Eco Friendly Plants Don’t Have to be Drab
There is a wide-spread misconception that in order to have “green” or “eco-friendly plants”, one must stick to drab shrubs and cactuses which are commonly associated with the desert. Thankfully, that couldn’t be further from the truth. California has a staggering amount of native plants that are both absolutely stunning in color, and thrive in very low water conditions. Regardless of whether environmental conservation is on your mind, eco-friendly plants are easier to maintain since they require less watering, and that saves you time and energy while still providing a beautiful garden.
Beautiful Eco Friendly Plants of California:
1.) Pumpkin Monkey Flower
The pumpkin monkey flower not only has an awesome name, it is a beautiful orange and red flower that does exceptionally well in low water conditions. This sub-shrub grows to 2′ tall with dark green foliage that sets off the large flowers which have a reddish-orange floral tube and bright orange lobes. Flowering peaks in spring but there are often some flowers on this plant nearly year-round. (Learn more about the Pumpkin Monkey Flower )
2.) Pacific Coast Iris
These Irises are 6-18″ tall and have clumps of grass-like foliage. The flowers are 3-4″ across, good cut flowers, and vary from white, yellow, lavender, purple, blue, and reddish purple. Who would have thought that such a beautiful and large flower could possibly be one of the many eco friendly plants that are native to California? These hardy flowers will survive the temperature extremes of our spontaneous climate as well! (Learn more about the Pacific Coast Iris )
3.) Our Lord’s Candle
Okay, so granted this is a shrub type plant, but it is eye catching, and the blueish tones in the foliage make set it apart from other, similar plants. Stemless, it produces dense clusters of rigid, gray-green lvs 12-18″ long. Its drooping, bell-shaped flowers appear on large, branched spikes 3-6′. Plants die after blooming, much like agaves, but only individual rosettes will die off, others in in clump will continue to live & eventually bloom. Overall plant grows 3’X6′ (Learn more about Our Lord’s Candle )
4.) Hummingbird Sage
The extravagant leaves of this small clumping sage emit a perfectly sweet fragrance, which attracts hummingbirds. In the spring, the red/pink flowering spikes become a deep fuchsia. It is a great plant for dry shade. Hummingbirds serve plenty of useful purposes in a garden, and these eco friendly plants help to attract them. Besides just being incredibly beautiful, Hummingbird Sages’s are native California plants that can really enhance your garden. (Learn more about Hummingbird sage )
5.) Louis Edmunds California Lilac
The name is a mouthful, but the flowers are adorable and add a dimension to your garden- smell. We all know what synthetic lilac smells like, through various home scents or perfumes. However, nothing can compare to the smell of real lilac. The ‘Louis Edmunds’ is a dense shrub that reaches 10′ in height and 15′ wide, bearing long spikes of deep blue flowers in spring. It is an outstanding Wild Lilac for flower color and as a mid-size screen. They smell wonderful, look fantastic, can add shade to your garden, and these are perfectly suited to low water conditions.
Unique name, unique flower! Personally, I love these eco friendly plants. The intense indigo of the blossom is just stunning. Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’ is a succulent perennial that is used for accenting effect. Aeonium arboreum grows 3 ft. tall and wide. Each branch has a 6-8 in. wide rosette of dark green, fleshy leaves.The flowers are yellow in clusters. The flowers are yellow in clusters. (Learn more about Aeoniums )
7.) Don Juan Climbing Rose
Roses- classic, elegant, fragrant, beautiful. With its dark green foliage and fragrant flowers of a full, double, velvety dark red color, this upright shrub is generally grown as a vine or pillar rose. Perfect for planting near pergolas, archways, or other hardscape accents, the Don Juan Climbing rose spreads out and clings to various surfaces, painting your garden with bright splashes of deep, velvet red. (Learn more about the Don Juan Climbing Rose )
Walking around any Los Angeles suburb, you’re sure to spot these gorgeous eco friendly plants peeking over fences. This is a evergreen shrubby vine that makes a dense cover. The bright red bract ( the real flowers are inconspicuous) appear with any amount of sun light. These same red bracts will be bluish- red in the shade. It will bloom when young and for long periods of time. It enjoys the heat of the desert and will recover quickly from frost damage. (Learn more about Bougainvillea )
9.) California Poppy
This small annual (sometimes acts as a perennial) plant will grow to less than 1′ tall and has light, small blue/green leaves with gold and orange flowers that bloom in spring and summer. It has a few variations, but all varieties of this beautiful little flower do well in low water conditions. (Learn more about California Poppy )
10.) Baja Fairy Duster
Another common California native, the Baja Fairy Duster, produces very unique blossoms that are a shock of red which catches the eye. Baja fairy duster is a constant bloomer that grows about 3-5′ tall and wide. Plants are evergreen in climates without frost; otherwise they will freeze to the ground. Blooms are most abundant in spring, but continue year-round for constant interest. Native of central Baja gravelly hillsides. Drought tolerant but growth fairly quick with additional moisture. Soil tolerant. Full sun will promote flowering. Needs little shearing. Hummers. Bees. Larval food Lycaenid Butterflies. (Learn more about Baja Fairy Duster )
As you can see-
Choosing eco friendly plants for your garden does not mean you have to sacrifice color and beauty. It is possible to fill your landscape with beautiful, fragrant, low maintenance flowers that will help to make your home as beautiful as it can be.