Low-Maintenance, Drought Tolerant Front Yard Ideas

Few things add more pop and color to your home than having a green, lush front yard. However, maintaining such a yard requires plenty of water and maintenance. With California being no stranger to drought, this can be challenging.

Fortunately, there are a few drought-tolerant front yard landscaping options you can implement to create a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant front yard. Implementing water conservation efforts doesn’t necessarily mean your front yard has to end up with dried patches of dead grass.

This post will take you through a few landscaping alternatives to create the perfect front yard that can withstand even the hottest temperatures.

Drought-Resistant Landscaping Options


Hardy groundcovers can take over where your yard left off, helping you add a splash of color and put down roots to prevent soil erosion. The best part is that groundcovers require minimal maintenance to stay healthy.

There are several front yard drought-tolerant plants you can choose from, with many of them doing well in the Citrus Heights climate. All you need to consider is whether your yard is primarily in the shade or the sun during most of the day.

If your front yard is mostly in the sun, rockrose would be an excellent choice. On the other hand, if your yard is in the shade, opt for creeping barberry. Since this option blooms yellow flowers in mid-spring and blueberries in early summer, it will brighten up your yard.

Flower Beds

Though flowers aren’t usually the first option for low-maintenance, drought-tolerant front yard ideas, there are several strong perennials that promise to be perfect for your home. Not only are they vibrant when blooming, but they also require a lot less attention to thrive.

Some of the top options include:

  • Autumn joy: Though the flower turns to rose-pink in early fall, it has white buds during the year’s warmer months.
  • Bearded iris: This is a perfect drought-resistant landscape option, especially considering the vast array of colors in which it comes.
  • Purple coneflower: This flower bed option promises to add a pop of color to any drought-tolerant yard. You can also enjoy the butterflies the flower often attracts during the warmer months.


Another low-maintenance, drought-tolerant front yard idea is adding decorative grasses throughout your lawn. Some of the varieties that tend to flourish in the Citrus Heights area include:

  • California sweetgrass: This option has delicate white flowers and thrives in shady conditions with average to low water.
  • Maiden grass: This is ornamental grass that often blooms in the late summer.
  • Blue panic grass: Another perennial tufted grass that requires minimal care.


Related: Will Watering Dead Grass Bring It Back

Native Plants

One of the best ways to ensure that all the plants you choose for your front yard will thrive in California’s heat is to pick plants native to the area. Such plants have flourished through the area’s cycles of rain and drought.

For instance, you could opt for a California sagebrush that you can even use as a tea or a spice when cooking. Coyote brush is another alternative. The plant blooms in the winter.

You could also choose manzanita, an evergreen shrub with delicate pink blossoms that flower from late winter to early spring.

Decorative Stone

Get more creative with your ideas, and instead of choosing plants, opt for decorative stones, aggregate, or gravel. You can either use them to create walkways or pair them with some of the plant options from above, creating the perfect backdrop.

For instance, you can use decomposed granite in place of mulch, placing it around your trees and garden beds. You could also integrate this option with pea gravel, which you can use on your walkways or in between pavers.

Many homeowners often go for river rocks because of their smooth texture and size variety. This option also comes in different shades, ranging from light gray to brown. You could even get them in blue, green, or black.

Creating Drought-Friendly Landscapes

Picking the plants to include in your low-maintenance, drought-tolerant front yard is only half the battle. The key to creating stunning drought-tolerant backyards lies in how you implement your drought-tolerant landscape ideas.

Here are a few options you might want to consider trying out.

Related: How To Clean Landscape Rocks

Circle Play

Instead of having many flowers that require plenty of water, consider placing hardscape elements like a series of circles and pavers to create visual interest.

Surround these elements with groundcovers like thyme that will provide you with a way to catch the water that might otherwise be lost. Mulch is also essential for conserving moisture and keeping weeds at bay.

In place of other water-needy plants, consider including a few sculptures to offer drama and tie your landscape together even more.

Water Smarts

Combining grass and concrete will not do much to prevent water loss. However, planting water smarts will help you catch water before it hits the curb. On top of preventing water loss, several drought-tolerant plants also prevent erosion.

When creating your landscape, remember that shade is essential for preventing water loss. This is because plants tend to lose moisture from evaporation.

Clever Corner

You could create a small flower bed as the perfect solution for the intense California heat. Add a raised bed at one corner of your yard, implementing distinct borders. Remember to include plants around the edge to prevent water loss.

To further ensure smart water use, amend the soil correctly with plenty of compost. Include a careful selection of boulders down the flower bed to direct water to other planted sections of your front yard.

Side Swipe

Instead of having plants fill up your entire yard, you could adorn its sides with a mixture of both hardscape elements and plants. Consider opting for creeping thyme to soften the edges of your pathway and have gaps between the pavers to provide spots for the water to soak into the ground.

You could include a few high-need plants in the middle of the yard, using them as dramatic accents or as a guide to the hardscape elements you will use as your garden’s focal point.

Charming Cascade

Water runoffs usually happen on sidewalks and other hardscapes. Fortunately, you can minimize this waste by planting a strip next to your walkways.

If you have plants that require more water, consider planting them in containers. That way, you concentrate on their moisture needs. Remember to get containers of varying sizes to elevate the plants and add height to your yard.

Efficient Garden Beds

One inexpensive, drought-tolerant landscaping idea is to implement water-saving strategies in your garden beds. For instance, include showy hardscape elements like an oversized boulder to fill in the gaps in your garden and add an unexpected centerpiece.

Maintain healthy doses of natural compost for maximum efficiency of your garden beds. You can even include different varieties of evergreens to offer color and structure.

Get Stunning, Low-Maintenance, Drought-Tolerant Front Yard Ideas from the Experts

Homeowners in Sacramento and surrounding areas know how challenging maintaining a healthy lawn can be, especially with a large property. Considering droughts, water restrictions, and shortages, keeping your front yard well-watered is tricky.

Fortunately, there are several drought-tolerant front yard ideas you can implement to get the beautiful, lush, and full landscape you desire. However, from knowing which plants to pick to integrating them into your yard, creating a drought-free landscape is easier said than done.

You don’t have to do it on your own! We have a team of professional landscapers ready to help. They will assess your landscape and provide you with the services you need to keep it from turning brown and unsightly.

If you are in the Sacramento area and are looking for a landscaper who can provide you with low-maintenance, drought-tolerant front yard ideas, be sure to give Lawnman a call today to schedule your appointment.



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