Native plants
Succulents are among the native Southern California plants do well in hotter temperatures, so summer plant care is easy with a little planning. Photo by Annie Spratt via Pixabay

Eighteenth in a series republished with permission from the San Diego County Water Authority‘s website.

If you’re looking to upgrade your landscape or just love gardens, it can be challenging to choose the right plants that will thrive in a water-saving landscape with your specific conditions.

The online plant finder WaterSmart Landscaping in San Diego County can assist you through a comprehensive database of choices well suited to this region’s Mediterranean climate.

This interactive gardening tool has thousands of pictures of plants and garden designs. Take visual tours of beautiful, water-efficient landscapes through photographs that include hotlinks to plant information screens.

Photos are organized by landscape category to make them easy to find. Explore galleries of ideas for back yards, front yards, hillsides, patios, planters, and other outdoor living areas.

If you’re simply looking at plants, the online guide offers more than 1,000 plants and search tools that make plants easy to find.

The online guide features specialty plant sections:

  • Lawn alternatives: Create non-traditional lawn space without thirsty turf.
  • Pollinator attracting plants: Pollinator gardens with flowers that provide pollen and nectar for pollinating insects provide vital nutrients to support the pollinator population, and preserve agriculture, ecosystems, and biodiversity.
  • Plants for fire safety: trees, shrubs, ground covers, vines, and perennials that can help reduce fire intensity and do not contribute significantly to fuel the fire due to moisture or chemical content, or total volume.
  • California natives: Because native plants are adapted to local environmental conditions, they require far less water. They also provide vital habitat for birds and other wildlife and preserve biodiversity.

While you’re exploring, save plant and garden images you like to your plant list, then print reports about them before you shop.

Click through the navigation bar to see the lists and available resources.

The San Diego County Water Authority offers programs, resources, and incentives to improve water-use efficiency for residential, commercial, and agricultural users. For more water-use efficiency resources, go to