5 Native Plants for Easy Gardening
By: John Williams
Southern California has plenty of sunshine for a wide range of plants to thrive in the garden. Many gardeners enjoy adding new plant varieties each year.
While some choose to plant directly into the landscaping, others prefer to include containers around the yard for added color. Using plants that grow naturally in the San Diego region is an easy way to cut down on maintenance and save water.
Consider these five native plants for easy gardening this year:
Showy Penstemon is easy to grow and doesn’t need much to thrive. This herb lives up to its name with clusters of tube-shaped flowers that are bluish-purple. The flowers are perfect for attracting hummingbirds. Plant this gorgeous addition in a sunny part of the garden if you have rocky or clay soil and a shaded part if your soil is sandy. Showy Penstemon doesn’t need much water and should be able to survive with a gentle rain shower about once a month.
If you’re looking to add some action to the garden, plant Narrowleaf Milkweed to attract Monarch butterflies. This beautiful plant features clusters of small white or lavender colored flowers. Planting this species is a way to support the local environment as milkweed is vital to the reproduction of Monarchs. It will grow to about one-foot wide and three-feet wide and enjoys plenty of sunlight.
Pink Muhly Grass
Another favorite in the San Diego area is Pink Muhly Grass. This native ornamental grass features long thin spikes of pink seed plumes that arrive later in summer. It’s a natural choice for a garden that needs a little more excitement and movement. Pink Muhly Grass loves any kind of soil and can handle the hot and often drought-like conditions of San Diego summers. Plant this beauty in a container or dotted throughout shrubs to add life to your yard.
San Diego Sunflower
This beauty loves the sunshine. The San Diego Sunflower is one of many native sunflowers in the region that thrive in coastal regions. Many small bright yellow flowers grow on the large shrub that can tolerate the hot Southern California summers. San Diego Sunflower enjoys most soil conditions but doesn’t like areas of standing water. This plant is a good option for those spots in the garden that can handle a larger shrub with the added color that the many blossoms provide. You can find seeds for this hardy plant at the San Diego Seed Company online store.
As a succulent, this plant features tall spikes that are great at breaking up the look of a garden. Coastal Agave is native to the area and can do well in pots or in rock gardens. It’s also a great choice if you’re considering a xeriscape landscape as it doesn’t need much attention. The blue-grey colored leaves have toothed edges which add texture to your landscaping. It features rosettes as well as spines that can sting when touched. Plant Coastal Agave in a quiet spot in the garden so that it can be appreciated from afar.
Gardening in the San Diego area isn’t hard when you choose native plants that can stand up to the dry conditions. Planting a garden with local varieties and seeds will help strengthen the environment as well as support pollinators. Consider adding these 5 native plants for easy landscaping this year.
John Williams is an outdoor living expert and explorer. When he’s not traveling to nature’s most well-known beauty spots, he tends to the greenery surrounding his home.