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Drought Tolerant Plants

Ceanothus 'Dark Star'

For the last several years Mother Nature has dealt California in general a severe drought. The lack of rain coupled with California’s water politics have left Southern California with a double drought – one natural and the other political. All this has left most of Southern California scrambling to save more water and switch to drought tolerant plants.

For the most part, the awareness of and interest in drought tolerant plants is a good thing. But don’t jump off the deep end to “pave paradise and put up a parking lot.”

All of a sudden, Southern California is being categorized as the ‘Desert Southwest’. Well, it isn’t, and it shouldn’t look like it is. It does – and has – rained here in the winter and it will again. So, all we really need are plants that can tolerate the drought that occurs every year in Southern California from spring until late fall, hence the term ‘drought tolerant plants’. Many of these plants are California natives, while others that do especially well here are native to other arid zones of the planet such as the Mediterranean, Australia, and parts of Africa and tropical America.

The first and obvious steps toward achieving a drought tolerant landscape are to remove the water guzzling turf areas and add inert groundcover to these areas as well as planter beds. That’s a good start, but the next step is where you need the help of the drought tolerant plant experts here at Evergreen Nursery. Sure, you can fill your yard with succulents and cactus – and we have a large selection of those pokey critters to choose from. If you like that look, by all means you should proceed. But, if you’re not ready to make the ‘we live in a desert’ leap, don’t despair; there are tons of drought tolerant plant choices out there. Our experts can help guide you through them, and you can have your yard looking like a tropical oasis on the edge of everyone else’s desert and still save water.

Please refer to our drought tolerant plant product list for more information on these native plants.

Stock varies-Not all items listed may be in stock

Type

E = Evergreens
D = Deciduous
P = Palm
C = Conifer
B = Bulb

Water Needs

1 = Can become drought tolerant with correct watering techniques
2 = Needs some summer water
3 = Will survive on natural rainfall once established

Botanical Name Common Name Hgt/Wdt  Sun   Shade Growth Rate Type Water Needs
Trees            
Acacia baileyana Bailey Acacia 20x30 Sun Fast E 2-3
Acacia pendula Weeping Acaia 25x15 Sun Slow E 2-3
Agonis flexuosa Peppermint tree 25x25 Sun Fast E 2-3
Albizzia julibrissin Silk tree 20x25 Sun Fast D 2
Arbutus unedo Strawberry tree 35x35 Sun Slow E 2-3
Beaucarnea recurvata Bottle palm 5x3 Sun Slow P 3
Brachychiton acerifolius Flame tree 60x40 Sun Mod. D 2
Brachychiton populneus Bottle tree 50x30 Sun Mod. E 2
Brahea armata Mexican Blue palm 30 Sun Slow P 3
Brahea edulis Guadalupe palm 30 Sun Slow P 3
Cedrus deodora Deodar Cedar 80x40 Sun Fast C 3
Ceratonia siliqua Carob tree 30x35 Sun Mod. E 3
Chamerops humulis Mediterranean Fan palm 20x20 Sun Slow P 2
Chorisia speciosa Floss Silk tree 50x30 Sun Slow D 2
Cupressocyparis leylandii Leylandi Cypress 70x40 Sun Fast C 2
Cupressus sempervirens Italian Cypress 60x10 Sun Mod. C 2
Eriobotrya japonica Loquat 20x20 Sun Mod. E 2
Eucalyptus citriodora Lemon Scented Gum 75 Sun Fast E 2
Eucalyptus nicholii Willow Leaved Peppermint 40 Sun Fast E 2
Eucalyptus polyanthemos Silver Dollar Dum 50 Sun Fast E 2
Eucalyptus sideroxylon Red Ironbark 20-80 Sun Fast E 2

