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Drought tolerant plants that qualify for the lawn rebate program 

By Melody Huskey
Greener Environments LandscapingGreener enviornments

The City of Paso Robles has made an incentive for removing lawns with their Landscape Rebate Program. They will give $.50/sq. ft. of turf removed and converted to drought tolerant plantings or a hardscape area with decomposed granite or permeable pavers. You can read the terms and conditions at

So what are some nice drought tolerant plants that you can use to replace your lawn with? Luckily, in our gorgeous Mediterranean climate there are tons of beautiful native and drought tolerant plants to choose from. Here are just a few to get you brainstorming your design:


There are literally thousands of species of Salvia to choose from and most of them are drought tolerant and come in almost any color you can think of. Salvia’s attract hummingbirds and some have very fragrant foliage. Some species that are popular and do really well in our area are Salvia clevelandii, Salvia chamaedryoides, Salvia microphylla, and Salvia leucophylla.

California Lilac

This California native works to improve your soil with its nitrogen-fixing qualities and adds a gorgeous blue or violet pop of color in the early Spring. Most Ceanothus species are evergreen and can have a life span of 25 years! Put your California Lilac on drip irrigation for the first summer only and then never water again and it will give you two decades of water free beauty to your landscape.


Rockrose is a fantastic erosion control plant with showy white or pink flowers. This evergreen, low growing perennial prefers full sun and will grow to about 1′ tall and 3′ wide. Rockrose is a profuse bloomer with flowers opening in the beginning of the day and falling off by midday, only to bloom again the next morning.


Manzanita is a California native shrub or tree typically grown as a specimen. It has very attractive red bark and clusters of pink flowers that provide nectar for hummingbirds. Manzanita means little apple in Spanish as these shrubs bear little green or red fruit that can be eaten by wildlife and humans, although they do taste pretty sour. Plant in well drained soil in full sun to part shade. During very dry times in the summer, water deeply and infrequently, letting the soil completely dry out before watering again.

California Fuchsia

This strong but beautiful native actually thrives on neglect. California Fuchsia blooms bright red tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden from midsummer through late fall. Grows to about 3′ high to 3′ wide in full sun.

If it isn’t plants you are looking for, then a nice patio table on top of DG or pavers would be a lovely place to sit while sipping iced tea and counting your rebate money. When a city is willing to actually give money to active participants in water conservation, they mean business.

The rebate program is only around as long as there are funds available so call the Water Conservation Office at (805) 227-7250 today to get your lawn removal plan started.

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