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California Native Plants for Intermediate Climate

You may find yourself wondering ‘What is intermediate gardening? Do I fall into this category? This is a tricky question because microclimates abound making mileage hard to go by. Assuming you don’t spend more than a couple of days at a time near 100 in the summer but also don’t describe your general weather as having a coastal influence you probably fit into this intermediate category. In other words you aren’t constantly cool but you aren’t altogether melting either. You are actually in a bit of a sweet spot, as you can most likely get away with some coastal plants (provided they are placed well) and still enjoy some of the desert jewels that need a bit more heat to really thrive. With this in mind the list of plants to choose from can be overwhelming! Condensed below is a list of plants that will give your garden a unique California feel while attracting some of the most beautiful butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators to be found in your neighborhood. Shade and watering requirements can be found on-line in our catalog or we can help you directly here at the nursery. Happy Planting!

Tips for Planting

  • Plant in fall and winter, your success rate will be much higher.
  • When planting avoid the heat of the day and heat waves.
  • Backfill with moist soil when planting.
  • When establishing a plant they will need more water than
    published requirements.
  • Pick up or download our planting guide or watch our planting
    video before putting plants into the ground.
  • Micro-climates are areas in your yard that don’t conform to
    average climate conditions and should be noted before planting (i.e. full sun site but even hotter than average due to reflected sun from walls and no air movement.)
  • Water deeply to reach the bottom of the root ball.

(*regionally appropriate nonnative, ASH afternoon shade, SH shade)

Water 2-4x a month

Botanical NameCommon NameSize/Shape/Habit
Achillea millefoliumYarrow1-2’ x 2-3’
Carpenteria californicaBush anemone4-8’ x 5’
Calliandra californica *Baja fairy duster2-6’ x 4-5
Lobelia laxiflora*Mexican lobelia3’ x 3-6’
Justicia californicaChuparosa2-3’ x 2-3’
Muhlenbergia rigensDeergrass2-3’ x 3’
Symphyotrichum chilenseCalifornia aster1-3’ x 3’
Vitis ‘Roger’s Red’California wild grapeclimbing

Water 1-2x a month

Botanical NameCommon NameSize/Shape/Habit
Artemisia californicaCalifornia sagebrush3-4’ x 2-3’
Baccharis ‘Pigeon Point’Prostrate coyote brush1-2’ x8’
Berberis sp.Barberrywide size range
Ceanothus speciesCalifornia wild lilacWide Size Range
Corethrogyne filaginifolia californicaAster1’ x 4-6’
Eriophyllum confertiflorumGolden yarrow2’ x 3’
Fallugia paradoxaApache plume4-6’ x 5’
Frangula (Rhamnus) californicaCoffeeberry5-15’ x 10’
Gambelia sp.Bush snapdragon3’ x 2-5’
Heuchera sp.Coral bells species1-2’ x 1-2’ SH
Iris Pacific Coast HybridsIris1’ x 2’ SH
Isocoma menziesiiGoldenbush 1-3’ x 3’
Monardella villosaCoyote mint 2’ x 2’
Penstemon sp.Bugler species1-3’ x 2-3’
Salvia sp.Sage speciesWide Size R
Thymophylla pentachaetaGolden dogbane 1′ x 1′

Water 1x a Month

Botanical NameCommon NameSize/Shape/Habit
Abutilon palmeri Palmer’s mallow5’ x 5’
Adenostoma fasciculatumChamise5’+ x 6’
Arctostaphylos ‘Byrd Hill’Byrd Hill manzanita8-10’ x 8’
Aristida purpureaPurple three awn1-2’ x 1’
Baccharis sp.Coyote bushWide Size Range
Cercocarpus betuloidesMountain mahogany6-20’ x 12’
Cercis occidentalisWestern redbud8-20’ x 10+’
Chilopsis linearisDesert willow10-20’ x 15’
Cupressus sp.Cypress species15’+ x 8-20’
Dudleya sp.Liveforever species1’ x 2’ ASH
Encelia californicaCoast sunflower3’ x 4’
Epilobium sp.California fuchsia 1-3’ x spreading
Eriogonum sp.BuckwheatWide Size Range
Heteromeles arbutifoliaToyon8-15’ x 15’
Lysiloma watsonii *Fern of the desert15’ x 15’
Malosma laurinaLaurel sumac8-15’ x 12’
Mirabilis laevisWishbone bush2’ x 3’
Peritoma arboreaBladderpod3-5’ x 5’
Prunus ilicifoliaHollyleaf cherry10-20′ x 10’+
Quercus sp. OaksWide Size Range
Rhus integrifoliaLemonade berry5-15’ x 10’+
Ribes speciosumFuchsia flowering gooseberry4-10’ x 7’ SH
Simmondsia chinensisJojoba6-10’ x 8’+
Sphaeralcea ambiguaDesert mallow2-3’ x 3’