The Q&A Archives: Perennials

Question: Please make recommendations for easy care, good flowering, no stake requiring , low water using perennials and ground cover for Mission Viejo, CA. Area has medium but not full sun exposure. Please also weigh in on recommendations for water frugal flowering trees that do not get too big or develop invasive root system ,. Thanks

Answer: Your approach to making a water-wise garden is a good one! Some of the most reliable plants for arid gardens include Aptenia cordifolia 'Red Apple', Achillea (yarrow), Aloe, Artemisia, Babiana (Baboon flower), Coreopsis, Euphorbia, Gaillardia, Kniphofia uvaria (red-hot poker), Linum, Phormium (New Zealand Flax), Marigold, Tithonia (Mexican sunflower), Verbascum (mullein) and Zinnia grandiflora. These plants require very little water once established. Amend the soil with organic matter prior to planting to help the soil retain moisture. A few inches of organic mulch over the top of the soil after planting will suppress weeds and slow evaporation. Good luck with your new garden!

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