The Q&A Archives: Heat Tolerant Plants For A South/west Facing Wall

Question: We live in Visalia California. Our house faces south west and we have a planting area against the south west (mostly west) facing garage wall. This is our entry way and I'd like to put our best foot forward. I am concerned about what plants will do well and survive the summer and radiant heat of the wall. I especially would like to know some taller growning shrubs or vines to about 10 feet. Thanks for your help.

Answer: The site you describe may only support a few very heat-tolerant plants. The first that comes to mind is Cotoneaster. While it's generally considered a shrub, its natural arching shape makes it perfect for training onto a trellis attached to a wall. As an espalier, it's quite attractive with small, deep green foliage and bright orange berries. Cotoneaster is evergreen, so it will look nice all year around. Some suggestions for smaller shrubs and groundcovers include Hypericum (St. John's Wort), Genista (dwarf broom), Hebe, Juniper, Heather, Erigeron, Echeveria, Euphorbia and Cistus (rockrose). Hope the above suggestions help you make your entryway stunning!

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