SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Officials are urging California residents to pivot to more sustainable gardening practices as the state’s drought crisis deepens. 

As of June 22, 97.8% of the Golden State is experiencing a “severe drought,” and most of California is suffering from “extreme drought,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 

As the state and local municipalities start cracking down on excessive water use, residents may see the consequences of California’s drought in real-time in their gardens.

The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources department says the drought has both short-term and long-term effects on plants.

  • Damage is first apparent in the wilting, yellowing, and dropping of leaves. 
  • Eventually plants will begin to show signs of decline as tips of branches become dry and brown.
  • New growth will be stunted.
  • When damage is severe, no amount of watering can undo it.  

However, native plants can be drought-tolerant in the right conditions, according to Hesston College

Calscape is a helpful online tool that determines what plants – if any – are native to your local area. 

Green Acres Nursery in Sacramento asserts that native plants have evolved to adapt to local climates, regardless of unpredictable weather conditions. Amid California’s ongoing drought, they say the following plants are “low-maintenance” and support native pollinators. 

  • California Fuchsia 
  • California Poppy
  • Bush Anemone ‘Elizabeth’ 
  • California Wild Lilac
  • California Red Buckwheat
  • Matilija Poppy
  • California White Sage 
  • Manzanita ‘Howard McMinn’
  • Western Redbud
  • Valley Oak

See more native plant options with Calscape’s lookup tool.