Author: Flora Terra

Drought-Resistant HOA Landscape Designers

Creating the Amazing Drought-Resistant HOA Landscaping

As dedicated HOA and Condominium Water Wise Landscape Designers Serving Santa Clara County Ca and beyond, we understand how critical drought resistance is within our increasingly challenging climate.

Nothing makes HOA residents happier than a setting framed by healthy, green spaces—and these very same spaces can work wonders in attracting new tenants and boosting property value.

But garden areas such as these require maintenance, and perhaps more importantly, water that grows more expensive by the day. Fortunately, innovative approaches to the creation of drought-resistant HOA landscapes are within our reach, and with them comes the potential to reduce landscaping costs significantly.

When Water Costs Outpace Landscape Maintenance

It is a shocking reality that HOA property managers across the Bay Area are now spending as much as 75% of their monthly budget on water alone.

Not long ago, it would have seemed impossible to imagine that municipal costs would exceed those of HOA Landscaping Services, let alone all other overheads combined, but these are the certainly times we are living in.

There is, however, a great deal of room to tip the scales more favorably—either allowing space to increase budgetary scope for landscaping developments, to reduce costs overall, or to liberate funds for other areas of improvement.

Favoring water wise, HOA Landscape Design approaches such as xeriscaping and native plant species selection is powerful indeed, as is embracing recent developments in irrigation technology.

The Value of Efficient Irrigation in the Bay Area

Here at FloraTerra, we couldn’t be more thrilled to see the movement to save water in California grow and evolve.

Our President, Gene Ebertowski, describes the irrigation system as the “driving force behind the landscape itself”, and this is certainly true. Even when the most drought-ready landscape designs and robust plant species are chosen, the efficiency of water use is what allows their advantageous properties to be effectively harnessed.

Within an HOA landscape maintenance setting, making a switch from sprinklers to modern drip irrigation can slash water usage overnight.

The introduction of gadgets such as flow sensors and smart irrigation devices that deliver advanced water cycle schedules and adjust water distribution based on current weather patterns can be a game changer.

While these technologies were expensive when first introduced, today they are highly accessible and offer impressive returns on investment.

This makes it essential to partner with a commercial landscape company that combines the skills needed to deliver drought tolerant landscape design and implement modern San Jose CA irrigation water management strategies.

Today’s costs and tomorrow’s savings can be and should be mapped—in this sense, landscape design should be proactive rather than reactive, taking the sting out of the tail of future droughts and water shortages.

Forging Resilience Through Smart Plant Selection

Did you know that much of the Bay Area is considered akin to the Mediterranean climate?

Our weather patterns can be compared closely to those of Southern Europe or Northern Africa, and as such, building our landscapes from a resource-pool of plants that are either California natives or from places with similar environmental characteristics is a fantastic way to weave resilience into every design.

We find great joy in creating and maintaining drought tolerant landscapes in San Jose CA and across the wider Bay Area. Every area of this beautiful region has its own characteristics, and as such demands unique thought when it comes to plant selection.

Species that will thrive on the north-west coast may be very different to those that will flourish further inland or towards the south of the state.

After analyzing the unique micro-climate of a given property—looking at factors such as soil type, aspect, local rainfall, wind exposure, and more—we may introduce resilient succulents such as Sedum, drought-resistant African Daisies, or long-blooming Coreopsis.

With the right know how, the perfect flowering perennials, shrubs, and trees await discovery, and their introduction can ensure far greater robustness in the face of any droughts ahead.

Bay Area HOA Properties Turn to FloraTerra to Reduce Water Costs

Our San Jose HOA Landscaping Service is proud to have served a diversity of clients across the Bay Area over the last 25 years, ranging from aspirational HOAs to corporate campuses, luxury estates, commercial destinations, and much more.

Not only can we advise and act on reducing water costs and creating landscapes that will thrive in a drought-prone climate, but we can also assist with your property’s other vital priorities, such as HOA Landscape Design & Planning, fire preventive landscaping, interactive and immersive green spaces, and seasonal flower programs that will wow your residents and investors in equal measure.

Are you ready to learn more? Connect with us today and discuss your needs. We’re always only a phone call or message away.

HOA owners, commercial developers and community association managers across the bay area use FloraTerra. Area’s of service include Santa Clara County, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, San Martin, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, San Mateo County, Palo Alto, Redwood Shores, Foster City, Alameda County, Fremont, Newark, Union City, Hayward, Alameda.

To Learn More About our HOA Landscape Company, Call 408.275.1200 or Click Below

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Draft #6803

Creating the Amazing Drought-Resistant HOA Landscaping


Selecting the right HOA Landscape Company is easier said than done, Hoa Landscape Services is typically one of the largest expenses on an HOA’s income statement, and your HOA Landscape Company plays a vital role in maintaining property values, occupancy rates and attracting new buyers.

Sustainable HOA Landscape Company: HOA & Condo Landscape Company should include what is best for our environment. Important aspects include cost efficiency, procuring local products and materials, water efficient landscape design, green waste recycling, OMRI certified organic based pesticides, smart watering technology, mulching to reduce water, weeds, and maintenance, using drought-resistant plants, native plant species that are indigenous to the local bay area.

HOA & Condo Landscaping Services: All landscape companies are not created equal; consider the services offered, basic HOA landscaping includes landscape maintenance, irrigation repairs, irrigation upgrades, water management, commercial landscape design and installation, concrete, stone, drainage, and commercial tree care. What services will be offered in the house? will any of these services be subcontracted through a 3rd party? Keep in mind that a contractor typically marks up specialty contractors by 15-30%.

