Water Wise Plants

Autumn - Penstemon & Coreopsis

Everyone is talking about Water Wise Plants these days, and this isn’t the first of my forays into the discussion.  I wanted to create a little gallery of plants that are naturally low water, and of course put my two cents in.

Above you see a lovely combination of Penstemon Margarita ‘Bottom of the Porch’ and Coreopsis ‘Sweet Marmalade’  one of my favorite combinations – purple and orange but with a twist.  This lovely Penstemon is a California Native that is super low water and the purple isn’t just purple, it is electric BLUE Purple.  The Coreopsis is a fairly new addition to the tickseed family and has a soft apricot, almost cinnamon tinge to it.

July - Ceanothus London

Queen of the castle here – Ceanothus or California Lilac. This beautiful family of plants has varieties that range from low ground covers to tall shrubs.  They are VERY low water and as a matter of fact too much water is usually what kills them.

Feb - Kniphofia

Kniphofia – Red Hot Pokers – these are hummingbird magnets and frankly who could blame those hummingbirds?  Worldwide Exotics Nursery in Lakeview Terrace has a dwarf variety of these that often bloom twice a year!

March - Monrovia Bougainvillea 'Golden Jackpot'

Bougainvillea – this one is a stunner – Golden Jackpot this one is a ground cover form so it stays low, but there are also shrub and vine bougainvillea.  If you’ve got a dry spot with sun, you can find a place for a bougainvilea (make sure to read the label for size).  This one should be planted in spring, to ensure that it  establishes before it gets too cold, it will suffer in a freeze especially the first years.  Another one that you can kill with over water.

June - Verbena rigida - Santa Clarita

Here is a wonderful low water verbena, Verbena rigida – takes medium to low water and makes a lovely tall ground cover great on flat or slopes.  It’s cousin Verbena lilaciana takes even less water but it is taller up to 4’x4′ depending on if you get the species or one of the dwarf cultivars.

Here are a bevy of succulents – these are pretty and of course low water but you need to be careful with them.  The ones that  are variegated (multi-colored ) especially the light colors will not like full sun, especially in Santa Clarita (or other inland areas).  Another point of note, most succulents should not be planted at this time of year (late fall/winter) as they can freeze and possibly die if it gets cold enough.  Here are things to think about, plant in spring,  area should have morning sun and afternoon shade, set things up so that the plants can be protected from frost.  Rig up frost cloth holders, or be able to take them under cover when the weather gets below 40 degrees.

November - Aeonium 'Sunburst'  July - Echeverria Valencia April - Dudleya

Some succulents like Agaves, Aloes, and Yuccas can take frost, even snow.  Do a little research and you’ll get the hang of what you can plant and when.

April - Agave shawii      March - Aloe Flowers

I have plenty more to talk about, so I think I’ll save some for the next post.  Keep your eyes open, there will be more Water Wise Plants coming soon.

If you want to create a water wise garden or really any kind of garden – edibles, a Mediterranean Garden and more please think about contacting me for a little guidance.   I love to collaborate with my clients; share my love of plants, gardening, and design.  You can check out my website and contact me there, or just call me 661-917-3521.






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