Theodore Payne California Native Plant Database

Makes sense for your wallet

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Gardening with California native plants is a great way to save money.

Lower Water Bills
This is the most obvious. You'll cut your water bill significantly. In an on-going research effort at Garden/Garden in Santa Monica, the City of Santa Monica has determined that a landscape planted with CA native plants uses half the amount of water as a traditional garden. This translates to a significant savings in your monthly water bill.

Fines in Times of Drought
Many water departments impose fines on property owners who do not reduce their water use. In water emergencies, water conservation goals are set and everyone is supposed to reduce their water use by a certain percentage. Anyone exceeding their allotted water use is fined. To avoid those fines, most homeowners stop watering their lawn to meet the goal. And it works. But people who have already transitioned to a water-thrifty garden with California natives never have to cut their water use...they already meet the water conservation goals. On top of that, they don't have a brown yard. They have selected drought-tolerant shrubs and perennials that continue to thrive in these conditions and remain green when everyone else's yard is brown.

Lower Sewer Service Charges
Most people don't realize that their sewer service charges are based on the amount of water you use in total, not how much gets washed down the pipes. There is no way to measure how much water you use in your sinks, tubs, and toilets independent of how much you use in the yard. The only meter is on how much water you take out of the main water pipes.

To solve this problem, the sanitation agency bases their charge on how much total water you use, including the amount of water you use in the garden. If you cut down on the amount of water you use outside, you'll save money by lowering your sewer charges.

No Amendments, No Poisons
Since you don't need to amend your soil to increase organic matter, you'll be saving on bags and bags of compost. In addition, those fertilizers that most people pour on their perennials to keep them blooming are unnecessary...another expensive product you don't need. Finally, if you're not feeding bad bugs, you don't need poisons to kill them. All in all, these products end up costing hundreds of you won't need to spend in a California native garden.

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