Blooming in Paradise: 14 Top Landscaping Plants for Southern California

If you are planning to get the landscaping plants in your home, Southern California, then you should consider the temperature and maintenance for the plants first. Southern California belongs to zones 8B to 11 of USDA plant hardiness.

Since mostly Southern California suffers from extremely dry and rainy winters. Hence, it is better for you to decide the best time to plant. We recommend starting planting in early fall since the plants need proper water to grow beautifully next spring.

Here, we give you the low maintenance landscaping plants of Southern California to make your yard stunning and colorful!

BEST Landscaping Plants for Southern California

Embrace the sun-drenched paradise with the BEST landscaping plants that add a burst of color and charm to your outdoor haven. From vibrant blooms that sway in the gentle breeze to hardy greens that withstand the sun’s warm embrace, these plants create a living masterpiece that reflects the magic of this extraordinary region.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a blossoming enthusiast, the allure of Southern California’s landscape invites you to unleash your creativity and transform your outdoor space into a haven of beauty and tranquility.

1. California Poppy (Eschscholzia Californica)

landscaping plants southern california
California Poppy (Eschscholzia Californica)

Talking about California, you should consider planting the state flowers of California, it is California Poppy. The bright orange flowers will instantly turn your garden into a beautiful and colorful garden. These flowers will bloom perfectly in early summer. So that you can start the summer vacation by seeing the stunning view from your garden.

2. California Lilac (Ceanothus)

landscaping plants southern california
California Lilac (Ceanothus)

Let’s spoil your eyes with something warm that comes through the blue flowers in early spring by planting California Lilac. The blue color is very vibrant and your garden will turn out to be more impressive to look at instantly.

Also, the type of this plant is a flower shrub with easy maintenance as long as you plant it under the full sun with well-draining soil. Enjoy the beautiful flowering shrubs with glossy green leaves.

3. Morning Glory

landscaping plants southern california
Morning Glory

The delicate pale pink and white flowers you can see through California Morning Glory. Although the color of flowers look pale as it is, this plant has a great strength to handle the heat and less water.

Moreover, you can see the flowers blooming all over the year since these are perennial flowers. Hence, this is the best landscaping plant in Southern California you can choose for your garden.

4. Penstemon (Beardtongues)

landscaping plants southern california
Penstemon (Beardtongues)

This variety is suitable for bedding plants in your Southern California garden. An immersive purple and pink which tolerates low waters since Penstemon is a native wildflower that grows in various shapes and sizes.

You may choose the variety based on your preference. Penstemon likes full sun to shade. The best color of Penstemon can be seen when it is placed in direct sunlight.

5. Rose Buckwheat

Rose Buckwheat
Rose Buckwheat

This plant is one of the perennial flowers that is suitable for landscaping plants in Southern California. With beautiful creamy pink flowers, Rose Buckwheat is easy to grow in the coastal garden. These are Southern California native plants. You can easily find this variety in the coastal sage scrub area.

6. Santa Barbara Daisy (Erigeron Karvinskianus)

landscaping plants southern california
Santa Barbara Daisy (Erigeron Karvinskianus)

Turn your garden in front of your house with the sweet and adorable flowers of Santa Barbara Daisy. There are no worries when planting this variety since it is easy to take care of for all plant lovers. This plant is native to Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

But you can see and find it easily in Southern California. You can see these beautiful flowers blooming in May until June. Simply just make sure you water it regularly with not too much water to prevent damage to the flowers, although this variety is a drought tolerant plant once it adapts to the new environment.

7. California Flannel Bush (Fremontodendron Californicum)

California Flannel Bush (Fremontodendron Californicum)
California Flannel Bush (Fremontodendron Californicum)

Your landscaping plants collection will complete with this variety growing on the corner of your garden plants. This is the most stunning flowering shrub because of the shape and size of flowers.

The bright yellow flowers will bloom easily. The leaves are evergreen shrubs, so placing it on the corner will be perfect. Hence, this is suitable for dry garden zones since it is a drought tolerant plant.

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8. Salvia Plants

landscaping plants southern california
Salvia Plants

People often call it Sage for this plant. If you want bees and butterflies to come to your garden, then you can choose Salvia to be planted. The aromatic fragrance of its flowers will attract the insects to come.