Pricing, why question the low baller? You have many choices when it comes to finding a top-notch HOA landscape Company. If the price seems amazingly low, there is a reason why. Let me explain, some companies come in with low pricing because they are desperate to get the work; they are cutting corners, or perhaps missed a very important aspect of your scope. Price should always be a key consideration when selecting an HOA landscape contractor; however, it shouldn’t be the primary choice. Keep in mind, going with the low bid could potentially cost you in the long run, so be aware that it may cost you in hidden extra costs, deferred maintenance conditions, potential hazards- liabilities, dead plant & lawn replacements just to name a few.

Clear & Prompt Communication: Clear communication is essential for responding to routine requests and calls, including emergencies from time to time. A commitment to excellence should always be a part of your Home Owners Association Landscape Service; this would include returning telephone calls and emails promptly. Your association should have a single point of contact; this individual should be detailed, must have excellent verbal and communication skills, and should be familiar with every aspect of your association property.

Cloud-Based Work Orders: FloraTerra has an electronic work order system for simple service requests, budget requests, concerns that can be submitted electronically. Then, we can track the service request for completion and follow-up.
You can always be sure that all requests are tracked and monitored through our electronic system. Requests are expedited swiftly and channeled to the appropriate department, and our management staff is alerted electronically via email and text. It also ensures a timely outcome.

Quality Compliance: A part of an HOA landscape Company service should entail a monthly report identifying upcoming maintenance items, including completed and pending work orders. The quality of work should show in every detail, it’s essential to show continuous improvement in order to increase occupancy rates, boost retention and increase property value.

24/7 Emergency Response: Management staff should include a 24/7 emergency response number for unscheduled activities such as running water, a fallen tree branch or other landscape hazards. Managers should be able to reach their landscapers at any time, throughout the day, night or weekend

Look no further, our HOA Landscape Company supports community managers in every way, FloraTerra Landscape Management has over 25 Years of experience maintaining large HOA Communities, condominiums, and multi-family complexes. We specialize in HOA landscape services, including landscape enhancements, design, weekly maintenance, water management, and HOA tree care. We have you covered.

HOA owners, commercial developers and community association managers across the bay area use FloraTerra. Area’s of service include Santa Clara County, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, San Martin, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, San Mateo County, Palo Alto, Redwood Shores, Foster City, Alameda County, Fremont, Newark, Union City, Hayward, Alameda.

To Learn More About our HOA Landscape Company, Call 408.275.1200 or Click Here



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10 Simple Ideas to Get the Best from Your Commercial Landscape Contractor

common area landscape services in San Jose Ca

10 Simple Ideas to Get the Best from Your Commercial Landscape Contractor

The art of commercial landscape design and maintenance is about so much more than understanding how to create bold aesthetics and ensure that plants thrive. Key to a prosperous collaborative relationship is outstanding client communication—something that we always hold as the highest priority here at FloraTerra.

Whether your green spaces are part of a commercial setting, frame a prestigious HOA property, or serve as a backdrop to corporate success, a landscaping surprise is never welcome!

When it comes to commercial landscaping service, only a supporting feature of your endeavors, garden spaces on your property represent your brand and also a significant portion of your operational budgets. As such, efficiency is a must, and that begins with aligned interests and a constant flow of communication.

To help you ensure that all key information is transmitted before the irrigation gets turned on, here are ten aspects of commercial landscape planning that your contractor should be committed to. Knowing them can help you assess the competency of landscaping professionals and guide you in getting the best of their services.

1. Every Landscape Has a History

When it comes to HOA & Commercial Landscape Maintenance, no two properties are entirely the same. Each unique site comes with a vocabulary of nuances that a commercial landscape company must become acquainted with.

As such, a new contractor should certainly be keen to discover past maintenance practices and areas of challenge. To aid them in this exploration, you can provide details of the property’s known history, developments, and upgrades.

When these factors are combined with a comprehensive understanding of the location’s aspect and unique qualities, alongside your aesthetic goals and budgets, a clear plan of action can be developed.

2. Confirming Landscaping Contractor’s Credentials

As any seasoned Condo and HOA Landscaper knows, the role of those charged with the care of your landscape is one that requires a breadth of skills and contemporary knowledge.

They should be readily equipped with the full spectrum of certifications, accreditations, and insurances, as well as having a deep understanding of federal and municipal compliance mandates and conservation practices.

Better yet, their standards will be aspirational, integrating water wise landscaping strategies and low emissions equipment while honoring the standards that you aim to achieve.

Don’t be afraid to ask for all the right commercial landscaper credentials when courting a collaborator and be specific about your needs so that they can support you in realizing them.

3. A Clear Road Map to Eliminate Landscaping Weaknesses

Whether a landscape is new or in need of renovation, certain areas are bound to need more focused attention, and these should certainly be planned for. If certain plants are unhealthy or unsuited to the aspect or soil type within which they have been placed, they should be moved or replaced in a timely manner to avoid unnecessary ongoing maintenance.

Poor draining areas can be addressed promptly to improve water infiltration, while young plants need an exceptional commercial irrigation design that provides an efficient delivery system for establishing their root system as quickly as possible—for better water distribution now and in the future.

Taking clear and concise action at the beginning of your partnership with a commercial landscape company will lay a foundation of resilience that will reward with lower maintenance and water needs in the years to come.

4. An Intelligent Approach to Irrigation

Water is simultaneously a core element of verdant landscapes and the costliest resource that they require. With that in mind, an expert commercial landscape specialist will always have a keen eye out for opportunities to improve efficiency and ensure that the water consumed by your green spaces goes only to nurturing its living inhabitants, and not into evaporation or runoff.

