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Need suggestions for backyard plants to replace the dead ones!

October 23, 2017

Hello gardeners!

I would love your suggestions for plants that are low-water and low-maintenance to plant in my yard. I live in a rental house and, over the past few years, we have accidentally killed nearly all the bushes and landscaping :(. I am in the SF Bay Area, and during the drought I couldn't bear to pour so much water into the ground and I think this, along with forgetfulness, is what killed everything. Despite my water use sensitivities, I feel like I need to reinvest in the landscaping because we've killed so much!

Can anyone suggest bushes or plants that I can buy and put in along the perimeter of the grass perhaps (then it will get some water from the sprinklers!) or along that back fence (where there used to be a lot of tall and bushy tree-type plants/bushes). Maybe vine-y plants, or easy-care bushes, or something else? I would really appreciate any suggestions!

Comments (12)

  • jayferg

    I love hebes. They don't need a lot of water and they bloom for a few months each summer. And, bees love them! Foliage is nice too. This is mine that gets morning sun.

  • Polina

    Thank you! I will look into this one!

  • PRO
    Red Berm

    There are a lot of options. U can look up your zone on www.monrovia.com under plants and put in sun or shade and vine or perennial etc and it will give u suggestions.its hard to tell sun or shade or how tall or what kind of flowers u want ...so Monrovia ships to plant nurseries all across the us they should have plants you can use.

    Polina thanked Red Berm
  • echolane

    There are so many options.....

    California natives are a natural choice. The Las Pilitas website has a ton of good information to get you started. Look up Ceonothus, Rhamnus (now called Frangula), Ribes, Rhus as a starting point for shrubs for along the fence line.

    its always good to mix in some deciduous plants. I really like Holodiscus and Physocarpus which have seasonal changes.. I'm sure others can suggest more.

    But don't feel the need to be a purist and choose only natives, Many Mediterranean and South African plants are from a similar climate and there are many wonderful choices.

    Grasses soften everything as they move with the slightest breeze. Again, there are tons of choices.

    Google can be your best friend in checking out possibilities.

    Polina thanked echolane
  • Polina

    Thank you so much!

  • Polina

    By the way, Red Berm: do you think I would want vine or perennial or something else? Which one is most likely to grow year after year, even if I forget to water it? Thanks!

  • PRO
    Red Berm

    So the only thing that will live without water is cactus.. maybe. Take a pic go to the garden center they will help u pick. They often have people who design there because they want u to buy their plants. The word perennial means something that grows year after year vines or shrubs are categorized under annual or perennial. I think what will dictate ur choice is if ur landlord lets u put a vine on the fence.

    Polina thanked Red Berm
  • emmarene9

    Which direction does that fence face? It looks shaded in the photo.

  • Polina

    I think the fence goes east-west! But there are no trees or anything anywhere so it's sunny most of the day.

  • Parker Turtle

    Pomegranate is very drought tolerant and low maintenance. You can get the ones for eating or the ornamental flowering ones. Be aware they grow into a very bushy tree.

    Polina thanked Parker Turtle
  • emmarene9

    I would plant two oleander against the fence but place them three feet out. Put one to correspond with each window of neighbors fence.

    I would not plant a vine or fruit tree at a rental home. You may be a diligent renter but many would not maintain the vine or clean up the fruit.

    I might recommend something else if you have power lines above the fence.

    Polina thanked emmarene9
  • socks

    Oleander is a tough plant which serves some landscapes well, but I would not use it if kids or dogs are around. Also in my area there is a disease killing oleander. Just my 2 cents.

    Polina thanked socks

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