Moreover, this variety is drought tolerant, so that you don’t have to worry about maintenance with low water usage. Besides, the blooming time for this Salvia is perfect to enjoy during the summer holiday.

9. Phacelia (Phacelia Tanacetifolia)

Phacelia (Phacelia Tanacetifolia)
Phacelia (Phacelia Tanacetifolia)

Although you can see the flowers easily across California, there is nothing wrong with planting it in your garden. The adorable purple flowers are rapidly growing, so that your eyes will be spoiled with the vibrant color of its flowers almost every season. Furthermore, if you want to attract bees or any insects that are beneficial for your plants, you can choose this flower.

10. Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia Capillaris)

Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia Capillaris)
Pink Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia Capillaris)

Green grass? Oh it is too common! Pink grass as your landscape plant? Yes, definitely! You should add this Pink Muhly Grass because it is not only cute to look at, but also low maintenance to take care of. Your garden will turn into a cotton candy look alike only by adding this plant into your collections. What a beauty!

11. Sundrops (Oenothera Fruticosa)

Sundrops (Oenothera Fruticosa)
Sundrops (Oenothera Fruticosa)

The texture of this flower is similar to Bougenville. You can add this to your yard since it is very easy to take care of, drought tolerant, and can be exposed to the full sun. You can plant it inside the containers or make it as landscape collections in your garden. It will be lovely to see!

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12. Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)

Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)
Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)

Fans of Aster should plant this inside their house. Yarrow still belongs to the Aster family. This plant has no branches unless near the top stem, containing the green leaves. The type of its flowers is similar to Hoya, because it produces flower clusters on each stem.

A very beautiful pale white and yellowish flower will fill your garden once it blooms. Moreover, Yarrow can grow up to 3 feet tall, while they need sun in partial shade.

13. Festuca Mairei (Atlas Fescue)

Festuca Mairei (Atlas Fescue)
Festuca Mairei (Atlas Fescue)

A stunning bushy view can be seen clearly after you plant the Fescue Mairei. If you have a large and spacious yard, then this one is suitable for the ground cover. This plant is trouble free, drought tolerant, and easy to maintain.

No worries for the full sun or partial shade because Fescue Mairei can handle both exposure. Plant it on the corner of your garden beside the colorful flowers, and see how lovely your garden will be.

14. Chalk Liveforever (Dudleya Pulverulenta)

Chalk Liveforever (Dudleya Pulverulenta)
Chalk Liveforever (Dudleya Pulverulenta)

Complete the look of your garden plants with this Chalk Liveforever, or you can call it Dudleya Pulverulenta. You may add this to your well-drained soils or sandy ones. Since this plant belongs to the succulent type, then you realized that this requires low maintenance and drought tolerance as well.

Final Thought

In the enchanting realm of Southern California landscaping, the possibilities are as vast as the horizon itself. From vibrant blossoms that dance in the warm breeze to hardy greens that withstand the sun’s embrace, the best landscaping plants bring nature’s artistry to life. Embrace the spirit of creativity and let your imagination paint a tapestry of colors and textures across your outdoor haven.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a blossoming enthusiast, the allure of Southern California’s landscape offers a canvas of endless inspiration. So, go ahead, plant your dreams and watch them bloom into a living symphony of beauty that mirrors the magic of this extraordinary region.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What should you plant in Southern California?

You can start landscaping plants with California poppy and California Lilac because both can be found easily in Southern California. Also, they have beautiful and vibrant colors while blooming.

To add some gradients inside your garden, simply add Pink Muhly Grass or Fescue Mairei since these bushy plants can be planted on the corner to give a new look for your garden.

When should you start a garden in Southern California?

To achieve a perfect blooming, you can start planting in early Fall. So that you can see the beautiful view from your garden in early Spring or Summer. Although the native plants in Southern California can bloom mostly in all seasons, you should consider the extreme weather that usually happens at the end of the year.

What should you plant now in Southern California?

California poppies will bloom in early Summer. So that you can start to plant this plant now. Don’t worry about the maintenance, since you can start to plant California Poppy in Southern California with minimum maintenance, as long as the garden has a full exposure of the sun. 

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