As water conservation specialists in San Jose Ca, we often advise our newer clients to conduct a water audit with these motivations in mind. Irrigation repairs and replacements, or upgrading to smart meters that adjust automatically depending upon climate conditions can all offer excellent ROI when deployed with the right know-how.

5. Harnessing Water Conservation to Your Advantage 

In addition to ensuring that irrigation is efficient and well designed, all sorts of gadgets such as rain shut-off devices, flow sensors, drip and soak systems, and storm-water collection systems can be incorporated into your landscape design.

When combined with recycling and composting, the resource requirements of the green zones that beatify your property can be substantially reduces. Speak to your landscape contractor about the countless possibilities in sprinkler system design and maintenance and resource management to leverage these benefits.

6. Soil Types & Testing

It may seem excessive to send soil samples off to the lab for testing or probe to assess moisture levels, but an HOA landscaper equipped to offer these services will inevitably save you time and resources in the long run.

Cultivating a clear picture of the soil characteristics across your property can help to ensure that the nutrient balance of topsoil is correct, irrigation is appropriately deployed, soil improvement strategies can be enacted ahead of planting, and mulching is applied in the right volumes. Starting with the soil will safeguard the speedy and healthy growth of your garden, making every investment count.

7. The ins and Outs of Plant Maintenance

Your commercial landscape design company should be able to design, build, and maintain landscaping that is perfectly suited to your unique setting.

This requires an advanced understanding of the tree, shrub, and flower species that will thrive even when faced with drought. When the correct species are introduced, they will be more resistant to pests, require less water, and call for only the most modest maintenance.

Do expect your commercial or HOA landscaping contractor to be able to express the drivers behind their plant choices and why each selection will be advantageous.

8. Keeping the Uninvited at Bay

Speaking of pest and disease mitigation, it is always easier to prevent problems than correct them. A contemporary approach to landscape design will incorporate tactics that leave no space for weeds—and certainly won’t water them.

Modern commercial landscapers have learned to work with nature rather than fighting against it, creating resilient landscapes that are naturally hostile to pests and disease. A monitoring strategy should always be in place so that any issues are caught at the earliest possible stage, however, smart landscape designs should keep the uninvited at bay.

9. Property Safety and Hazard Responses

Whether landscaping is in a residential setting or a professional one, the presence of hazards should never be tolerated.

Your HOA or Corporate Landscape service provider should always prioritize best practices when it comes to ensuring safety. This may mean pulling in an arborist for tree care to remove branches that could fall, the prompt removal of debris and trip hazards, and the monitoring of irrigation to ensure that runoff cannot cause a slip hazard.

Of course, we cannot always anticipate every eventuality, and in the event of a burst pipe or storm damage, you may need emergency landscaping support. Clients of FloraTerra enjoy 24-hour customer service, so they can always request assistance if the unexpected occurs.

Using the latest cloud-based technology, our customers can see the progress on their work orders in real time and know that we are always a call or a message away. Today’s commercial landscape managers deserve no less.

10. Prioritizing Sustainability of the Planet and Your Bottom Line

It is certainly a happy reality that landscaping practices designed to maximize results and minimize resource use are often also more beneficial to the environment.

Well-designed water wise landscapes minimize the wastage of precious H20, while resilient plantscapes need less in the way of pesticides and herbicides, making your landscaping more welcoming to birds, pollinators, and other beneficial visitors.

A sustainability-impassioned landscape company will help you make room for nature while curating the elegant aesthetic that will showcase your property at its best.

These very practices are what allows FloraTerra to hold its title as an esteemed and affordable commercial landscaping company, serving properties small and large across the Bay Area. Are you ready to discover how we can help you transform your relationship with your property’s landscaping? If so, reach out to our team today.

For More Information, Call 408.275-1200 or Click Below

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It’s easy to imagine that all irrigation systems are created equal, but in truth, commercial properties across the San Jose Bay Area, including Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Monterey Counties need better ways to improve on their water conservation.

Whereas, many bay area commercial properties are carrying the unnecessary cost burdens of poorly implemented, outdated, and under-maintained irrigation systems.

Factors such as concealed leaks, runoff, and inefficient sprinkler design can all leave their unwelcome mark on monthly utility bills.

In contrast, contemporary water-efficient irrigation systems can deliver powerful water savings, offering a rapid return on investment and dramatically reduced landscape maintenance costs in the long run.

If that sounds appealing, then we invite you to read on.


Our commercial landscape company in San Jose Ca enact money-saving water conservation on behalf of our clients—whether corporate campuses, HOAs and condominiums, commercial complexes, estates, or private luxury properties—is a daily pursuit and a passion.

As a trusted commercial irrigation – landscape contractor, we take great pride in offering access to the latest developments in smart watering and intelligent irrigation systems.

From high-efficiency drip irrigation infrastructure to smart controllers that automatically adjust watering according to weather patterns, we know our way around the technology that can save your property money today and maintenance costs tomorrow.


Within a region that is often impacted by lasting droughts, the pressure can ramp up for high-profile properties to act on drought weary landscaping that simply isn’t designed to withstand long periods of drought.

That’s where FloraTerra Landscape Management comes in with innovative water wise landscape design solutions, a deep understanding of drought-tolerant plant species, and the know-how to design, develop, and maintain landscapes that remain vibrant in the face of today’s climactic challenges.


Our CLCA certified water managers know exactly how to deliver water efficient irrigation design that truly rewards, and can guide you through our cost-saving water wise trifecta of services.

This begins with a water audit, where we identify how much water you need and opportunities to reduce your utility bills through water conservation. Next, we will walk you through establishing budgets not only for recommended upgrades or installations, but also for forecasted water use.


