The Q&A Archives: Flowering Perennials For Windy Conditions

Question: I'm looking for a combination of flowering perennials, shrubs and bulbs to plant under a deciduous tree. The plot faces north/northwest in zone 10, and sits on a bluff that's open to strong ocean winds. Any suggestions?

Answer: Wind causes water stress in plants by increasing transpiration and evaporation from leaves, so the best candidates for windy sites are those with thick leaves. Shrubs to consider include Manzanita, Boxwood, Bottlebrush, Cistus (rockrose), Escallonia, Juniper, Laurus nobilis (sweet bay), Oleander and Pyracantha. Perennials and accent plants include Agave, Aloe, Carex, Cerastium (snow-in-summer), Erigron glaucus (beach aster), Hemerocallis (daylily), Salvia, Jerusalem sage and Yucca. Hope these suggestions provide you with a colorful garden!

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