Geijera parviflora

Australian Willow 25 Sun Mod. E 2
Grevillea robusta Silk Oak 60 Sun Fast E 2-3
Ginkgo biloba Maidenhair tree 60 Sun Slow D 3
Koelrueteria paniculata Goldenrain tree 35x40 Sun Slow D 2
Lagerstroemia indica Crepe Myrtle 30 Sun Slow D 2-3
Melaleuca nesophila Pink Melaleuca 25 Sun Fast E 2-3
Melaleuca quinquinerva Cajeput tree 35 Sun Fast E 2
Metrosideros excelsus New Zealand Xmas tree 25 Sun Mod. E 1-2
Nerium oleander Oleander (standard) 12 Sun Fast E 2-3
Olea europaea Olive 30 Sun Slow D 3
Pinus halepensis Aleppo pine 30-60 Sun Mod. C 3
Pinus pinea Italian Stone pine 40-80 Sun Mod. C 2-3
Pinus elderica Calabrian pine 30-80 Sun Fast C 2
Pinus torreyana Torrey pine 40-60 Sun Slow C 3
Quercus agrifolia Coast Live Oak 20-70 Sun Fast E 3
Quercus ilex Holly Oak 40-70 Sun Fast E 2
Rhus lancea African Sumac 25 Sun Fast E 2
Schinus molle California Pepper tree 20-40 Sun Fast E 3
Schinus terebinthifolius Brazilian Pepper tree 30 Sun Mod. E 3
Sequoia sempervirens Coast Redwood 70-90 Sun/prt Sh Fast C 2
Tipuana tipu Tipu tree 25-40 Sun Fast D 3
Tristania conferta Brisbane Box 30-60 Sun Fast E 2-3
Ulmus parvifolia Chinese Evergreen Elm 60-70 Sun Fast E 2
Yucca gloriosa Spanish Dagger 10 Sun Mod. E 3
Shrubs            
Acacia cuitriformis Knife Acacia 10x15 Sun Fast E 2
Acacia longifolia Sydney Golden Wattle 20x20 Sun Fast E 2
Acacia redolens Prostrate Acacia 3x15 Sun Fast E 2-3
Alyogyne huegelli Blue Hibiscus 5x8 Sun Mod. E 2
Aucuba japonica Gold Dust plant 6x4 Shade Mod. E 2
Callistemon citrinus Lemon Bottlebrush 10x15 Sun Fast E 2
Camellia sasanqua Sun Camellia varies Prt. Shade Mod. E 2
Ceanothus g. horizontalis Carmel Creeper 18"x8' Sun Mod. E 3
Cistus hybridus White Rockrose 12x10 Sun Fast E 3
Cistus purpureous Orchid Rockrose 5x5 Sun Fast E 2-3
Convolvulus cneorum Bush Morning Glory 4x4 Sun Fast E 2
Coprosma 'Coppershine' Mirror plant 6x6 Sun Fast E 2-3
Cotoneaster d. 'Lowfast' Lowfast Cotoneaster 1x15 Sun Fast E 2
Cotoneaster parneyi Red Clusterberry 8 Sun Fast E 2
Dietes bicolor Peacock Flower 30" Sun Mod. E 2
Dietes vegeta Fortnight Lily 30" Sun Mod. E 2
Dodonaea v. 'Purpurea' Purple Hopseed bush 12x12 Sun Fast E 2-3
Echium fastuosum Pride of Madeira 3x6 Sun Fast E 3
Escallonia fradesii Pink Princess Escallonia 6 Sun Fast E 2
Feijoa sellowiana Pineapple Guava 18x25 Sun Fast E 2
Hakea suaveolens Sweet Hakea 20 Sun Fast E 2
Heteromeles arbutifolia Toyon 6x10 Sun Slow E 3
Lantana montevidensis Lantana Varies Sun Fast E 2
Mahonia aquifolia Oregon grape 6 Shade Fast E 2
Myoporum laetum Sandalwood 20x30 Sun Fast E 1-2
Myrsine africana African Boxwood 3x8 Sun/prt Sh Mod. E 2-3
Nandina domestica Heavenly Bamboo 6x3 Sun/prt Sh Slow E 1-2