Finally, our expert team of watering management specialists will create a customized irrigation installation that meets the unique needs of your property and ambitions with tangible results.

The balance we strive for is realizing tangible savings for our clients, while ensuring landscaping showcases each property we encounter.

Turn to a commercial landscape maintenance company who places water conservation front and center—for water efficient irrigation design you can trust. Our team is waiting to hear from you.


Santa Clara County

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Silicon Valley, CA

Fremont, CA

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Helping Your Trees Survive a Drought

Commercial Landscapers By The Bay, San Jose CA 

Do you know how to safeguard trees in a drought? Many landscape owners move quickly to quench the thirst of lawns and flowers but neglect watering mature trees when droughts strike.

But, it’s important to remember that our green standing guardians represent years of irreplaceable growth, and the advantages of trees in our communities include improving air and water quality, reducing ambient temperatures, and offering an elegant living space for Multi Family, HOA and Condominium landscaping, and many more besides.


When it comes to commercial landscape maintenance, by the time trees begin to show the impacts of drought, they have already endured a great deal of stress. Signs to look out for include wilted or sparse foliage, leaf scorch, premature color change, and leaf defoliation.

Beyond these signs, a tree suffering from insufficient water is far more prone to disease and pests that may well stunt growth or even threaten its life. The good news is that by acting as stewards for the trees that provide such character to our landscapes. With proper care and timing, we can help trees not only survive but thrive in the face of drought.


Ensuring that your trees receive the correct amount of water is something of an art, but a little know-how can go a long way.

It is crucial that trees are watered deeply enough that moisture penetrates down through the roots, so it is better to water at higher volumes less often than to water frequently but insufficiently, leaving water on the surface where it will simply evaporate.

From the perspective of a commercial landscaping company, heavy clay soil may require less frequent watering and sandy soils more often than not, while trees planted on slopes for example will benefit from low flow drip irrigation to avoid runoff.


  1. Water in the early morning or evening to minimize evaporation
  2. Water to the tree’s drip line, keeping in mind that the root spread can be even wider than the canopy
  3. Mulch around trees to reduce evaporation; create a donut-shaped layer rather than a volcano to avoid exposing the trunk to risk of infection
  4. Younger trees will require lower-volume and more frequent watering, while mature trees will require higher-volume but less frequent watering
  5. Do not water the trunk of the tree as this can attract pests
  6. Moisture testing the soil to a depth of one foot will indicate how well water is penetrating
  7. When planting new trees, turn to a trusted tree care specialist for advice on drought tolerant trees for the Bay Area that will require less water
  8. Avoid use of fast-release fertilizers during drought
  9. Trees near foundations and hardscape will require more water
  10. Seek assistance from a certified San Jose Arborist if pruning is necessary during drought to avoid unnecessary stress


When it comes to HOA and Condominium Landscape Maintenance in San Jose Ca, there are few drought resources more precious than trees and water. As such, it is our responsibility to take care of the first while being smart about the second.

Here at FloraTerra, we are proud to say that our ISA certified arborists are also experts in Multi- Family and HOA Landscape Maintenance.

Whether you require irrigation services for your trees and landscaping, tree trimming, or commercial landscape design services, our impassioned team is ready to help.


Santa Clara County

Alameda County

San Mateo County

Silicon Valley, CA

Fremont, CA

Palo Alto, CA

San Jose, CA

Newark, CA

Menlo Park, CA

Santa Clara, CA

Union City, CA

San Carlos, CA

Sunnyvale, CA

Hayward, CA

Belmont, CA

Mountain View, CA

San Leandro, CA

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Alameda, CA

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Milpitas, CA

Dublin, CA

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Across the San Jose and San Francisco Bay area, FloraTerra provides commercial landscape services for HOAs, estates, commercial complexes, high tech campuses, and mixed-use settings.

Why turn to FloraTerra for expert guidance on water conservation?

Because we understand the value of water management within these esteemed settings, while also understanding the critical importance of keeping water costs low as we continue to be hit by drought after drought.


In all areas of commercial landscape design, when your property provides the aesthetic appeal of a verdant oasis, it immediately boosts the way the enterprise framed within is perceived.

Maintaining such prestige when temperatures soar may seem an impossible challenge, but here at FloraTerra, we are proud to serve as expert Bay Area Water Management Consultants. Poised to provide guidance on drought strategies for water wise landscape design. Additionally, our landscape irrigation professionals deliver the smart irrigation technology required to conserve water.


As water rates rise in the bay area, our role is to provide result-oriented solutions.

We strive to deliver landscaping solutions that not only conserve water, but also reduce maintenance costs. Even with the drought, your landscaping can look at its best without draining your precious water resources.

Our CLCA Certified Water Managers provide illuminating landscape surveys to improve water efficiency, revealing water waste and solutions for cost reduction.

From there, we can forecast your requirements and establish a predictable water budget before installing an intelligent irrigation system, ready to put those water-saving calculations into action.

Thanks to contemporary smart watering systems, a professional water audit will bench mark the performance of your watering system while enjoying the confidence that both wasteful runoff and damaging under-watering is always avoided.

Meanwhile, our professional irrigation technicians remain on hand to provide necessary support and ensure that your property’s water usage is ever-optimized.


With the right approach, and the right commercial landscape service, it is possible to take the guesswork out of water conservation of your corporate, commercial, condominium, or HOA property.

Not only can we assist with intelligent drought planning, assist with utility rebates, but we can also advice on water wise landscaping design. We incorporate the latest tactics such as mulching, lawn conversions, water retention technology, water efficient irrigation modifications that cut expensive water costs.

