Weather in San Diego is close to perfect, according to the U.S. Weather Bureau. Although San Diego County is massive, with many regional microclimates, residents and businesses both inland and coastal can reap benefits from installing drought-tolerant landscapes. The advantages of these landscapes are tremendous and go far beyond water conservation and turning your brown yard into a flourishing beauty. Here’s a look at some of these perks.

Diverse Choice of Plants

Good news! To obtain a drought-tolerant landscape, you don’t need to install a cactus garden. Although succulents are a popular choice and indeed flourish in desert conditions, they can be complemented by a variety of colorful native flowers and attractive trees and grasses that do equally well. Any plant, native or not, will need an establishment period so its systems can develop. Businesses such as Plant Nativ will work with you to implement irrigation types such as drip irrigation and stream rotor pop-ups to ensure your landscape stays lush. Luckily, a diverse range of intriguing plants are native to San Diego and do thrive here. For example, the extremely drought-tolerant ephedra californica is nicknamed “desert tea” and has medicinal properties.

Less Need for Pesticide

When you fill your landscape with native and drought-tolerant plants, trees and grasses, you expend less water, pesticide and fertilizer keeping them alive. This is because these plants have developed natural defenses to combat pests as well as weather conditions such as drought. Of course, using fewer pesticides benefits the environment as well, as pesticides have been connected to water pollution and health hazards such as nerve damage and cancer. You’ll rest easy knowing your landscape is as safe for people and pets as it is beautiful.

Fire Resistant

Speaking of safety, another advantage of drought-tolerant landscapes is extra fire resistance: many beautiful fire-resistant plants are also drought-tolerant. Specimens belonging to both categories include the yellow iceplant, the California redbud and the ornamental strawberry. Environmentally minded landscaping companies can help you design fire-safe zones and choose the best fire-resistant plants.

Encourages Local Wildlife

Make your landscape in San Diego drought-tolerant, and you help butterflies, bees, birds, and insects thrive. Native plants and animals have long-lasting relationships that are mutually beneficial and promote a balanced ecosystem. If you choose to import a nonnative plant, you might also bring in invasive pests that do not have predators nearby. Instead try a colorful native flower like hibiscus or lantana — you might find your landscape a prized destination for hummingbirds!

Water Conservation

Drought-tolerant plants require less water. Combine that with smart use of irrigation systems and devices such as smart sprinklers, and you could reduce your water bill by as much as 30 percent. What’s more, you can now control your landscaping through a phone app when you are away from home.

What’s not to like about a drought-tolerant landscape in San Diego? As you can see, the benefits are enormous. When you convert to this type of landscape at your home or workplace, you save money, conserve water for local agriculture and reduce pesticides in water systems, not to mention creating a beautiful natural environment customized to your taste. If you give your landscape the special care it requires during its first year, you will be in a great position to enjoy your plants for years to come.