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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 April

April in Southern California is perfect for playing in your garden. The days are longer and warmer and there's always something to do. Plant every chance you get. Local garden centers are loaded with all that new and interesting this month. Drop by discover something exciting.

Work with what you've got. If you would like to grow herbs and vegetables but don't have a large space consider establishing a container garden. A variety of inexpensive pots in various shapes and sizes can be used to cultivate a ‘patio garden'. In pots or in the ground, group tomatoes, onions, peppers and cilantro together and you have a ‘salsa garden'. Be creative in the space you're allowed.

Color: Asters, Coleus and Zinnias are showing up in the garden centers now. April is one of the months with the largest selection of flowering plants available. Be creative and make your own hanging baskets and potted patio plants using some of your favorites. Continue to dead head all flowering plants for optimum flower production.

Fruits & Vegetables: Plant Citrus, Bananas, Avocados, Guava and other frost sensitive fruit trees this month. Fertilize existing fruit trees to help promote good fruit production. Additionally, thin excess fruit from young trees before the fruit reaches the size of an almond. This will prevent undue stress being put on the tree. Peaches should be thinned to every 5" on alternate sides of the branch with plums, nectarines and apricots spaced at every 3". Time to put in vegetables such as beans, corn, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes if you haven't done so. Also plant melons, squash and gourds.

Lawn:If you have a problem with crabgrass, apply a pre-emergent herbicide before it gets out of control. Mow your lawn frequently - every week. To keep a healthy lawn, never cut more than 1/3 of the length of the blade of grass. Fertilize regularly. Your lawn needs between 3-5 inches of water in April. Make sure it gets about 1/2" twice a week. (In most sprinkler systems, it takes about 20 minutes to get 1/2" of water.)

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