Right Plant for the Right Place
Appropriately selected plants require less water, have greater pest resistance, and look great. Check out the tips below to learn how to select the right plant for the right place, and then use your green thumb with the help of these comprehensive plant lists.
Tips for Selecting the Right Plant for the Right Place
1. Know Your Place
Get to know your site’s microclimates—those shady spots, dry patches, places where the soil is rocky, and so on. Before you shop for plants, do some homework and learn about plants that are well suited to the particular conditions on your site.
2. Be Adaptive
Select mostly California native and Mediterranean climate plants that are adapted to six-month dry seasons. EBMUD’s award-winning book, Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates, features more than 650 native Californian and Mediterranean plants suited to California climates.
3. Diversify Your Plant Portfolio
Plant diverse sizes and types of plants, and choose plants that flower and fruit at different times, to ensure year-round interest in the landscape for both humans and wildlife.
4. Plant Mostly Perennials
They make garden maintenance easier, often require less irrigation, and result in less waste compared to annual plants.
5. Go From Lawn to Garden
Replace your lawn with a beautiful and drought-tolerant garden. Learn about sheet mulching, an easy process of layering cardboard and mulch right on top of the grass, click here.
6. Plant a Tree or Three
Plant trees for beauty, shade, windbreaks, shelter for birds and insects, keeping more rainwater on site, and helping fight global warming.
7. Stop the Spread
Avoid invasive plant species, including periwinkle, English ivy, French and Scotch broom, and pampas grass. Learn about alternatives to invasive plants, check out our plant lists.
8. Look Ahead
Consider the mature size and shape of the plants you choose and place them in areas that will allow them to assume their natural form.
When Paul Cannon and Hugo Campos were thinking of moving to Oakland, it was four towering coastal redwood trees that finally convinced them to put down an offer on a house. They have fond memories of entering the home’s garden gate and looking skyward in amazement at the grove of trees that loomed over the 4,500-square foot lot. Not having even stepped inside the house, “they were already sold.”