Two Native Plants for Your Southern California Garden

Now is a perfect time to grow your garden green. While other parts of the world are snow-covered and frigid, Southern California’s mild, wet winters make this season ideal for planting climate-friendly natives that provide habitat for our native fauna. Here are two beautiful California evergreen shrubs to check out and add to your weekend plans.

Twin Peaks 2 Coyote Brush (Baccharis pilularis; native evergreen shrub; 3’ tall by 8’ wide; full sun)

This shrub makes a great undulating groundcover. Twin Peaks 2 needs very little water, other than our natural rainfall. If the winter is dry, water it monthly. Soaking it once a month during summer will keep it very green and fire resistant, thus making it beneficial to those living next to wildlands. It’s also good for slope stabilization.

Ceanothus Lemon Ice (Ceanothus hybrid; native evergreen shrub; 3–5’ tall by 3½–5’ wide; full sun; upright growth habit)

The chartreuse yellow and green variegated leaves and powder blue flowers that bloom all spring make this plant an eye-catcher. Near the coast it can get by without water in summer, but in hotter temps a couple of light waterings won’t hurt. Inland, water it every one-to-two months in summer. It’s good for slope stabilization and attracting butterflies.

Above: Twin Peaks 2 Coyote Brush (Baccharis pilularis). Photo courtesy of

By Lisa Cahill

Lisa Cahill first began her work with TreePeople as a volunteer Citizen Forester. She currently serves on the board of directors for the reDiscover Center, continues to volunteer as a Citizen Forester, has been on the Mar Vista Green Garden Tour and serves on several green committees at her church and children's schools. She most enjoys working in the garden with her husband, watching her children and vegetables grow.