Drought Resources


The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is offering residential customers $2 per square foot (up to $2,000 total) for removing their lawn and replacing it with drought-tolerant plants, mulch, permeable pavers and efficient drip irrigation. Artificial turf is not eligible for the rebate, and projects must be completed within 90 days. CLAIM YOUR TURF REMOVAL REBATE

Where to shop

Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden Plant Sales

Partner Nurseries
Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden receive discounts at these nurseries. Find out more about membership.


What to buy

UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars
Thinking about removing your lawn to save water? The horticultural staff of the UC Davis Arboretum have identified 100 tough, reliable plants that have been tested in the Arboretum, are easy to grow, don’t need a lot of water, have few problems with pests or diseases, and have outstanding qualities in the garden. These plants are called the UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars.

LEARN MORE about Arboretum All-Stars
SEARCH the Arboretum All-Star database

Below you’ll find links to plant lists incorporating Arboretum All-Stars and other region-appropriate, mostly low-water plants.

You can also find other low-water use plants by searching the
WUCOLS Database
(Water Use Classification of Landscape Species)

Hire help

PLEASE NOTE: The resources we’ve listed below are not endorsed by the UC Davis Arboretum, but are websites you might find helpful as you start your search.


Waterwise gardening



  • Educational Plant Videos: Taylor Lewis, nursery manager for the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden shares information about his favorite low-water plants and how to care for them.


  1. Nancy Sternberg April 8, 2014 Reply

    We are interested in finding drought resistant plants for the north (shady) side of our home. Most native plants we find are for full sun.

    Can someone please help!

    Thank you.

    • Author
      UC Davis Arboretum & Public Garden April 11, 2014 Reply

      You can search the Arboretum All-Star database for plants that suit your needs here:


      Don’t forget to click the “show/hide” criteria and add low or very low water needs.

      That will be a good start for you!

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