Las Pilitas Nursery

California Native Plants are all we grow!

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Santa Margarita, CA 93453

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This website is dedicated to Bert Wilson. His genius continues to inspire us.

Here are some popular and easy native plants for San Diego.

Native plants for full sun in San Diego:

These plants should be considered when building a native garden or a wildlife garden in San Diego or Southern California. Doesn't look like plastic plants and a lawn? Looks different to the birds and butterflies too.
Arctostaphylos Ian Bush with an Anna Hummingbird. This manzanita is easy in most of coastal California. - grid24_6
Arctostaphylos 'Ian Bush' is a nice five foot manzanita that works in the Western Half of San Diego County.
Pozo Surf or Parking Strip without water for years, about at about 8 years old. It seems to grow about 60 cm, 25-30 inches high and 6 ft., 2 meters  wide. The customers in San Diego love this plant. - grid24_12
Baccharis 'Pozo Surf' All Baccharis are tough plants and will survive in San Diego with no water.
This Costa hummingbird matches the desert willow flowers very well. This hummingbird loves the flowers of Southern California native plants.. San Diego is about the middle of it's range. - grid24_6
Chilopsis linearis, Desert Willow flowers in summer in the inland areas of San Diego, The only place it might not work is a mile from the ocean.
Encelia farinosa  Brittlebush, Goldenhills, Incienso in full flower. It will do this in most of Southern California with no irrigation. - grid24_12
Encelia farinosa is a big daisy that needs no water after the first summer in most of San Diego County. Yes, even Hellhole Canyon.
Lonicera subspicata denudata, San Diego Honeysuckle makes a nice small groundcover. - grid24_6
Lonicera subspicata grows as a mounding grouncover in the mountains and coastal areas of San Diego.
This bush mallow is native to South California and does well in Los Angeles and San Diego. - grid24_6
Malacothamnus densiflorus, Many Flowered Bushmallow grows from Hellhole Canyon across to San Diego City.
Laurel Sumac, Malosma is native in Los Angels and south to San Diego. This was a slope in North San Diego. - grid24_12
Malosma laurina, Laurel Sumac grows in most of the populated areas of San Diego.
When Penstemon centranthifolius, Scarlet Bugler, is massed it can be very showy. I've come across clumps like this from San Luis Obispo, North Los Angeles  and  San Diego. - grid24_12
Penstemon centranthifolius, Scarlet Bugler grows from Jacumba. to San Diego and up into middle California.
Penstemon spectablis, Showy Monkey flower with an Anna Hummingbird. Hard to beleive this used to be common in the Santa Monica Mtns, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Eagle Rock  and most of Southern California. - grid24_6
Penstemon spectabilis, Showy Penstemon can be found from the desert to the coast in most of Southern California.
Rhus integrifolia, Lemonade Berry flower cluster. This is a great plant for coastal bluffs from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. In inner San Diego county it looks like a small oak tree with these flowers. - grid24_6
Rhus integrifolia, Lemonade Berry makes a groundcover near the coast, a small tree in the edge of the desert.
Rhus ovata, Sugar Bush in the garden. What a great hedge plant. Although it is sometimes called flammable, it is less flammable than most commonly watered garden shrubs, and it needs no water in most of Southern California, in particular Los Angeles. - grid24_6
Rhus ovata, Sugarbush makes a large bush in all of San Diego county.
A Costa hummingbird on a compact white sage. - grid24_6
Salvia apiana, White Sage either regular or the compact form will do fine in San Diego.
A Bumblebee Moth or Snowberry Clearwing, Hemaris sp.  working a Salvia clevelandii Alpine flower. When he flies between flowers the tongue is rolled. These moths used to be out at night all over Southern California. Imagine going out in the evening in Santa Barbara or Los Angeles and finding a Bumblebee moth working the flowers. - grid24_6
Salvia clevelandii 'Alpine' grows from the desert edges to coastal bluffs without any irrigation.
Salvia leucophylla Pt. Sal is a rather low purple sage that has pinkish purple flowers. This was in a San Diego area garden. - grid24_6
Salvia leucophylla, 'Point Sal' is a gray ground cover that needs no extra water.
Here is Salvia mellifera repens on a coastal bluff. - grid24_6
Salvia mellifera repens grows a few feet tall inland, flat along the bluffs in San Diego.
Salvia Pozo Blue flowers are a perfect setup for butterflies, native bees, bumblebees, hummingbirds and moths. The seeds are loved by quail and does well in most California gardens with no extra water. - grid24_6
Salvia 'Pozo Blue' is a very easy sage that will grow on coastal bluffs or most of inner San Diego.

If you want Hummingbirds and butterflies in San Diego, plant some native plants like Salvia 'Pozo Blue' sages.

Sphaeralcea ambigua, Desert Mallow makes great flower. - grid24_6
Sphaeralcea ambigua, Desert mallow does well in most of Southern California.
Woolly Blue Curls, Romero and Blue Curls,  Trichostema lanatum - grid24_6
Trichostema lanatum Woolly Blue Curls is native Monterey County to Baja and does well in San Diego.
This San Diego Sunflower had been in flower for months when I took this picture. They flower most of the spring and summer. - grid24_12
Viguiera laciniata, San Diego Sunflower, is in flower most of the year, in full sun, with no extra water.
Zauschneria californica Bert's Bluff was native on a coastal bluff but does very well inland and is hardy to about 0F, -15C. A great native plant fro your garden. In a school garden it starts flowers about when school starts. - grid24_6
Zauschneria 'Bert's Bluff' grows well in watered gardens, but is tolerant of drought.

California fuchsia could be called Hummingbird Fuchsia. This grows in most of Southern California with no extra water after first summer. This is an easy native plant for most gardens.

Native plants for part sun in San Diego:

If the summer temperatures are cool, and there is some moisture near by, these plants will grow in full sun.

Here are a few native plants that you can try in shade.

hummingbird sage flower closeup - grid24_6
Salvia spathacea, Hummingbird Sage will survive in nearly full shade and is drought everywhere but the desert.
Satureja chandleri Shrubby Yerba Buena, Mountain Balm and San Miguel savory.  - grid24_12
Satureja chandleri, Shrubby Yerba Buena grows native from De Luz to Otay.

A native plant garden with a number of San Diego native plants. This planting has been in for about 12 years with no water.