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How-to Get CASH rebates for New landscaping in California

How-to Get CASH rebates for New landscaping in California

Southern California is in desperate need of you converting your landscaping to low-water plants and design! That's why the state government has implemented the Water$mart program for offering rebates for lawn replacements and other landscaping improvements. 

How much money can I get for installing drought tolerant landscaping?

And guess what? Your new California WILD garden can qualify. If you're removing lawn - even DEAD lawn - you can apply for a $2/sq.ft. - $4/sq.ft. rebate for your new landscaping.

This means if you're replacing 5,000 sq.ft. of lawn in your front yard you could get $20,000 from your local water district. Though many districts cap out a few thousand dollars. 


 Rebate Qualifying Designer Plant Packages

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How Much is My Water District Offering? 

Click on the water district to be linked to the application site. 

Some areas of California have more than one Rebate offering. So far Palo Alto is the only region we've found that lists exclusions for getting more than one rebate. I say, apply for them all and go for double financing where allowed. 

Bay Area Water

Daly City, Menlo Park, San Bruno, Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Jose, Santa Clara, SFO, Sunnyvale, Hayward and more 

Offering up to $4/sq.ft. for you to convert your existing lawn to drought tolerant plus $300 for rain capturing features. Plant coverage must be %50 and mulch to 3 inches. There is no maximum rebate.

Cal Water

Bakersfield, Chico, East Los Angeles, Redondo, Livermore, Los Altos, Salinas, Stockton, Palos Verdes and some surrounding areas 

Get up $3.50 per sq.ft. to install new landscaping with drip irrigation. Maxes out at $4,500 for residential home owners ($30,000 for commercial). Requirements include at least %50 plant coverage and several inches of mulch over all bare soil. 

L.A. Water District

Most of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino and Ventura Counties

The original turf rebate organization Water$mart also offers a number of rebates for smart irrigation controllers and water-saving in home appliances. They offer $2/sq.ft. for replacing your lawn with a water smart landscape. Requires a rain capturing feature and 3 plants per sq.ft. (more details on this one below) 

Orange County 

The OC is giving up to $3.50/sq.ft. for lawn replacing with low water plants and drip irrigation plus FREE landscape design consulting and custom maintenance schedules. 


The city's River-friendly landscaping program is offering $1.50/sq.ft. up to $3,000 for home owners as well as rebates for irrigation controllers, rain barrels and other water saving sundries.  

South San Francisco Bay Area - Valley Water

San Jose, Palo Alto, Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Santa Clara and More

Get $2/sq.ft. up to $3,000 for home owners and up to $50,000 for commercial/multi-family up until June 30, 2022 and after while funds last. Hurry up with this one! 

Getting a plant delivery or waterwise california plants for lawn replacement

San Diego 

WOW, offering $4/sq.ft. for a maximum of $20,000 for replacing your lawn, updating to drip irrigation and adding a rain capturing feature.  This can be a rain barrel, dry riverbed or berms and swales on contour. 3 plants required per 100 sq.ft. and 3" deep of mulch around each plant. Up to 50,000 sq.ft. for commercial and multiunit.

San Gabriel Valley Water

Hacienda Heights, Rosemead, South El Monte, Whittier

The program Create Your Garden provides free lawn killing, education, free plants, mulch and drip irrigation materials so you can design and install your new yard yourself. 

Santa Monica 

The Cash for Grass program gives home owners a maximum of $6000. It's expiring in 30 days from the time I write this but still worth noting as it might be renewed! Get $4 per sq.ft. with drip irrigation conversion add-ons.  

Palm Springs & Palmdale

You can get $2/sq.ft. in Palm Springs for your new yard (and that includes artificial turf though I personally don't recommend it) and $1.50 per sq.ft. in Palmdale to replace lawns and cover bare soil with low-water plants (like Xeric Modern or Blossom 365 quadruple the square footage to meet rebate guidelines).

    mother and daughter planting new drought tolerant landscaping in Southern California

    How to qualify for a Water$mart rebate? 

    Here's the 5-step process for qualifying for your rebate. MAKE SURE you apply and get approval BEFORE you start your project. You need your lawn or defunct irrigation to still be in the ground to qualify. In some areas it needs to still be partially living. 

    1. Three plants every 25-30 square feet... that means our plant packages  can cover double or even quadruple the listed square footage (OR just add a nice open decomposed granite (DG) or gravel patio in the center)!! 
    2. Do NOT remove any existing trees
    3. Add ONE water retention feature: like a dry river bed, rain barrel, swale or other natural water$mart contouring (swales are like natural little stream beds or a ditch that only fill up when it's raining or there's extra water... we'll be writing lots about these, so check back soon!) 
    4. Mulch to a minimum of 3" deep with wood chip, bark or other organic matter. See our Mulch blog for ideas of how to get this material FREE. Make sure all soil in the area is covered with mulch, DG or gravel.  
    5. Demonstrate usage of water$mart irrigation. Either improve your irrigation system or ensure no overhead sprayers are used. 

    More money for MORE water savings??? 

    AND anyone can get a rebate for irrigation improvements. Most water departments will cover up to %75 of the cost of drip irrigation controllers that improve water distribution. Or give you a $0.50 rebate per sq.ft. of sprinklers removed. 

    California friendly landscaping frontyard of spanish style home featuring sages, succulents and manzanita

    Estimate your rebate amounts today: 

  1. Turf Replacement Rebates
  2. Irrigation & Water Saving Device Rebates

Then apply through your local water district's website. Enter your zip code at the top of this website (click here) to find yours. OR apply through Southern California's water website by clicking here.  

Guaranteed qualifying plants

Want to MAKE SURE your California WILD plant package qualifies?? All our California Native-inspired plant packages are guaranteed qualifying non-invasive plants as are %95 of our Designer plant packages. 

Contact us with questions! We LOVE helping make drought tolerant landscaping more accessible. 

 Succulent garden plants for California landscaping aeonium, aloe, agave, euphorbia, echeveria, kalanchoe

Meet the Succulent City Designer Plant Pack

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