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Water Wise Plants for Santa Barbara

Water Wise Plants for Santa Barbara

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Water Wise Plants for Santa Barbara
Water Wise Plants for Santa Barbara

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Published by: Water Wise Gardening Landscape Group on Aug 11, 2012
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08/11/2012

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2
 
Water Wise Plants
for Santa Barbara
Water Wise Plants
for Santa Barbara
 
1
Water Wise Plants
for Santa Barbara
W
ould you like to have a beautiful lush landscape but use less water? In our semi-aridclimate, the water requirements of a plant are an important consideration. This list isdesigned to give the homeowner suggestions for reliable, water wise plants that can be used to create a beautiful landscape. These plants are adapted to our climate, reasonablydrought tolerant, locally available, fairly resistant to pests and diseases, grow well in varyingconditions and long-lived. We hope this gives you a good starting place for ideas for yourlandscape.
Cercis occidentalis in the background along with Eriogonum giganteum and Artemesia ‘David’s Choice’ in the foreground make for a striking border along the pathway winding throughout this garden.
 
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Arbutus ‘Marina’ 
Description:
Usually a single-trunked evergreentree to 40 ft. tall and wide, often smaller.Oblong leathery deep green leaves, handsomereddish-brown shredded bark. Pink flowers infall. Medium growth rate.
Landscape use:
Specimen tree, large screeningplant.
Cultural conditions:
Plant in full sun. Can takeregular watering or very little once established.No fertilizer. Tolerates a wide range of soils.No pests or diseases.
Brahea armata 
(Mexican Blue Palm)
Description
:
 
Single-trunked fan palm to 40 ft.tall with a crown 6-8 ft. wide. Leaves are large,pale bluish silver. Flower stalks are pendulous,very showy, creamy white. Slow growing.
Landscape use:
Specimen palm tree. Plant sev-eral for a grove effect. Good near swimmingpools.
Cultural conditions:
Full sun. No water or fertil-izer for established plants. Tolerates most soils,heat, wind. No significant pests.
Cercis occidentalis 
(Western Redbud)California Native Plant
Description
:
Deciduous multi-trunked tree to15-18 ft. tall, equally wide. Leaves are blue-green, rounded, to 3 in. in diameter. Flowersare magenta and occur on bare branches inearly spring. Brownish seed pods accom-pany foliage in spring and summer. Mediumgrowth rate.
Landscape use:
Specimen tree, hillside plant,native garden plant.
Cultural conditions:
Full sun best. No water orfertilizer once established. Tolerates most soils.Resistant to oak root fungus. Best planted infall. Flowers best inland or in low spots wherewinter temperatures are cool.
Dodonaea viscosa 
(Hopseed Bush)
Description
:
Multi-trunked evergreen tree-likeshrub to 15 ft. tall and wide. Foliage is willow-like, green (popular cultivar D.v. ‘Purpurea’has bronze-colored leaves). Small flowers arefollowed in summer by attractive clusters ofpapery winged seeds. Trunks are twisted,shaggy-barked and interesting. Fast growing.
Landscape use:
Specimen tree, mass planting,tall screening shrub. Can also be pruned asa hedge or espalier. Not for high fire hazardareas.
Cultural conditions:
Full sun or part shade. Nowater or fertilizer needed; will tolerate regularwatering. Grows in almost any soil, as wellas adapting well to wind, heat, seaside condi-tions.
Eucalyptus ficifolia 
(Red-Flowering Gum)
Description:
Evergreen, single-trunked tree to40 ft. tall, with rounded crown. Leaves areoblong, leathery, 3-7 in. long, deep green.Flowers in big clusters nearly all year, withpeak of bloom in July and August. Most bloom light red, but other colors occur in sometrees, including salmon, orange, cream, orlight pink. One-inch seed pods follow flower-ing. Medium fast growth rate.
Landscape use:
Specimen tree, massing, coloraccent.
Cultural conditions:
Full sun. No watering need-ed once established. Tolerant of a wide rangeof soils. May be susceptible to Eucalyptuslonghorn borer. Prune to control growth.Remove clusters of seed pods from trees forthe first few years to avoid damage from theirweight. Do not plant in lawns. Best perfor-mance is on coast, less successful inland.
Eucalyptus torquata 
(Coral Gum)
Description:
Evergreen, erect, usually single-trunked tree to 20 ft. tall, with a narrow crown,drooping branches. Leaves are light green,either long and narrow or roundish. Flowersare coral and yellow, very showy, occur on andoff all year long. Seed pods are also attractive.Bark is rough, peeling. Medium fast grower.
Landscape use:
Specimen tree or grove. Goodflowering tree for small area. Good cut flowers.
Cultural conditions:
Full sun. No wateringneeded. Tolerant of a wide range of soils. May be susceptible to Eucalyptus longhorn borer.Prune to control growth. Staking and prun-ing of young trees is advised to develop goodform.
Geijera parviflora 
(Australian Willow)
Description:
 
Evergreen, usually single-trunkedtree 25-30 ft. tall, 20 ft. wide. Leaves are nar-row, fine-textured, medium green, pendulous.Flowers and fruit are insignificant. Overalleffect is reminiscent of weeping willow, butwithout its disadvantages. Medium fast growing.
Landscape use:
Specimen or background tree,mass planting. Good patio tree. Non-invasiveroots make it a good candidate for pavedareas.
Cultural conditions:
Full sun. Tolerates consider-able drought or regular watering. No fertilizerneeded. Likes well-drained soil; otherwisetolerant of wide range of soils. No pests.
Jacaranda mimosifolia 
(Jacaranda)
Description:
Single-trunked deciduous or semi-evergreen tree 25-40 ft. tall, 15-30 ft. wide.Foliage is very fine-textured, light green,deciduous from February—March throughMay—June. Canopy is tall, open, casting verylight shade. Flowers are lavender, very showy,usually in June, but occurring any time fromApril to September. Large circular brown seedpods can be a nuisance when they drop.
Landscape use:
Specimen tree, massing.
Cultural conditions:
Full sun. Water infrequentlyin summer. No fertilizer needed. Toleratesmany soils, best in a sandy loam. No pestproblems. Resistant to oak root fungus. Bestaway from immediate coast and out of verycold spots. Stake and prune young trees todevelop good form.
Special remarks:
One of our showiest and bestloved trees.
Leptospermum laevigatum 
(Australian Tea Tree)
Description:
Single- or multi-trunked ever-green tree or large shrub to 30 ft. tall, some-times wider in age. Leaves are small, oval,olive-green. Canopy is dense, often weeping.Flowers are white, single,
1/2
in. wide, occur inspring. Trunk is picturesquely twisted, withgreat character. Bark is shaggy and brown.Medium-fast growing.
Trees
Brahea armata Arbutus ‘Marina’ 

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