The Q&A Archives: Low Maintenance Slope

Question: The community association wants to improve the hillsides. Much of the hillsides show neglect & is the responsibility of owners not physically able to provide the care or pay for the maintenance. As a community we would like to help. What type of low-maintenance, drought resistent plants, San Diego, California would do well and provide needed beauty to the hillsides.

Answer: Some of the best plants for you to use are California Native (or near-native) plants. Here's a partial list: Shrubs Aloysia lycioides (White Brush); Amaranthus palmeri (Palmer's Amaranth); Ambrosia ambrosioides (Canyon Ragweed); Ambrosia deltoidea (Triangle-leaf Bursage); Ambrosia dumosa (White Bursage); Anisacanthus Thurberi (Desert Honeysuckle); Asclepias subulata (Desert Milkweed); Atriplex hymenelytra (Desert-Holly); Brberis haematocarpa (Red Barberry); Brickellia californicum (Bricklebush); Calliandra eriophylla (Fairy Duster, False Mesquite); Carlowrightia arizonica (Carlowrightia); Celtis Pallida (Spiny or Desert Hackberry); Dalea wislizeni (Indigo Bush); Dodenaea viscosa (Hop Bush); Encelia farinosa (Brittlebush); Encelia frutescens (Green Brittlebush); Ephedra nevadensis (Mormon Tea); Eysenhardtia polystacha (Kidneywood); Hymenoclea salsola (Cheesebrush); Hyptis emoryi (Desert lavender); Larrea tridenta (Creosote Bush); Lotus rigidus (Desert Rock Pea); Lycium andersonii (Anderson's Lycium); Mimosa biuncifera (Catclaw, Wait-a-minute Bush); Senecio douglasii (Threadleaf Groundsel); Vauquelinia californica (Arizona Rosewood ); Viguiera deltoidea (Golden-eye). Recommended Native Flowers Abronia villosa (Sand Verbena); Aquilegia chrysantha (Golden Columbine); Argenome platyceras (Prickly Poppy); Bahia absinthifolia (Desert Daisy); Baileya multiradiata (Desert Marigold); Calyophus serrulatus (Dwarf Sundrops); Cassia covesii (Desert Senna ); Datura Wrightii (Sacred Datura); Dichelostemma pulchellum (Bluedicks); Erigeron divergens (Spreading fleabane); Eschscholtzia californica ( California Poppy); Eschscholtzia mexicana (Mexican Poppy); Justicia sonorae (Sonoran Justicia); Lupinus sparsiflorus (Desert Lupine); Mimulus cardinalis (Cardinal Monkey Flower); Mimulus guttatus (Yellow Monkey Flower); Oenthera caespitosa (Tufted Evening Primrose); Penstemon subulatus (Beard Tongue); Phacelia campanularia (Desert Bluebells); Psilostrophe cooperi (Paperdaisy); Solanum hinsianum (Sonoran Nightshade); Sphaeralcea ambigua (Globe-Mallow); Zinnia acerosa (Desert Zinnia); Zinnia grandiflora (Little Golden Zinnia). Hope these suggestions get you started on a wonderful master plan for your community.

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