From commercial landscape maintenance, to Sustainable Green, Drought Tolerant Landscape Designers & Architects, our trusted commercial landscape contractors are here to serve.

Area’s We Service:

Santa Clara County Alameda County San Mateo County
Silicon Valley, CA Fremont, CA Palo Alto, CA
San Jose, CA Newark, CA Menlo Park, CA
Santa Clara, CA Union City, CA San Carlos, CA
Sunnyvale, CA Hayward, CA Belmont, CA
Mountain View, CA San Leandro, CA Redwood City, CA
Cupertino, CA Alameda, CA Foster City, CA
Milpitas, CA Dublin, CA Burlingame, CA
Morgan Hill, CA Pleasanton, CA Daly City, CA
Gilroy, CA Livermore, CA South San Francisco, CA
We are always only a Call or a Click Away , contact our team today to learn more!

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Caring for Your Tree’s in a Mega Drought

HOA & Estate Landscape Maintenance


When drought strikes in San Jose and across the Bay Area, most people cast their eyes down to the drying ground. As a dedicated commercial landscaping company in San Jose CA serving this drought-prone region, we know how easy it can be for many to take their eyes off the prize, our precious trees.

While the dignified size of such beautiful specimens mean that they may not react from the drought as quickly as flowers, plants or lawns.

To that point, trees are highly vulnerable to extended periods of drought. At FloraTerra, we consider it our duty to help our customers care for these expensive assets.

Oftentimes, when we begin to see the signs of a tree in stress, we mustn’t forget it may have been engaged in a battle with the drought.

Of course, the loss of mature trees can be a tragedy, not just from a monetary point of view, but a disengaging experience for visitors, customers and corporate brands.

To safeguard against this, a commercial landscape designerISA Certified Arborist can advise on trending trees that are best suited for the Bay Area climate, especially during the initial landscape design review or renovation phase.

However, for trees that are already acclimated and in good health, there is much that can be done for (PHC) plant health care.

There are tactics, too, that we can employ to help your trees and landscape survive the drought. With that in mind, let’s explore best practices from a HOA landscape company.


As California’s temperatures begin to rise, many Condominiums, Homeowners Associations, and Commercial Facilities may not completely understand the ramifications of under watering their trees, especially during a prolonged drought.

While water conservation is important, it’s also important to remember that trees need water to survive and thrive.

Assessing what their specific H2O requirements actually calls for evaluating the age, health, species, location, and micro climate of each tree.

Young trees may need more frequent watering, perhaps once per week, especially because their root systems are not fully developed. While mature trees may be satisfied with a deep watering, perhaps once per month.

Native tree varieties will be far better adapted to the local climate, while more delicate species may need supplemental watering and care for proper acclimation.

Trees that are not fully established—which includes most varieties—will benefit from watering beyond the drip line, especially because the root system will extend wider than the canopy.

Those in wind-exposed spaces, positioned in heated micro climates and abutting structural foundations will likely have a greater demand for water.

The best way to know for sure, is to turn to a industrial landscape company that specializes in water conservation and tree care maintenance. Our Irrigation Specialists will be able to assess your site, and advise on how to provide the right amount of water—not too much, not too little, precisely the right amount.


Whether or not you are on the case with watering, it is always best to monitor for signs of stress during extended periods of drought. This is particularly important because even if drought does not appear to damage your trees, it can weaken their immunity system thus leaving them vulnerable to harmful pathogens, pest infestation, disease and potentially mortality.

Just as shrubs and common area plants will begin to suffer when under stress, your trees will show signs including wilt, leaf curl, scorch, early leaf drop (defoliation) or even loss of color.

An inspection of leaves may reveal marginal browning along the edge, interveinal chlorosis (yellowing of leaf tissue), or perhaps obvious scorching.

The foliage of evergreen species may turn yellow, red, brown or even purple. These are signals that the tree is in a defense mode to naturally protect itself from the impacts of drought and stress.

Do keep in mind that if you suspect a tree or shrub is under stress, it is best to delay the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers to prevent root burn. Also, be aware that newly planted landscaping is vulnerable to drought, needing frequent and supplemental water until the landscaping is established.

Favoring drought tolerant California-native plant species can help to prolong the risks of drought, creating more resilient landscaping over time.


When drought sets in, weed growth can slow—particularly if your landscape enjoys a highly efficient drip irrigation system from FloraTerra—creating the illusion that maintenance requires far less effort than normal.

While it may seem, there is much less commercial landscape maintenance to be performed during a drought, administering the right amount of care when the mercury rises can undoubtedly help your landscaping retain its resplendence.

Commercial Tree Service, Fremont CA


With an eye for detail, maintenance and proper pruning is still required during a drought. Broken, dead, or diseased limbs can deplete the already tapped resources.

With the best judgement of a Certified ISA Arborist, a tree that is in serious decline may be considered for removal, especially to ensure the safety of nearby pedestrians, structures, vehicles and understory targets.


Your trees will also be appreciative of timely mulch application.

In fact, the entire landscape will benefit from this excellent practice, as mulching dramatically reduces water evaporation. Just as is the case with plants in your common areas, trees don’t appreciate having mulch piled against their trunk, so go for a donut-shaped layer, rather than a molehill.

With mulch applied around the base of the tree, the water from your irrigation system is far more likely to remain in the soil. You can improve upon this by watering in the early morning or late evening when the wind and evaporation are at their lowest point.

