6 Easy and Alluring Water-Saving Lawn Alternatives

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With California’s drought going in full swing and the threat of drought elsewhere in the country, many homeowners are looking for alternatives to their luscious green grass which craves a lot of water. About 40 to 60 percent of all residential water is used outdoors, so installing alternatives that need less water and maintenance seems to be the way to go in saving water as well as maintaining your yard’s beauty.

There are six main ways you can replace your lawn:

Synthetic Grass – From plasticy-looking Astro-Turf to the realistic-looking stuff, this kind of grass you will never need to mow or water. In fact, you really won’t have to do much at all for it. It can be expensive to by per square and to install, but you will have a lawn that looks great and requires very little from you.

However, if you’re looking for something more real, you may like the other choices better:

Ground Covers

These plants grow and spread out quickly over a large area to provide a layer of flora that can absorb your lawn’s space in no time. Ground cover can cover an area evenly or can grow in large clumps that grow several inches high. Most typically cannot withstand a lot of foot traffic, so be careful where and how you step. Some good examples of ground cover is are the following:

  • Lilyturf
  • Thyme
  • Mondo Grass
  • Sedum
  • Moss
  • Ajuga
  • Creeping Jenny
  • Asiatic Jasmine
  • Liriope
  • Creeping Phlox



If you’re looking to capture the beauty and color of wildflowers, these plants will provide your yard area with a plethora of tall-standing flowers that are sure to attract the attention of hummingbirds and people alike. Since these do typically grow quite tall (some can grow up to several feet high), regular maintenance may be required if you don’t want them to obscure any part of your home. Some good examples of perennials for your yard are the following:

  • Milky Bellflower
  • Common Knapweed
  • Greater Knapweed
  • Wild Carrot
  • Lady’s Bedstraw
  • Meadow Cranesbill
  • Field Scabious
  • Scrambling Meadow Vetchling
  • Ox-Eye Daisy
  • Toadflax


Ornamental Grasses

These types of grasses come in small clumps and can appear in a variety of sizes and colors. They can grouped to together, but typically are put in between other plants for a better aesthetic. Like perennials, some of these pants can grow quite tall, so arrange these plants accordingly. Some good examples of ornamental grasses include the following:

  • Fountaingrass
  • Little Bluestem
  • Switchgrass
  • Blue Oatgrass
  • Purple Millet
  • Cordgrass
  • Maidengrass
  • Northern Sea Oats
  • Zebragrass
  • Purple Moorgrass



These stones are best mixed with native plant arrangements or a mix of the four proceeding groups. Pavers can be arranged into walkways, stone squares for benches, or whatever else you desire. If you are feeling adventurous, you can line your walkways with solar-powered lights to illuminate the path at night.

Knot Garden or Maze

These shaped hedges are cut into patterns that resemble tied knots and make for interesting yard pieces. Garden mazes are well-suited for larger properties and can add an fun aesthetic to your outdoor area.

The appeal of getting rid of one’s lawn is starting to catch on in many communities because of the low water usage, low maintenance, and the beauty of having an arrangement of pretty flowers. Getting rid of your grass may also boost your home’s curb appeal because of the attention you’ll get from neighbors and visitors passing by.