"The last two years I think things have started to come back," says Chris Zanobini, President of the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers. "But there is a lot of concern given the water situation that we're facing right now."
Zanobini says warmer-than-usual winter weather has boosted sales for now...and nurseries are already seeing a shift in consumer demand to drought-tolerant ground cover and succulents.
"Definitely there are opportunities to promote California natives and drought resistant plants," says Zanobini. "But there is also information that we need to get out about how to just manage what you currently have and making sure your irrigation is effective."
One way to do that, Zanobini says, is to use mulch, which can reduce water evaporation by up to 40 percent.
Many nursery owners were hit hard in previous droughts and worry about a similar fate as water districts limit or ban outdoor watering.
Drought, dead and dying trees, and a lack of snow in California have left national forests in a perfect condition for large and severe wildfires.
Record summer heat has increased fire risk in California and the Western U.S. as drought conditions expand.
Statewide water conservation exceeded the mandatory goal in May and Sacramento reduced water use 40 percent.
In the fourth year of drought in California, sales and use of "safe and sane" fireworks are restricted in some areas, allowed in others.
A California Assembly committee will hear a bill Wednesday that would allow water districts to impose taxes on any business, industry or person who wastes water.