As you can see, with a little observation and forethought, there are many ways to encourage and protect your trees and landscaping during a drought. For absolute peace of mind, why not turn to a commercial landscape company in and around the San Jose area and beyond?

commercial campus landscape maintenance service, Santa Clara CA


The FloraTerra Design Group has proudly tended to many of the Bay Area’s most prestigious commercial, retail and mixed-use properties for more than twenty-five years.

We are passionate about supporting facilities, mixed use properties, campuses, retail, resort destinations, and landscape services for condominium & homeowner associations.

Our corporate & commercial landscape service includes everything from a single building to large multi-complex campuses.

All inclusive HOA & Condominium Landscape Maintenance, landscape planning, irrigation repairs & modifications, sustainable green spaces that offer an abundance of color, drought resistant landscape design and water conservation services.



Santa Clara County Alameda County San Mateo County
Silicon Valley, CA Fremont, CA Palo Alto, CA
San Jose, CA Newark, CA Menlo Park, CA
Santa Clara, CA Union City, CA San Carlos, CA
Sunnyvale, CA Hayward, CA Belmont, CA
Mountain View, CA San Leandro, CA Redwood City, CA
Cupertino, CA Alameda, CA Foster City, CA
Milpitas, CA Dublin, CA Burlingame, CA
Morgan Hill, CA Pleasanton, CA Daly City, CA
Gilroy, CA Livermore, CA South San Francisco, CA

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Two Smart Tactics to Harness for Spectacular Water Wise Gardens

Modern Tactics for Water Conservation

outdoor lighting

The idea of having a water wise garden is bound to be appealing to anyone based in San Jose and the Greater Bay Area.

While our spectacular region is wonderfully fertile and ideal for creating beautiful landscaping in so many ways, water remains a scarce resource.

As drought continues to hit season after season, the costs of this precious commodity also spiral upward—a great argument for Water Efficient HOA Landscape Design & Maintenance if ever I’ve heard one.

A local and reputable commercial landscape company in San Jose will know exactly how to realize water wise gardens, and crucially, can help you get informed too.

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The idea of water wise landscaping is all good and well, but many enthusiastic property owners feel pretty unsure about where to start.

Even if you’ve got a fairly clear notion of what the term means, how simple is manifesting a water wise garden in the first place?

Well, we’ll cover all your bases with the definition of this contemporary approach to landscaping in just a moment. But, from there, specifically for the purposes of realizing the HOA water-conserving landscape design of your dreams.

FloraTerra Design Group is here today to discuss two invaluable tactics that allow the transformation of a green space quickly and efficiently—lawn conversions and sheet mulching. If your curiosity is piqued, read on!

The Ins and Outs of a Water Wise Landscape

The premise of HOA water wise landscape design is that a taking tactical and multi-faceted approach to creating glorious landscaping can allow the beauty of a garden can be enjoyed without the hefty H20 consumption.

According with the (MWELO) Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance in California, “about half of urban water goes to water use for outdoor landscaping and irrigation”.

However, in making the shift to a water wise design, monthly utility costs can be dramatically downsized without a compromise on aesthetics. While you’re at it, Save Our Water offers great ideas to those ready to reduce their H2O footprint in a variety of other ways too.

Returning to the water wise aspect of landscaping, how is such a feat achieved? Well this approach employs things like choosing native and drought-tolerant plant species; installing and maintaining efficient irrigation; supporting soil health; and creating “hydro zones”, which are groupings of plants that have similar watering needs.

The use of ground cover plants, hardscaping, and mulching will also powerfully reduce water demands by preventing evaporation and protecting against runoff.

Of course, property owners may need a little expert guidance on how much water plants really need, or they might prefer to align themselves with a commercial landscape maintenance company ready to take on the work of keeping everything on track.

Why You Might Want to Rethink Your Lawn

There’s a reason my so many municipalities across California offer rebates to those choosing to replace their lawns. Turf is phenomenally thirsty, and requires a sizable water commitment to remain looking at its best whenever drought strikes.

Of course, the lawn itself is not the enemy, and many property owners may choose to retain some lawn—seeking advice on how to water it most efficiently in the process. from a Commercial Landscape Company in San Jose Ca.

However, switching out at least some lawn areas for water wise landscaping can mean being able to enjoy a flourishing and low-demand garden, even when the air is dry and the heat heavy.

HOA Landscape Maintenance Company in San Jose CASheet Mulching For Lawn Replacements

If you’re ready to let some of that lawn go, then sheet mulching is an ideal strategy. This cost-effective and straightforward process involves laying several layers of material over existing lawn in order to convert it into a dramatically less thirsty planted area.

Recycled cardboard is used first, creating an impermeable barrier that will prevent the grass from growing up through it. A layer of compost is applied next, and then finally a layer of mulch that will both look attractive and minimize water evaporation.

Some larger plants may be introduced before the sheet mulch is applied, while those that are smaller can be planted through the protective surface after it has been installed.

From there, property owners can enjoy the rewards of cutting the space’s water by around 50%, a downsized carbon footprint, a 70-80% reduction in runoff when the rain does return, and substantial savings on maintenance labor costs.

When drought-resilient native plant species are chosen to inhabit an area that was once occupied by lawn—such as Hummingbird Sage, Agave, and Californian Lilac.

You can be certain that the landscaping will not only look spectacular all year round, but birds, bees, and butterflies will soon begin to visit. The California Native Plant Society is a great destination for those seeking inspiration ahead of making the switch.

A Commercial Landscape Company You Can Trust

Here at FloraTerra, we take great pride in specializing in water wise landscape design and maintenance.

From installing ultra-efficient smart watering systems to reimagining conventional gardens towards their ultimate water-conserving potential; from performing water and soil audits to designing innovative water wise landscapes from the ground up.

