Best Shrubs For Southern California

If you are planning to plant shrubs for your landscape, you’ll need to make sure to choose the right ones. These include native plants that thrive in different types of climates. In this article, we’ll discuss a few of our favorites: California sunflower, Manzanita, Cherry laurel, Rockrose, and apricots. If you’re wondering which shrubs grow best in southern California , you’ve come to the right place.


If you’re thinking of planting a shrub in your yard, you should look into the various varieties of Lilac. The tree lilac is one of the most beautiful types, with white or cream-colored flowers that bloom midsummer. Tree lilacs can grow up to 20 feet tall, and they don’t need a lot of pruning. While the tree variety doesn’t need much maintenance, it does need to be watered regularly. This makes them a great choice for gardeners who want to have minimal maintenance.

The soil should be slightly alkaline and have a pH of around 7.0. It needs full sun and well-drained soil. If you live in an area that gets little sun or no rain, add compost. Lilacs do not grow well in clay soil and require fertilizing at least three times a year. You can use Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Trees & Shrubs to enhance the soil’s pH.

In addition to being fragrant, Lilacs are hardy, drought-tolerant, and have a short blooming season. The typical bloom period is two to three weeks. Lilacs in this area include Syringa vulgaris and Syringa reflexa. Both varieties have a fragrant scent and send out suckers to keep the shrub young. These plants grow to between 10 and 12 feet tall and are drought-tolerant.


Manzanita is a beautiful, architecturally interesting shrub. This evergreen tree produces copious quantities of small, shiny fruit, called “shrubfruit,” which is edible to animals but inedible to humans. In addition to its architectural beauty, manzanita shrubs have evergreen leaves held perpendicular to the sun. This adaptation helps them conserve moisture and avoid excessive wilting.

The Manzanita’s water requirements vary. The tree and bush forms prefer full sunlight, while the ground-hugging form requires more shade. Plant manzanitas on slopes for better drainage. Manzanitas do not like to stand in water, so they require occasional watering. However, you should water them when the subsurface soil is dry or cool.

Although manzanita is low maintenance, pruning it can help to expose peeling stems. Pruning is best done selectively to keep the tree dense and to reveal its structure. Never prune manzanita to bare wood as this will not sprout. Manzanita can be susceptible to fungal pathogen, so sterilizing your pruners after every cut is crucial to prevent the spread of disease and fungus.

Cherry laurel

The foliage on cherry laurel shrubs varies considerably between species. Some are merely two inches long while others are up to 12 feet (18 meters) tall. They can be upright or horizontal and have leaves that gently droop from the stem. Whether you decide to plant your cherry laurel shrubs in containers or as a large-scale landscape plant, you’re guaranteed to get a stunning display.

When growing cherry laurel shrubs in your yard, remember to water regularly. This is because this plant likes damp soil. You can even plant it in slightly acidic soil, but you’ll have to water more often during warmer months. Make sure to deeply moisten the soil, and water the root ball thoroughly. You can use a root stimulator to help your shrubs grow faster and healthier. While this is not necessary, it can speed up the growth of the plant.

One of the most common and well-known varieties of cherry laurel is the Otto Luyken variety. This cherry laurel is known for its dense stature, and it can grow up to 20 feet tall. Cherry laurel Compacta propagates easily through cuttings, seeds, or digging up seedlings. It is easy to care for and can bloom year-round. However, you should keep in mind that if you prune your cherry laurel too much, it will become congested and clumpy, limiting the display of flowers.


Among the most beautiful plants for gardens, Rockrose is especially noted for its showy flower. Its flowers open in the morning and fall off the plant by midday, and are followed by new ones. These are usually spring bloomers, and the flowers have five petals and several bright yellow stamens. They also look lovely planted with Golden Sage or Spanish Lavender. A rockrose in your garden will bloom every spring!

The plant is an excellent ground cover, as it grows to about one foot tall and three feet wide. During the spring, Rockrose blooms on tall spikes and attracts hummingbirds. It prefers full sun. Once it has flowered, it will require only occasional pruning. It will bloom abundantly on woody growth, so the first few years are the best time to plant it.

Plant rockroses in full sun where they get sufficient sunlight, but will not receive too much summer water. They are hardy to 15 degrees F. Plant them near a west or south facing wall. You can’t water rockroses more than twice during the summer. They grow best in gritty, fast-draining soil. If you have heavy soil, mound the plant it on a slope.

Texas sage

This native plant grows in hot and dry climates. It has low watering requirements and requires little care. Texas sage will brighten your outdoor space and provide colorful foliage. In addition to blooming in the late spring and fall, it produces attractive foliage that attracts beneficial insects. You can find varieties with differing colors and textures, from Silver Cloud to Green Cloud. A few tips for planting and caring for Texas sage will ensure that you get the best out of it.

The plant is a native to the southwestern United States. This shrub has silver-gray foliage and small, showy purple flowers. It is a low-maintenance choice that grows well in containers. It thrives in hot climates, making it an ideal choice for people in southern California. However, you should consider its size before planting it in your yard. If you don’t have the space for a large shrub, consider growing it in a container.

Another great choice for the hot climate of southern California is Caucasus sage. This shrub is compact and fast-growing, reaching a height of about 2 feet. Its bi-colored flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and it grows in full sun or partial shade. It is also drought-tolerant once established and is an excellent plant for rock gardens. The leaves are attractive to bees and butterflies , so it’s an excellent choice for gardeners.

‘Royal Purple’ and ‘Grace’ currants

Both ‘Grace’ and ‘Royal Purple’ currants are hardy, and they thrive in southern California gardens. The fruit of currants varies in size and shape. The fruit is typically translucent or black, and contains three to twelve minute, bony seeds. Typically, currants are self-fertile, but some cultivars are partially self-sterile and set more fruits when cross-pollinated. The fruit matures in 70-100 days after blooming.

‘Grace’ currant grows best in dry areas, where winter chills are a problem. This shrub has thick, glossy green leaves and blooms in December. It’s somewhat more compact than the other selections, but its flowers are fragrant and beautiful. The ‘Grace’ variety produces small, elegant clusters of white and red flowers on six-foot-tall shrubs.

‘Grace’ and ‘Royal Purple’ currants are the best shrubs in southern California. Both varieties have white or red flowers and glossy, dark green leaves. Their flowers attract hummingbirds, while their berries are not sticky. These currants grow in Southern Oak Woodland and are good for gardens. In addition to attracting birds, they do well in containers.

‘Catalina mariposa lily’

The Santa Catalina mariposa lily (Tracheophyta lilia) is a native of Southern California. The name translates to “beautiful grass,” and the plants beauty is apparent. They grow on rocky outcrops and are endemic to the region. There are 45 species of this beautiful shrub, and 12 of these are native to Los Padres National Forest.

This bulbiferous perennial herb is native to southern California, with flower stems that resemble bulbs. Its foliage has trimodal size distribution, with individual leaves ranging from five to 40 microns. The flower’s sepals and petals are purple spotted. The flowers have hairy nectaries and erect, non-angled fruits. The Catalina Mariposa Lily blooms from February through May.

The Mariposa lily is a member of the Liliaceae family, with about 40 species worldwide. A few species are cultivated for their beautiful flowers. Mariposa lilies typically grow from 15 to 130 cm tall, and their stems rise from corms. The flowers are bell-shaped, with a central spotted area. Mariposa lilies have spotted petals and an obvious basal gland.

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