Regions / San Diego Region
Selecting plants suited to the San Diego climate is a key step to success.
A plant's performance is governed by many climate related factors including the length of the growing season, the amount of rainfall, winter lows, summer highs, wind or humidity. Various initiatives have taken place to determine how well plants would withstand the cold winter temperatures (Plant Hardiness Zones) or when plants would start suffering from the heat (Plant Heat Zones). A more sophisticated approach has been followed by Sunset which defines Climate Zone Maps based not only on hardiness or heat tolerance, but also on precipitations, wind, humidity and various other climate related factors.
Striking all summer long, award-winning Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty' (Baneberry) is a beautiful perennial with dark reddish-purple, finely divided foliage, enhanced by gracefully arching wands of scented, pale pink flowers in late summer and fall. Their strong fragrance is reminiscent of summer phlox and ripe purple grapes.
Opening from pink buds in late summer to early fall, attractive, purple stemmed fluffy spires, packed with deliciously fragrant white flowers with a pink tinge, gracefully bob and sway in the breeze
Actaea simplex 'Mountain Wave' (Baneberry) is a herbaceous perennial prized for its finely-divided, bronze leaves and eye-catching flower spikes. Standing out in late summer to early fall, attractive, dark stemmed fluffy spires, packed with deliciously fragrant creamy-white flowers adorned with a purple tinge, gracefully bob and sway in the breeze.
Grown for its attractive foliage and edible fruit, Actinidia arguta 'Issai' (Hardy Kiwi Vine) is a compact, deciduous climber that produces grape-sized, smooth-skinned, green fruits in late summer to early fall. While they are smaller than grocery store varieties, they are slightly sweeter and enjoy an excellent flavor.
Actinidia deliciosa (Kiwifruit) is a vigorous, deciduous, woody-stemmed, twining climber with broadly ovate, heart-shaped, lustrous mid-green leaves, 5-8 in. long (12-20 cm). Slightly fragrant clusters of cup-shaped, creamy-white flowers are borne in late spring.
Prized for its flamboyant foliage, Actinidia kolomikta (Variegated Kiwi Vine) is a large vigorous deciduous climber producing a striking foliage mass of heart-shaped leaves, 3-5 in. long (7-12 cm), some in solid green, others white-splashed green and others heavily variegated with pink.
Creating a sparkling effect, Actinidia polygama (Silver Vine) is a vigorous, scrambling/twining, deciduous climber producing a striking foliage mass of heart-shaped, dark green leaves, 3-5 in. long (7-12 cm), adorned with silvery-white tips - as if each leaf has been dipped in paint.
Incredibly attractive, Adiantum aleuticum (Maidenhair Fern) is a deciduous or semi-evergreen, perennial fern with graceful, bright green fronds which open like the fingers of a hand atop upright, shiny, purple-black wiry stems. Each finger is further divided into a series of triangular segments (pinnules).
Incredibly attractive, Adiantum venustum (Himalayan Maidenhair) is a deciduous fern, almost evergreen in mild areas, with broadly triangular fronds composed of many small fan-shaped segments. Emerging in late winter to early spring, the new fronds display a charming salmon flush before maturing to fresh spring green.
Among the loveliest of Aeoniums, award-winning 'Sunburst' is an evergreen succulent with large variegated rosettes, 6-8 in. across (15-20 cm), of fleshy, spoon-shaped leaves. Held on long bare stems, the leaves are a delightful combination of creamy yellow and green stripes and are adorned with coppery red tips when exposed to the sun.
A truly captivating Aeonium, award-winning 'Zwartkop' is an evergreen succulent with large rosettes, 6-8 in. across (15-20 cm), of glossy, fleshy, dark burgundy, pointed leaves. If grown in full sun, the foliage of this Aeonium turns almost black, adding incredible drama and interest to the garden or containers.
Aeonium canariense is an impressive evergreen succulent with large velvety rosettes, 6-12 in. across (15-30 cm), of fleshy leaves. Fresh green when grown in part shade, the soft, fuzzy leaves become tinged with reddish pink when exposed to the sun.
A very pretty Aeonium, award-winning 'Kiwi' is an evergreen succulent with small variegated rosettes, 3-5 in. across (7-12 cm), of fleshy, spoon-shaped leaves. Creamy-yellow in their center, the pointed leaves gradually change to soft green towards their edges, which are elegantly adorned with a rose-red ribbon when adequately exposed to the sun.
Mostly native to the Canary Islands off the west coast of North Africa, Aeoniums are fascinating evergreen succulents with irresistible rosettes of fleshy, pinwheel leaves. Attractive when not blooming, they are particularly striking with their bright racemes of small, star-shaped flowers.
Blooming perpetually through the entire season, Agapanthus 'Blue Heaven' is an upright, clump forming African Lily with profuse rounded clusters packed with up to 80 dark violet-blue flowers. Blooming from early to late summer, they rise on stiff, upright stalks atop clumps of large, evergreen, strap-shaped leaves.
Native to South Africa, Agapanthus 'Bressingham Blue' is a flamboyant African Lily with showy, 4.5 in. (11 cm), rounded clusters of deep amethyst-blue flowers from mid to late summer. They rise on stiff, upright stalks atop clumps of beautiful, long, shiny leaves.
Free-flowering, Agapanthus 'Brilliant Blue' is a compact semi-evergreen African Lily boasting loose clusters of rich blue flowers, adorned with a darker stripe running through each petal. After 5 years, it will produce more than 100 flowers each summer.
Agapanthus 'Donau' is a lovely African Lily with showy rounded clusters of star-shaped, pale-blue flowers adorned with dark-blue central stripes. Blooming from mid to late summer, the showy flowers, up to 8 in. across (20 cm), rise on stiff, upright stalks atop clumps of beautiful, deciduous, arching, lustrous green leaves.
Flowering earlier than most varieties, Agapanthus 'Ever Sapphire' is a dwarf, semi-evergreen African Lily boasting loose clusters of deep blue flowers over a long season. Starting flowering in late spring, it reblooms throughout the summer for a long-lasting display.
Agapanthus 'Fireworks' is a compact African Lily boasting huge umbels densely packed with delicate trumpet flowers which change from dark, violet blue at the throat to pure white on the petal edges. They sit atop slender stalks that arise from a neat clump of strap-shaped, fresh green leaves.