Whether you’re looking for a native shrubs to reduce your water usage or protect your overall landscaping from water evaporation, you may find the following California shrubs interesting. If you really want to add that perfect touch to your water-conserving yard, create borders and wind/privacy screens using native California shrubs.
These shrubs — particularly if you use ones that are native to your micro-climate — can hang on without receiving a lot of water, and they grow relatively fast.
Take a look and let us know which you think might work for your landscaping project.
Heteromeles arbutifolia, also called toyon berry and California holly, is a rambling shrub found all over the state.
Bright red berries in winter give it its holly-like appearance, even though it isn’t related to the classic Christmas holly. The berries attract lots of birds. This plant would not be good for a home where there are children who like to put everything in their mouths because the berries in raw form are not safe. (Native American tribes used several special — and rather extensive — preparation methods to make the berries edible and safe for humans.) However, for homes where that’s not an issue, the shrub can form a nicely shabby rambling border.
Southern California gardens, especially in the western halves of San Diego and Orange County, can try planting Ceanothus verrucosus, a white lilac that is native to the hillside areas. It can grow to about 8 feet in height, and as the description implies, it shows off many clusters of white flowers.
Deer tend not to like the plant, so if you’re near a semi-rural or rural zone, this could be an excellent addition to your garden.
Mahonia aquifolium, despite the name, thrives in Northern California gardens as well as in colder areas in Southern California, like mountain communities. The plant is easy to care for and only a deer attractant if there are many deer around competing for food. The plant does produce edible grapes that are best used in preparations like jelly, rather than as table grapes.
Surround these and other shrubs with more drought-resistant plantings or artificial turf. The more conservation-friendly you can make your garden, the longer you’ll be able to enjoy the plants.