Winter is a Great Time for Water Wise Planting

For customers interested in switching out high water use plants for water wise landscaping, winter is a great time of the year to plant. Cooler temperatures and the onset of the rainy season (which typically runs from November through April) promote plant health and aid in successfully establishing new landscaping. Take advantage of winter rains to establish plants and help them survive the hot dry summer weather with less stress while using less water. Save water, money, and time as many water wise drought tolerant plants also require lower maintenance.

Wondering if water wise landscaping is for you? Explore examples of a wide variety of beautiful water wise gardens, featuring different styles that can fit any landscape and architecture. Find water wise plantslawn alternativeshedges, and drought tolerant trees using this virtual garden tour.

Water Wise Planting Tips:

  • Plant in winter to give plants a great start and to take advantage of cooler temperatures and winter rains. 
  • Add mulch to prevent evaporation, hold moisture, and protect plants from temperature changes.
  • Different plants have different irrigation needs so research before you plant.  Group plants needing similar amounts of water in zones so your irrigation system can be adjusted to meet the needs of each group of plantings.
  • Consider installing a water efficient irrigation system as part of your garden design.  This is easier than adding a system later.
  • If you plan to use your existing irrigation system, make sure to adjust your sprinkler settings and emitters to match the water needs of your new plantings.  Check for leaks and overspray, and consider switching out sprinkler heads for more efficient models.  You can even convert sprinklers to a drip system.  Find irrigation resources at
  • Periodically check your sprinkler timer to make sure it is set correctly.  An incorrectly set timer is a common source of water waste, and is an easy adjustment to make that improves water efficiency and plant health without sacrificing the appearance of your landscape.

Need help?  Waterwise SB provides information on garden design, irrigation, and picking the perfect plant.  Visit

Click here to download the Time for a Tune Up checklist (PDF).