Droughts and water conservation are a part of life in southern California and the dry climate takes a toll on gardens. Your garden adds curb appeal and value to the property but keeping the plants green and healthy isn’t easy without wasting water.
One solution is replacing your garden plants with succulents. The plants are drought-tolerant, requiring very little water throughout the year. Another way to have a garden and meet water usage requirements is to use native plants.
Native plants have adapted to West Hollywood’s warm, dry climate and require little extra watering. You can also add plants suitable for Mediterranean climates. These species are also drought-tolerant and ideal for southern California’s weather.
Here are a few water-wise plants that thrive in West Hollywood gardens.
Hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) is a native California plant that attracts pollinators in the late spring and summer. The waterwise plant grows in full sun or partial shade and produces gorgeous magenta blooms that release a sweet fragrance.
Other sage species you may want to consider are white sage (Salvia apiana) with silvery green leaves, sweet-scented Cleveland sage (Salvia clevelandii), and black sage (Salvia mellifera) the produces white flowers with delicate lavender edged petals.
Anyone looking for low-maintenance native plants should consider the California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) bush. Throughout the summer, the bush is covered in creamy, pink-colored flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
California buckwheat continues to provide interest in the fall as the flowers turn into attractive rust-colored seed pods. The seeds are a food source for birds and wildlife in the fall and winter.
Its bright red tubular-shaped blooms add a pop of color to your landscaping. The scarlet bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius) is a native plant that blooms throughout the summer. The nectar-rich flowers attract hummingbirds.
Two other native species of penstemons you may want to consider are the pretty showy penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis) with light purple flowers and the foothill penstemon (Penstemon heterophyllus). The light blue flowers with pinkish-red throats make a statement in any landscaping design.
Scented geraniums are native to South Africa, but the fragrant plants thrive in southern California’s dry climate. The plants have a mounding and spreading growth habit, making them ideal for use as ground cover.
The flowers are small, and the color varies depending on the species. The fuzzy, green leaves are what make scented geraniums stand out. The leaves release a pleasant aroma when touched.
Lion’s tail (Leonotis leonurus) is another South African native plant that grows beautifully in West Hollywood gardens. The plant adds color and interest, producing tall flower spikes with bright orange tube-shaped blossoms that bring in hummingbirds and other pollinators.
The plant is part of the mint family, so watch out for spreading.
Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) is more than a herb used to flavor dishes. It is also a flowering garden shrub that loves southern California’s dry, hot climate. The Mediterranean native produces fragrant, dark green foliage and delicate lavender flowers in the spring and summer.
It may surprise you to learn that you can grow drought-tolerant tomatoes in your West Hollywood garden. Overwatering tomato plants can make the fruit tasteless, making them ideal for waterwise gardens.
The trick to growing delicious tomatoes is to ensure the plants are deep in the soil. You want the roots to be around four to six inches below the soil.
Gardens add value to your home, but you want to be conscious of what you plant. Choosing waterwise plants ensures your garden will thrive, without wasting precious moisture.
If you are making improvements to boost the home’s overall value, you may also want to consider adding a dedicated media space
. It’s also a great place to relax after spending the day in the garden.