Nerium oleander Oleander 8x12 Sun Fast E 3
Nerium oleander 'petite' Oleander 4x4 Sun Fast E 3
Phormium tenax Flax 8x5 Sun Fast E 2-3
Pittosporum tobira Mock Orange 7x5 Sun/prt Sh Mod. E 2
Pittosporum tobira ' var.' Variegated Mock Orange 5x5 Sun/prt Sh Mod. E 2
Plumbago auriculata Blue Cape Plumbago 6x8 Sun Fast E 2
Prunus caroliniana Carolina Cherry 20 Sun Mod. E 2
Psidium catteianum Strawberry Guava 8x10 Sun Mod. E 1-2
Pyracantha 'Santa Cruz' Santa Cruz Pyracantha 3x6 Sun Fast E 2
Rhus intergrifolia Lemonade Berry 10x10 Sun Mod. E 2-3
Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary 2x6 Sun Fast E 2-3
Tecomaria capensis Cape Honeysuckle 15x25 Sun Fast E 2
Xylosma congestum Shiny xylosma 15 Sun/prt Sh Fast E 2
Xylosma c. compacta Compact xylosma 8 Sun/prt Sh Fast E 2
Groundcover            
Arctotheca calendula Capeweed 8"x3 Sun Fast E 2-3
Baccharis pilularis Coyote bush 24"x6 Sun Fast E 3
Cerastium tomentosum Snow-n-Summer 8"x2 Sun Fast E 2
Coprosma kirkii   2x3 Sun/prt Sh Fast E 2
Festuca ovina Blue festuca 4x6" Sun Fast E 2
Gazania   6-12" Sun Fast E 2
Ice Plant   varies Sun Fast E 2
Lantana Purple lantana 18"x8 Sun Fast E 2
Myoporum parviflora White Myoporum 6"x5 Sun Fast E 1-2
Ostopermum African Daisy 1x4 Sun Fast E 2-3
Rosmarinus prostrata Rosemary 2x4 Sun Mod. E 2
Santolina cham. Lavender Cotton 2x4 Sun Mod. E 3
Verbena   3"x6 Sun Fast E 2
Vinca major Periwinkle 12" high Shade Fast E 2
Perennials & Bulbs            
Agapanthus africanus Lily of the Nile 2' high Sun/prt Sh Mod. B 1-2
Cortaderia selloana Pampas Grass 20x10 Sun Fast E 2
Euryops pectinatus Euryops Daisy 3x4 Sun Fast E 2
Iris (Bearded) Iris Varies Sun/prt Sh Mod. B 3
Kniphophia uvaria Red Hot Poker 2 Sun Mod. E 3
Lavandula dentata French lavender 3 Sun Mod. E 2
Limonium perezii Sea lavender 2 Sun Mod. E 2
Pennisetum setaceum Fountain Grass 4 Sun Fast D 3
Tulbaghia violscea Society Garlic 1 Sun Fast E 2
Succulents            
Agave americana Century plant 6 Sun Slow E 3
Agave attenuata   5 Sun/prt Sh Slow E 2-3
Aloe vera Medicinal Aloe 2 Sun Mod. E 2-3
Crassula argentea Jade plant 6 Sun/prt Sh Slow E 2-3
Euphorbia milli Crown of Thorns 4-3 Sun Slow E 2-3
Kalanchoe species   3-2 Sun/prt Sh Mod. E 2
Portulacaria afra Elephant's food 12 Sun/prt Sh Slow E 2-3
Vines            
Bougainvillea   varies Sun Fast E 2-3
Distictis buccinatoria Blood Red Trumpet vine 30 Sun/prt Sh Mod. E 2
Macfadyena unguis cati Cat's Claw 20-40 Sun Fast E 2-3
Pyracantha fort. 'Graberi'   15x10 Sun Fast E 2-3
Pyracantha 'Victory'   10x8 Sun Mod. E 2-3
Solanum jasminoides Potato Vine 30 Sun/prt Sh Fast E 2
Wisteria sinensis Wisteria 30-50 Sun/prt Sh Fast D 2