Plants for Hot California Climates
(Photo: Epilobium canum, California Fuchsia) We're talking Central Valley hot here, not Mojave Desert, but these are plants that can thrive in the Davis, Sacramento area and many of them can do it with no additional water in the summer months after the first year. If you would like a more cultivated look a once a month watering will make these plants more lush looking and also more fire resistant. But natives, and many Mediterranean climate plants, have developed their own protections against the 6 to 8 month drought time and don't necessarily appreciate more than the occasional addition of ground water. This ground water, unlike rain, often contain salts which then accumulate in the soil changing the acid/alkaline balance and effecting their health. If you do have water thirsty plants then group them together for more frequent watering.
We are indebted to Warren G Roberts of the Arboretum at the University of California in Davis for much of this list, and a customer that brought it to the nursery and allowed us to copy it.