You may be tempted to choose flowers for your new landscaping based on their looks, color and size. Those are all important considerations, but there are other critical factors you should keep in mind. If you choose flowers that require little maintenance and can thrive in drought conditions, you’ll be rewarded with a lush and colorful landscape to accessorize your home. As a bonus, mixing some perennials in with the annual will save you time and money.
Hoary California Fuschia (Epilobium canum)
Bring vibrant color and thick cover where it’s needed with the heat-resistant Hoary California fuschia. This perennial is a summer bloomer that delivers bright red-orange flowers. It grows to be roughly 12 inches tall, and it forms a beautiful mat from two to four feet wide, so make sure it’s given the space it needs. This flower has minimal water requirements once it’s fully established, and it thrives in either full sun or partial shade. You’ll find that it blooms the best in full sun, but it fills out and covers more when it’s planted in a spot that gets some shade.
Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea)
If your landscaping design contains many dry-growing shrubs and trees (especially oaks), then you’ve got the perfect spots for native California hummingbird sage. This aromatic flower dry grows when planted in shade, and it puts out colorful blossoms in shades of pink to deep magenta starting in the late winter and ending in the late summer or early fall. As its name suggests, the hummingbird sage produces plenty of nectar that will attract hummingbirds to you yard.
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This daisy-like perennial brings gardens to life. It starts to bloom in the midsummer and produces flowers throughout the fall, and it’s very resistant to drought and heat. coneflower attract butterflies and birds but not deer and other pests, making them very low maintenance. Simply cut the flower stalks back in the early spring and you’ll have a bumper crop of new blooms come spring. They grow from two to four feet tall and are available in a variety of bright colors for those who love to bring fresh-cut flowers into their homes.
California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
As the official state flower, the California poppy is ideal for west coast landscaping. It grows best in full sun, and it’s dry growing once fully established. Though it needs a little bit of maintenance throughout the year, it flowers quickly and reseeds plentifully to provide pops of bright gold and orange to your landscaping year after year. Its heaviest blooms are from early March through late May, though some intermittent irrigation will extend the blooming period. Don’t water it from overhead, however, as it can cause its blue-green leaves to mildew. When the flowers fade, cut everything back to the ground and give it some water to ensure a bumper crop of these flowers the following year.
California Mountain Lilac (Ceanothus concha)
Known for its tolerance to drought conditions and alkaline or other problematic soil, such as sand or clay, the California mountain lilac will provide you with more than 25 years of bright blue or purple flowers if cared for properly. Avoid soil amendments and improper watering, and your landscaping will be filled with this beautiful flower that grows up to four feet high and four feet wide. Since it can also tolerate colder climates, it’s ideal for gardens in Northern California.