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San Diego Plants

Landscaping plants that thrive in the San Diego climate

San Diego can be a great place for a lively garden as long as you make educated and appropriate plant choices. You are going to want plants that are drought tolerant and thrive in bright sunlight. You will also need to consider the condition of your soil and what planting zone you are in. Below is a collection of plants being grown successfully in private San Diego gardens. Get more landscape design inspiration from these San Diego landscaping ideas.

Coast Aloe & Aeonium A tall tree-like Coast Aloe (Aloe thraskii) is surrounded by blooming Large Purple Aeonium (Aeonium arboreum 'Zwartkop'). Succulents are a good choice for a San Diego because they store water to survive drought.

Silver Carpet Dymondia margaretae grows low to the ground, handles foot traffic well and requires little water, making it a great groundcover for around flagstone pavers. San Digeo soil may need to be amended to provide proper drainage.

Whale's Tongue Agave Drought tolerance, hardiness to 5°F and fire-resistance make Agave ovatifolia, a gorgeous specimen succulent, well suited to the San Diego climate. This plant doesn't produce pups and can become quite large.

Pride of Maderia Echium fastuosum, which is deer-resistant and drought tolerant, is a great shrub to grow in the canyons of San Diego. It is a fast-growing plant that does best in temperatures above 30°F. Plant in an area where there is room for growth.

Echeveria A small, low-growing succulent, Echeveria Lola will thrive in areas of San Diego that have rocky soil. Tightly massing the geometric rosettes provides a lush look, especially in early spring when they send up their colorful, bell-shaped blooms.

Shoestring Acacia The evergreen Acacia stenophylla is a great tree for semi-arid climates like San Diego's. It requires little water once established, will reach a mature height of 20-40 feet, and its long narrow leaves will provide filtered shade for your garden.

Pepper Tree The CA Pepper Tree (Schinus molle) is incredibly drought-tolerant and will reach a mature height of 20-30 feet. However, it requires frequent pruning, drops leaves and berries and has shallow roots. Plant away from pool, paving or buildings.

Blue Fescue Festuca glauca, a mounding ornamental grass, was used to edge this walkway at a San Diego county residence. This grass is low-maintenance, stays fairly compact and does especially well in cool, coastal areas.

Cape Rush Chondropetalum ectorum is a low-maintenance, water-wise and deer-resistant ornamental grass. Cape Rush tolerates both wet and dry soils, making it a versatile accent plant that many San Diego residents have had success with.

San Diego Nurseries: To purchase the plants mentioned, or learn more about them in order to be sure they are the right choice for your garden, check out these local nurseries.

Oasis Water Efficient Gardens - located in San Diego's North County, specializing in cactus and succulent plants and drought tolerant perennials

Las Pilitas Nursery - locations in Santa Margarita and Escondido, specializing in California native plants

Glorious Gardens - located in Encinitas, specializing in unusual succulents, cactus, CA natives and drought tolerant perennials

Barrels & Branches - located in Encinitas, specializing in grasses, perennials, succulents and natives

All photos taken by at the Spring 2011 Garden Tour: Take a Botanical Odyssey, hosted by the San Diego Horticultural Society which is based in Encinitas, CA.

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