The Easy Way To Choose Sustainable Plants

A searchable database to support the design process

If there is not already a plant list from the design phase, then this link will take you to the San Jose Water

Company Water-Wise Gardening link that provides a plant selection database which allows searching by type, size, sun, soil and other factor​s​. 

When selecting, keep in mind:

  • Plants should be appropriate for climate zones and site microclimate conditions noted in site analysis (wind, shade, moisture).
  • Plants should be appropriate for topography and soil types. Refer to the soil laboratory test or the soil infiltration and texture tests performed during the site survey. For any significant landscape installation, laboratory soils testing is strongly recommended.
  • The plant list should include a wide variety of species and plant types. Plant diversity can create stable communities of complimentary plants with varying characteristics. A more diverse landscape has greater resistance to failure due to pests and disease. 
  • Choose plant groupings that share similar irrigation needs, then locate them together in areas called hydrozones, where their similarity allows them to be watered with maximum efficiency. 
  • The provided plant database excludes invasive, non-native species, high-water use and otherwise ecologically problematic plant types. Take care not to choose or retain plants that do not follow suit.
  • Plant selection should be considerate of the ultimate size of the plant when mature; trees especially. For example, do not choose tall species for planting under wires and lines.
  • Plant list should include deer/pest resistant species to reduce the need for pesticides and other pest control measures. Should also include species that are known to attract beneficial insects, birds and other animals.
  • Choose alternatives to high water-use turf grass and lawn.​

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