We are always ready to serve. Discover more about how we balance aesthetics and water use, or contact our team today for an immediate consultation on how we can best meet your landscape design and maintenance needs. Our dedicated design team is ever-ready to assist.

Area’s We Service:

Santa Clara County Alameda County San Mateo County
Silicon Valley, CA Fremont, CA Palo Alto, CA
San Jose, CA Newark, CA Menlo Park, CA
Santa Clara, CA Union City, CA San Carlos, CA
Sunnyvale, CA Hayward, CA Belmont, CA
Mountain View, CA San Leandro, CA Redwood City, CA
Cupertino, CA Alameda, CA Foster City, CA
Milpitas, CA Dublin, CA Burlingame, CA
Morgan Hill, CA Pleasanton, CA Daly City, CA
Gilroy, CA Livermore, CA South San Francisco, CA

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5 Facts About Multi-Family Landscape Design That Might Surprise You

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5 Facts About Multi Family Landscape Design That Might Surprise You

When it comes to multi-family landscape design, great landscaping adds a real air of luxury, don’t you think?

Whether surrounding stylish condominiums, interlacing cool corporate complexes, or setting the perfect scene for a luxurious private property, a well-designed landscape holds the power to elevate our experience ten-fold.

For those who aspire to this elegant aspect of multi family landscape design, the word “sustainability” might seem somewhat deflating. Sustainability and luxury may not be synonymous, but can they co-exist? The answer is a resounding yes!

If concerns that adopting sustainable multi family landscape practices might mean shedding some of your property’s chic credibility have been holding you back, then this is the article for you.

In truth, sustainable multi family landscape design has made leaps and bounds in recent years—so much so that not only should property developers be considering it for the boost it offers their reputation, but they should also be considering it a must for its impressive financial rewards.

So, without further ado, let’s explore some of the things about sustainable multi family landscape design that might surprise you, debunking some common misconceptions along the way.

1. Favoring Sustainability Doesn’t Mean Making an Aesthetic Sacrifice

When talking in commercial landscaping companies, sustainability has little to do with edible gardens or visibly recycled infrastructure—unless you want it to, of course!

Instead, sustainability suggests the intelligent practices that we incorporate to reduce water use and lessen any damaging impacts to nature.

This might mean utilizing smart irrigation systems that maximize the efficiency of H2O use, or it might mean the introduction of drought tolerant ground cover plants that reduce runoff during heavy rain.

According with the Rain Bird Corporation, “their are seven steps to drought water management”, read on to learn more”.

It may mean choosing robust native plant species that require far less chemical intervention and generally fussy maintenance.

Crucially, it means the savvy substitution of elements that will create a resilient and nature-friendly green space.

These features can easily be adopted within the most decadent of designs, ensuring that the impression giving is all about aesthetics, while the impact made is one of kindness.

2. Sustainable Multi Family Landscape Design Should Be Location-Tailored

One might imagine that sustainability in landscape design follows a pretty fixed rule book of dos and don’ts. However, when really done well, sustainable HOA landscape maintenance and design is a little more nuanced than that.

As many a keen-eyed property developer might tell you, it’s all about location—but perhaps not in the sense that you think.

For example, a stunning San Fransisco coastal garden with a view of the ocean is going to require a very different sustainability strategy to a landscaping site in the Napa Valley, and a commercial property in Santa Clara is going to have different demands once again.

While common threads such as efficient irrigation, native planting, and soil stabilization will remain universal, other aspects of the approach to landscaping should be curated to work with local weather patterns, soil type, and exposure—rather than against them.

When it comes down to a trusted commercial landscape contractor, they should be ready to explain how they are tailoring the way they meet your landscaping needs in this regard. If their approach is on par, sustainability and beautiful landscaping can always go hand in hand.

3. Your Sustainability-Focused Landscape Company Will Create Lasting Value

We mentioned water conservation, and this is certainly a big plus that should be on any property owner, manager, or developers’ radar.

Through practices such as drought-resistant planting, mulching, and using efficient watering systems that automatically adjust based on current weather patterns.

That said, your multi family landscaping contractor will actively reduce the property’s water costs, providing a speedy and continuing return on that initial sustainability-focused investment.

Taking the cost savings yet further, sustainable landscaping design offers the benefit of far lower maintenance demands. This is achieved through the creation of robust plantscapes, ground cover that reduces the need to weed, and the active prevention of impacts such as drought die-off or rain season water damage.

4. A Sustainable Landscape Design Will Perform in All Seasons

Contemporary sustainable landscape design offers the same sleek lines, sweeps of color, and textural stimulation that one might expect of an aspirational outdoor area, now gloriously combined with the aforementioned robustness and resilience, thanks to a tactical approach.

In the summer months, the landscape retains water, shade can be enjoyed, low-heat-index stonework keeps surfaces cool, and the plants chosen remain unphased by soaring temperatures.

During winter months, landscaping allows water to soak back into the soil rather than washing over its surface, preventing ground water pollution and ensuring a sharp aesthetic is safeguarded.

When these standards are combined with strategic planting for year-round interest—while the space will of course evolve—there is no season in which landscaping needs to look less than its best.

5. Sustainable Landscape Design Provides a Big Boost to Perception

While sustainable landscaping may not reveal its green credentials in appearance, there is no doubt that a little eco-friendliness goes a long way among modern consumers.

Whether commercial landscape design is enlisted on behalf of an HOA, a corporate site, a commercial center, a school or hospital—and too many other location types to mention—the choice to adopt sustainable landscaping is something that is certainly worth sharing.

Awareness of our collective environmental impacts has never been higher, and many Americans prefer very much to put their money where their mouth is in this regard.

