When you’re thinking about new landscaping, it makes sense that lawn replacements might catch your interest. Choosing a lawn replacement means that you can use less water, spend less time maintaining your lawn, and even benefit your local environment. Those who are allergic to grass will be especially interested in alternatives. We’re lucky that in southern California, many of the best lawn replacements work very well with our climate. Here are the four best options that you should consider.

1. Ground Covers

Grass is far from the only kind of plant you can make a lawn out of. One particular class of plants, called ground cover, is an exceptional option to replace your lawn. These are low-growing, wide plants that choke out weeds, keep moisture in your soil, and can even look just as green and crisp as grass.

When you’re choosing a ground cover for southern California, you want an option that can handle drought and high heat. You may also want an option that can handle more traffic, slopes, and soil types than grass. Some stand-out options include:

  • Kurapia: Kurapia is a newly developed ground cover from researchers in Japan. It produces tiny white flowers for several months a year and otherwise looks like thick grass. It is noninvasive and can handle drought just fine.
  • Ruschia: There are many varieties of this African succulent that are great groundcovers for California. Some produce elegant pink flowers and have the benefit of handling heavy traffic easily.
  • Dymondia: This slow-growing groundcover is worth the wait. It produces silvery foliage and will withstand droughts easily once established.

2. Sand

Soft, beachy sand is another great option to replace your lawn. We’re lucky that we live in a climate where you can still grow plants if you choose to lay down sand instead of soil. In fact, there are many elegant, vibrant cacti that you can cultivate on sand. We suggest you choose native varieties such as:

  • Pancake prickly pear: Large, thin, and very classic looking, the prickly pear is an excellent centerpiece for a garden.
  • Tulip prickly pear: A much smaller option, the tulip prickly pear makes vibrant flowers that add a great splash of color.
  • Teddy bear cholla: The joy of planting cacti is alternating their unique textures. The soft look of Teddy bear cholla really makes an impact.

3. Rocks and Stones

Rock and stone gardens are another reliable option for homeowners in California who are done with having grass, or at least so much of it. Again, there are plenty of plants you can grow on rocks in our climate. However, you might want to let the rocks and stones themselves be the star of your landscape. You can find many unusual stone mixes and many larger stones that can serve as focal points for your new landscape.

4. Artificial Grass

When you want an option that is no maintenance and looks almost exactly like real grass, artificial turf is the way to go. You install it once and then hardly need to think about it again. You can also be sure that your property value won’t suffer from choosing a really unusual lawn choice.