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Because of drought-related water usage mandates, many homeowners are looking for methods of conserving water in their garden in San Jose. There are several ways in which you can cut back on the water needed to maintain your landscaping, and one of these is to choose plants that are well-suited for your climate and native to your area. Continue reading to learn about California native plants that are popular choices for water-wise gardens.

Lemonade Berry

A large, evergreen shrub that has deep green, leathery leaves and blooms in spring with pink flowers, the lemonade berry helps stabilize slopes and is excellent for creating habitats and screens. Plant in full sun or partial shade and well-draining soil.

Desert Mallow

A favorite among water-conscious homeowners, the desert mallow deserves a place in any water-wise garden. This is an evergreen shrub that has crenulated, silvery leaves and blossoms in early spring with cupped flowers ranging from rich red to brilliant orange. Choose full sun and well-draining soil for this plant.

Matilija Poppy

Boasting large, papery flowers that have white petals and a golden yellow center, the Matilija poppy is sometimes called the “fried egg plant” and is a native perennial. This plant does best on a slope or other area where its underground runners have plenty of room to spread. Install this plant in a spot in your garden that gets full sun and has well-draining soil.

Hoary California Fuchsia

The hoary California fuchsia is another plant that usually spreads via underground runners, so try to give it plenty of room. Although it can grow in less, this mat-forming perennial blooms best when it gets full sun. This plant has narrow, pale green leaves and flowers in summer with bright, vermillion blossoms.


Encompassing a large group of evergreen shrubs that can range in height from ground cover to tree-sized, manzanita plants often boast architectural structures and bark that is mahogany to ebony in color. Depending on the species, plant in part shade or full sun to part shade and well-draining soil.

Native Plants for Water-Wise Gardens in California