If you are ready to transform your properties outside areas for enhanced sustainability, FloraTerra is here to provide expert guidance. From complete multi family landscape design projects for property developers to improving sustainability within existing landscaping, we are always ready to assist, advise, and implement.

Discover the Sustainability of our Multi Family Landscape Designs

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7 Fire Resistance Tips from a Commercial Landscape Designer

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7 Fire Resistance Tips from a Commercial Landscape Designer

When it comes to commercial & HOA landscape designers, why is fire-resistant landscaping so high on the agenda right now?

In past years, we have seen the Bay Area and NorCal at large experience more wildfires than most would hope to encounter in a lifetime.

For those whose heart belongs to this beautiful region—as our team’s certainly do—the devastating blight of flames is a wrenching thing to experience, and certainly something we all want to mitigate.

Continuing droughts may at times make us feel defenseless, however—fortuitously—there are plenty of things that we can do to adapt our landscaping to the risks.

Better yet, in reducing the associated dangers by harnessing these simple firescape design strategies, we can find genuine empowerment for our beloved locale in the process.

What Is Firescape Design?

Fire-resistant landscaping, often also known as firescape design, is an approach to commercial landscape maintenance & design that sees fire safety and prevention strategically incorporated into beautiful landscape creation.

The features of this approach potentially hold the power to help to stop a fire before it gets out of control, and protect the structures that the landscaping in question surrounds.

If you’re on the hunt for Cal Fire tips on how to make your landscape fire-safe or how to implement fire-resistant landscaping for your commercial or HOA property, read on.

1. Hardscaping as Multi-Functional Firebreaks

Whether a landscape is designed for a commercial or private property, function and flow is always going to be a top consideration when placing hardscaping.

However, a smart HOA & commercial landscape designer will understand that landscaping elements can be multi-functional, and this is certainly the case when it comes to firescape design and hardscaping.

Hardscape features such as sweeping walkways, walls, or dividers can each serve as a powerful barrier against the potential of creeping flames.

Property owners or managers who know that their landscaping currently holds dividers and fencing made from flammable materials should consider now the time for an overhaul.

When fire-proof hardscaping is interspersed with well-soaked lawn and foliage, an approaching fire may well be stopped in its tracks.

2. Nurturing Fire-Resistant Foliage

Did you know that lush and flourishing vegetation is far less flammable than its neglected and forlorn counterpart?

That’s because thriving vegetation is plump with water, making it far less likely to catch fire. By investing in keeping your plants healthy, with added nutrients as required and—crucially—a weather-adjusted watering schedule, you also invest in landscaping that will stand a far better chance in the face of fire danger.

3. Choosing Fire Resistant Plant Species

Beyond keeping the moisture content of your planted areas high, you can also prioritize fire-resistant plant species within your firescape landscape design.

‘According with Cal Fire, keep your property lean and green, create defensible space to help protect people and structures’.

Here in the Bay Area, this often means something so simple as turning to native plants that have naturally evolved fire defenses.

Other great choices will have a low sap or resin content, as these types of plants catch fire more easily. Succulents offer great flame-resistant properties, as do a diversity of qualified species from Sumac to Ice plants.

Your trusted commercial landscape designer should be ready to advise on which plants will deliver the design you dream of with added fire resistance.

4. Creating Safety Zones Around Architectural Structures

While verdant planting that hugs a building can certainly offer a cool escape from the sun, creating a physical break against walls can prevent heat exposure to the surface of the structure if a fire should strike.

According with Cal Fire, AB 38 guidelines for defensible space include leaving a ten-foot gap between dense planting and exterior walls. If there are large trees in close proximity to buildings and other structures, it is savvy to remove all branches up to at least six-feet from the ground.

This will prevent a creeping fire from jumping up into the tree’s canopy.

5. Making Strategic Mulching Choices

We are huge fans of mulching here at FloraTerra—because this simple practice offers so much value, thanks to its ability to suppress weeds and prevent the evaporation of precious water.

That said, when it comes to fire-resistant landscape design, it is important to choose mulch types carefully.

In fire-safe zones that are well broken up by hardscaping, wood chip or recycled rubber mulch can be great eco-friendly choices.

However, in other areas where risk is higher, favoring gravel or rock can ensure that mulch doesn’t become a fuel source.

6. Removing Flammable Debris 

While the hottest month of the year in San Jose may be July, wildfires often strike in early fall. Have you ever wondered why that is?

In recent years particularly, the point at which trees begin to shed their leaves often arrives before the rain does. This means that all of that dead and falling foliage only adds to the fodder for fire season’s last farewell.

The clearing of debris that could pose a fire risk should be a summer-long endeavor, but especially at the end of the dry season, when material begins to fall and gather, it is essential to stay on top of the task.

Leaf’s, twigs, bark, and branches can all be raked and collected, and then turned into nutrient-rich compost that will help keep plants more fire-resistant for next year’s dry season.

7. Establishing Best Practices for Fire Safety

Beyond all of the suggestions above, there is much to be said for developing a common-sense set of rules that are always followed during drier months.

These will vary from property to property, but will certainly include things like storing flammable materials and fuels safely, not using the fire pit during drought weather, keeping a fire extinguisher by the barbecue, and having hoses ready to use if a fire warning is issued.

Is your property as fire safe as it could be? If you feel that fire-resistant landscaping strategies would give you greater peace of mind, the FloraTerra Landscape team are always ready to assist.

Not only can we help you develop the brand new firescape commercial landscape design you envision, but we can also give mature landscaping a sympathetic and thoughtful fire-prevention makeover.

Learn more by contacting our team today. Call 408.275.1200

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