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Water Smart List

Briggs has created an expanded version of the San Diego County Water Authority's 'Nifty 50' list that encourages homeowners to select plants that will help conserve water usage. Cutting back on water doesn't mean you have to plant only succulents and California natives. These plants were chosen because they are attractive, non-invasive, easy to maintain, long-term performers, scaled for residential landscapes and of course, after established, drought tolerant.

Groundcover
Acacia redolens
(Acacia)
Arctostaphylos
(Spreading Manzanita)
Ceanothus
(Carmel Creeper)
Dymondia
(Silver Carpet)
Lampranthus
(Ice Plant)
Lantana
(Trailing Lantana)
Juniperus pro. 'Nana'
(Prostrate Juniper)
Myoporum parvifolium
(Myoporum)
Rosemary
(Prostrate Rosemary)
Sedum
(Stonecrop)
Thymus
(Thyme)

Perennials
Anigozanthos
(Kangaroo Paws)
Artemesia
(Wormwood)
Galvezia
(Island Bush Snapdragon)
Lavendula
(Lavender)
Limonium
(Statice)
Lobelia laxiflora
(Lobelia)
Mimulus
(Monkey Flower)
Penstemon
(Penstemon)
Salvia
(Sage)
Tagetes
(Mexican Marigold)
Teucrium
(Germander)
Verbena
(Peruvian Verbena)

Grasses
Cordyline
(New Zealand Cabbage Tree)
Dietes
(Butterfly Iris, Fortnight Lily)
Muhlenbergia
(Pink Muhly Grass)
Pennisetum rubrum
(Red Fountain Grass)
Phormium
(New Zealand Flax)

Vines
Bougainvillea
(Bougainvillea)
Gelsemium sempervirens
(Carolina Jessamine)
Mascagnia
(Yellow Orchid Vine)
Tecoma smithii
(Orange Bells)

Shrubs
Acacia longifolia
(Acacia)
Arctostaphylos
(Manzanita)
Buddleja
(Butterfly Bush)
Calliandra californica
(Baja Fairy Duster)
Callistemon
(Dwarf Bottlebrush)
Carpenteria californica
(Bush Anemone)
Ceanothus
(California Lilac)
Cercis occidentalis
(Western Redbud)
Chamelaucium
(Geraldton Wax Flower)
Cistus
(Rockrose)
Cytisus
(Genista)
Dodonea viscosa 'Purpurea'
(Purple Hopseed)
Echium
(Pride of Madera)
Euryops
(Golden Shrub Daisy)
Grevillea
(Grevillea)
Hakea suaveolens
(Sweet Hakea)
Heteromeles
(Toyon)
Leonotis
(Lions Tail)
Leptospermum
(Tea Tree)
Leucadendron
(Leucadendron)
Leucophyllum
(Texas Ranger)
Mahonia
(Oregon Grape)
Myrica californica
(Pacific Wax Myrtle)
Myrtus
(Common Myrtle)
Phlomis fruticosa
(Jerusalem Sage)
Rhamnus californica
(Coffeeberry)
Rhus integrifolia
(Lemonade Berry)
Ribes
(Currant, Gooseberry)
Romneya coulteri
(Matilija Poppy)
Rosmarinus
(Rosemary)
Tecoma capensis
(Cape Honeysuckle)
Vitex
(Chaste Tree)
Westringia fruticosa
(Coast Rosemary)

Succulents
Aeonium sp.
(Aeonium)
Agave sp.
(Agave)
Aloe sp.
(Aloe)
Bulbine
(Bulbine)
Calandrinia
(Rock Purslane)
Dasylirion
(Mexican Grass Tree)
Dracaena draco
(Dragon Tree)
Dudleya
(Live Forever)
Echeveria
(Hens n' Chicks)
Hesperaloe
(Red Yucca)
Yucca
(Yucca)

Palms
Chamaerops humilis
(Mediterranean Fan Palm)
Trachycarpus
(Windmill Palm)

Trees
Acacia species
(Acacia)
Agonis flexuosa
(Peppermint Willow)
Arbutus 'Marina'
(Strawberry Tree)
Butia capitata
(Pindo Palm)
Cercidium
(Palo Verde Tree)
Chitalpa
(Chitalpa)
Cordia
(Texas Olive)
Geijera parvifolia
(Australian Willow)
Grevillea robusta
(Silk Oak)
Lagerstroemia indica
(Crape Myrtle)
Lagunaria patersonii
(Primrose Tree)
Laurus nobilis
(Sweet Bay)
Lyonothamnus floribundus
(Catalina Ironwood)
Melaleuca
(Paperbark)
Metrosideros excelsa
(New Zealand Christmas Tree)
Olea varieties
(Olive)
Parkinsonia
(Palo Verde)
Pistacia chinensis
(Chinese Pistache)
Prosopsis
(Chilean Mesquite)
Rhus lancea
(African Sumac)
Quercus agrifolia
(Coast Live Oak)


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In March

March is a very busy month in your garden but it also holds a lot of promise. The plantings you did in the fall are budding and blooming and there is a sense of satisfaction for a job well done. It also brings to your attention the things you need to get busy on so that the whole yard thrives through the coming months.

Now is a great time to plant trees and shrubs. You may want to wait another month or so before planting subtropicals like Bougainvillea, Cannas and Hibiscus. Prune spring flowering shrubs and vines after they’ve bloomed to maintain their shape. Most evergreens should be pruned now before new growth starts.

Color: Begin to replace winter annuals as they fade. Marigolds, Petunias, Nicotiana and Snapdragons are available to plant for summer color. Cut back and clean foliage on perennial color such as Impatiens and Begonias. Replace any color that was damaged during the winter months. Look for new introductions to add a little something new to your garden.

Fruits & Vegetables: Early tomatoes, squash, peas, onions and beans can be planted now. There’s still time to get in another round of cool weather crops. Consider planting a grouping of different varieties of lettuce. The variation in colors and textures creates interest and function. Fertilize fruit trees and make sure they get adequate water to help with fruit production. Use a low nitrogen fertilizer so growth is directed toward the fruit and roots. Plant strawberries. Plant or freshen up your herb garden with new varieties or replace plants that didn’t fare well over the winter.

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