With water shortages becoming more frequent. It is wise to plant some of your garden with water conserving species (Xeriscape and CA Native plants), Their culture and care are easy in most instances and here are some tips to getting them to succeed in your garden. First of all identify what kind of plant you want to plant or have, and what are its neeeds when growing in the wild. Some drought tolerant species need dry summer soil growing conditions, others tolerate summer watering, some need constant water all the time.(there are many habitats in CA) When to plant is another factor to consider. You can plant container plants anytime, although fall and winter are the best since plants are coming into a natural period of growth, root growth mainly. Tree and shrub species as well as perennials, biennials, and annuals can best be planted in fall, and winter, or very early spring for best results. Remember, they do a LOT of growing during the cooler months when rains are more abundant. (their natural growth cycle). Native wildflowers, bulbs, perennials give wonderful spring and summer blooms if sown in fall or NOW. Rains will water them during winter, if they are sparse, you should provide that moisture to first get lots of root growth, then keep watering (if rains are late, light) until growth begins in spring. That will produce the biggest sized herbaceous plants and the most root growth in woody species, and following top growth will be abundant. If the species require good drainage, provide that when selecting your planting site before you plant. But abundant watering will be appreciated after they are planted until warmer temps arrive.Favorites like the native iris (I. douglasiana and hybrids) planted now will grow a lot of roots now, then lavish spring blooms later. Additionally, they will also be established and more able to stand summer / fall dryness until next winter rains come.
Numerous color selections and named cvs are available. I have MANY favorites in this group! And a wonderful attribute is that their evergreen foliage is attractive when the clumps are not in bloom. (not like some iris species)