Top 5 Easy to Grow Native Plants for your San Diego Garden

The Sugar Bush is sure to impress your neighborsThe weather is great in San Diego, almost always sunny and warm. You’d think that kind of weather would be great for plants. Usually it is.

But all that sun exposure and the consistently high temperatures aren’t good for everything green. No, some plants just can’t take the heat.

Let’s go over 5 plants native to San Diego that will actually do great in your garden:

1. Brittlebush (encelia farinose)

The brittlebush doesn’t need a lot of water, but just because it’s hardy doesn’t mean that it’s rough-looking. No, the brittlebush features big bright yellow flowers that would brighten up any garden. In fact, the brittlebush is actually delicate, as it earned the name “brittlebush” because of how easy it is to snap its stems.

2. Desert Willow (chilopsis linearis)

Here’s a good plant for those looking to make a statement: the Desert Willow features large flowers and can grow as tall as 8 feet.

There is one concern. Although the Desert Willow likes to grow in washes and along rivers, it doesn’t do too well by the ocean. But if you’re a mile or more in from the coast, you should be fine.

3. Showy Penstemon (penstemon spectabilis)

The Showy Penstemon isn’t near as tall as most of the options on this list with a maximum height of usually no more than 1 meter.

But what it lacks in height the Showy Penstemon makes up for in appearance. As you may have guessed by the name (“showy”), this flower is striking, with terrifically bright wide-mouthed purple-blue flowers. People won’t miss this one…

4. Sugar Bush (rhus ovate)

Another statement plant: If you’re looking to impress (or maybe intimidate) your neighbors and anyone who happens to drive past your yard with some huge plants, the Sugar Bush is one of your best options. It can grow up to 30 feet, and sports thick, leathery, dark green foliage. Also, it attracts nearby birds and butterflies to your yard.

5. Narrowleaf Milkweed (asclepias fascicularis )

Speaking of butterflies… if that’s what you’re really looking for, you certainly won’t be disappointed with Narrowleaf Milkweed. If Monarch butterflies were frat boys, then Narrowleaf Milkweed would be pizza. If Monarchs were more Frasier types, then Narrowleaf Milkweed would be caviar. In other woods, butterflies love this stuff.

And even when you take butterflies out of the equation, Narrowleaf Milkweed offers a lot of value to your garden. The flowers themselves are beautiful; lush bunches of silky long-pedaled flowers whorled around the stem. It’s a good addition.

Let us know if you’d like any more advice or information about our services for your San Diego garden.

Clarke Ramsey
Landscape Artist. I help landscaping dreams come to live. I create raving fans and give my customers the highest quality product available.
Clarke Ramsey
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