic way to limit your water consumption is by hardscaping a large portion of your yard. While some people are hesitant to replace their lawn by laying down pavers or concrete, we promise it will make your space look inviting! Just make sure to put up a pretty seating area and other add-ons to turn your hardscaped yard into a livable outdoor space. You don’t have to miss out on having plants, either—just stick to drought-tolerant plants in containers, and use them to brighten up all the corners of your new, modernized space. 


Xeriscaping With Gravel And Sand

A popular method of reducing water use in desert landscapes is by xeriscaping, or creating a rock garden. This is a method of filling garden space with ornamental gravel, pebbles, or sand, instead of having bare soil or a massive amount of plants. By covering the surface of the soil with these materials, you actually are helping to block the sun from evaporating soil moisture. This means water will remain in the soil for longer, and continue to hydrate your plants.

drought-tolerant plants oc succulents
drought-tolerant plants oc succulents

If you’d like any more tips on how to make your landscape as drought-tolerant as possible, visit OC Succulents! Our experts will be more than stoked to provide you with suggestions for drought-tolerant plants and water-wise landscaping ideas.

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