Careful plant selection is part of the following
principles of River-Friendly Landscaping:
Consider the following when selecting plants for your River-Friendly
- choose California native (best
choice) or Mediterranean plants — California native
plants will help to foster local wildlife; both California natives and
Mediterranean plants are well suited to our climate, thereby requiring less water
- avoid invasive plants — check out
http://www.plantright.org/regions/central-valley for more information
- the site — is it sunny, shady? is it flat or on a slope? what other
plants or structures are nearby that will affect it (or visa-versa)? is it
in an area that is always wet or very dry?
- the soil — what kind of soil is it? clay or sand? the soil type in
addition to the slope will affect drainage
- how much room is there to grow? select plants that can reach their full
size in the allotted area
- minimize the lawn — lawn requires much more water to keep
healthy than other landscape plants. By reducing or eliminating the lawn
area, you will be conserving water and energy, as well as reducing the
need for fertilizers and pesticides.
- group plants by water
needs (called hydrozoning) — this will make more efficient use of water. In this
way, all of your plants will get the amount of water they need, which will keep
them healthy and allow them to resist pests better.
- plant trees — trees help to protect water and air quality. The proper
placement of trees can also keep building cool, reducing air conditioning
- diversify — a diverse landscape resists disease and
insect pests better.
- conserve natural areas where possible
The following resources can help you identify plants for your garden or
Here are some more in depth articles on specific RFL topics that you might
find of interest:
RFL Inspiration Garden
Mulch, Grasscycling, and Compost
Fertilize Naturally — Is Feeding
Frenzy Really Needed?
Plant Trees, Save Energy!
Right Plant, Right Place!
Take Action to Save Water Outdoors…
Lawn Care: How Green is Your Grass?
Rethink Your Lawn
Pests Bugging You?
River-Friendly Pest Control
Managing Common Pests
Interview about RFL (MP3)
Choose California natives first
Don't Blow It!
Reducing Outdoor Asthma
Watch the YouTube video
Flow - Make Your Landscape Act Like a Sponge"
to learn about the importance of landscaping to stormwater quality.
Click on any section to learn more