You’ve probably heard that the state lifted restrictions on water use in urban areas. Yet that doesn’t mean Californians don’t need to conserve water: Nearly 60 percent of the state remains in “severe drought,” and certain parts of San Luis Obispo County are still bound to significant water use restrictions.
Another words, we still need to cut back on water — and anyone with a lush green lawn probably isn’t on board yet.
Of course, conserving water doesn’t mean your lawn has to look barren and ugly. And this is where Dennis Dobler can help.
For more than 20 years, Dobler has sold a variety of plants. But in recent years, his succulents — plants that require much less water — have done especially well.
“The drought has dictated sales,” he said. “I’ve had succulents all along. Then all of the sudden they got real popular.”
Succulent plants comes in all sorts of colors — blue-green, pink, red, yellow, chartreause, etc. And the leaves can be rounded, needlelike, ruffled or spiky. What they have in common is what makes them desirable in a drought: Becase they evolved with special water-storage tissues, they can survive in environments that are too dry for most other plants.
Translation: You don’t have to water them as much.
The amount of water a succulent uses depends on its size and the type of soil, Dobler said. Succulents planted in heavy clay will use less water, he said, while those planted in sand will require more because the sand doesn’t retain as much.
Check out ways to conserve water while gardening here.
Dobler has plenty of succulents available, some of which — like the one above, photographed at the Arroyo Grande farmer’s market — look like art pieces. But Dobler, who once owned a retail nursery, doesn’t just offer succulents; He specializes in hundreds of varieties, including monkey puzzles, kangaroo paws and Alstroemerias.
“Mostly unusual plants,” he says. “‘Less common’ would be a good way to put it.'”