Low Maintenance Plants - Knowledgebase Question

Modesto, CA
Avatar for michellebow
Question by michellebow
May 26, 2005
I sit on the board of a homeowners association. We live in a community of townhouses and I'm trying to put together a pre-approved list of plants for homeowners to use as a guide when landscaping the fronts of their homes. We're looking for plants that are: 1)evergreen 2)low maintenance and/or minimal pruning 3)can handle scheduled watering 4) don't grow too large as they are mostly in flower beds no deeper than 3-4 feet 5) flowers are ok. What plants can you recommend for our climate area that meet these criteria?

Thank you so much for your time.


Answer from NGA
May 26, 2005
Some of the best plants for you to use are California Native (or near-native) plants. Here's a partial list:
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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