Question: I have a northeast facing corner of my backyard that has a 6 foot fence on the east and north side. There is a lattice arbor to the south which shades the area in the afternoon. I have tried to grow two queen palm trees there and they do not seem to want to grow. One died, the other is still as tall as when I planted it...about 2-3 feet. I live in Clairemont suburb of San Diego, ground is hard clay except for planting area where I used potting mix and top soil with some sand. Area is under the sun from 11AM to about 4PM. What can I grow there of a desert type low maintenance plant?
Answer: I'd suggest either Ceanothus (California lilac), or Pieris japonica. Both grow well in clay soil and partly sunny conditions. They need little maintenance, aside from pruning every year or two to keep their size under control.
Best wishes with your landscape!
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