Description

The idea of a low maintenance garden or landscape is filled with many definitions and opinions. Plants are in a constant state of living and changing; there are seasons of growth and inactivity that include cycles of flowering, leaf dropping and seed production. And, plants need water and grooming to varying amounts for successful garden performance.

The plants included on this list are among the many choices that can grow will relatively little assistance or care after they are established. Such plants benefit from monthly inspections to remove competing weeds, accumulation of thatch, old flower stalks and general clean up of excessive leaf litter and growth. This monthly grooming should be supplemented with quarterly deep cleaning, trimming and refreshing the surface mulch. This type of maintenance regimen still involves commitment and work, and hopefully an appreciation and sense of satisfaction for helping plants succeed.

Plant List

Trees and Palms

Beaucarnia recurvata

Common Name: Ponytail palm
Plant Type: Tree
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 12 ft. - 25 ft.   Width: 10 ft. - 15 ft.

Brahea armata

Common Name: Blue hesper palm
Plant Type: Palm
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 30 ft. - 40 ft.   Width: 15 ft. - 20 ft.

Chamaerops humilis

Common Name: Mediterranean fan palm
Plant Type: Palm
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 10 ft. - 20 ft.   Width: 10 ft. - 20 ft.

Dracaena draco

Common Name: Dragon tree
Plant Type: Tree
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 25 ft.   Width: 25 ft.

Euphorbia ingens

Common Name: Candelabra tree
Plant Type: Tree
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 15 ft. - 25 ft.   Width: 5 ft. - 15 ft.

Shrubs

Baccharis pilularis

Common Name: Coyote brush
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 12 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 12 ft.

Cercocarpus betuloides

Common Name: Western mountain mahogany
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 10 ft. - 15 ft.   Width: 10 ft. - 15 ft.

Eriogonum arborescens

Common Name: Santa Cruz Island buckwheat
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 5 ft. - 6 ft.

Eriogonum cinereum

Common Name: Ashyleaf buckwheat
Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 6 ft.

Eriogonum parvifolium

Common Name: Cliff buckwheat
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft.   Width: 3 ft.

Fallugia paradoxa

Common Name: Apache plume
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Grevillea ‘Moonlight’

Common Name: Moonlight grevillea
Plant Type: Shrub
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 5 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 7 ft.

Iva hayesiana

Common Name: Hayes iva, Poverty weed
Plant Type: Shrub, Ground cover, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Perennials and Grasses

Achillea millefolium + cvs

Common Name: Common yarrow
Plant Type: Ground cover, Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 18 in. - 30 in.   Width: 18 in. - 30 in.

Baileya multiradiata

Common Name: Desert Marigold
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 24 in. - 30 in.

Carex buchananii

Common Name: Leather leaf sedge
Plant Type: Grass, Sedge
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Carex divulsa

Common Name: Berkeley sedge
Plant Type: Grass, Sedge
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 18 in.   Width: 18 in.

Carex pansa

Common Name: California meadow sedge
Plant Type: Ground cover, Grass, Sedge, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 8 in. - 10 in.   Width: 12 in. - 24 in.

Carex praegracilis

Common Name: Western meadow sedge
Plant Type: Ground cover, Grass, Sedge, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 15 in.   Width: 12 in. - 15 in.

Carex testacea

Common Name: Orange sedge
Plant Type: Grass, Sedge
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 18 in.   Width: 18 in.

Chondropetalum tectorum

Common Name: Small cape rush
Plant Type: Perennial, Rush
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Exposure: Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 5 ft. - 6 ft.

Dianella revoluta ‘Little Rev’

Common Name: Dwarf flax lily
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 18 in. - 24 in.   Width: 18 in. - 24 in.

Dianella tasmanica ‘Variegata’

Common Name: Variegated flax lily
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 2 ft.   Width: 2 ft.

Eriogonum crocatum

Common Name: Saffron buckwheat
Plant Type: Perennial, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 18 in. - 24 in.

Gaillardia x grandiflora

Common Name: Blanket flower
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 15 in. - 24 in.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Juncus patens

Common Name: California gray rush
Plant Type: Grass, Rush, Native
Water Needs: Moderate 3
Exposure: Morning sun, Moderate shade, All day sun
Height: 18 in. - 24 in.   Width: 18 in. - 24 in.

Phormium ‘Guardsman’

Common Name: New Zealand flax
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 5 ft. - 7 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Phormium ‘Jack Sprat’

Common Name: Jack Sprat dwarf flax
Plant Type: Perennial
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 18 in.   Width: 18 in.

Cacti and Succulents

Aeonium ‘Kiwi’

Common Name: Kiwi aeonium
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 1 ft. - 2 ft.

Aeonium ‘Sunburst’

Common Name: Sunburst aeonium
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 1 ft. - 2 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Aeonium arboreum ‘Zwartkop’

Common Name: Black rose aeonium
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Aeonium haworthii

Common Name: Haworth aeonium
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Agave ‘Blue Flame’

Common Name: Blue Flame agave
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 5 ft.

Agave ‘Blue Glow’

Common Name: Blue Glow agave
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 18 in. - 20 in.   Width: 18 in. - 20 in.

Agave americana ‘Mediopicta Alba’

Common Name: White-striped century plant
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Agave attenuata

Common Name: Fox tail agave
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 3 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 5 ft.

Agave attenuata ‘Boutin Blue’

Common Name: Blue fox tail agave
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 5 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 5 ft.

Agave bracteosa

Common Name: Spider agave
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 12 in. - 15 in.

Agave parryi + var

Common Name: Artichoke agave
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 2 ft. - 3 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Agave victoriae-reginae

Common Name: Queen Victoria agave
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 1 ft. - 2 ft.   Width: 1 ft. - 2 ft.

Agave vilmoriniana

Common Name: Octopus agave
Plant Type: Agave
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 5 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 5 ft. - 6 ft.

Aloe ‘Blue Elf’

Common Name: Blue Elf aloe
Plant Type: Aloe
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 15 in. - 18 in.   Width: 24 in.

Aloe arborescens

Common Name: Torch aloe
Plant Type: Aloe
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 6 ft. - 12 ft.   Width: 10 ft. - 12 ft.

Aloe barberae

Common Name: Tree aloe
Plant Type: Tree
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 20 ft. - 30 ft.   Width: 15 ft. - 20 ft.

Aloe plicatilis

Common Name: Fan aloe
Plant Type: Aloe
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 5 ft. - 6 ft.   Width: 5 ft. - 6 ft.

Aloe striata

Common Name: Coral aloe
Plant Type: Aloe
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 12 in. - 24 in.   Width: 12 in. - 24 in.

Aloe vera

Common Name: Medicinal aloe
Plant Type: Aloe
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 18 in. - 24 in.   Width: 18 in. - 24 in.

Aloe x nobilis

Common Name: Golden toothed aloe
Plant Type: Aloe
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 24 in. - 30 in.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Cereus peruvianus

Common Name: Apple cactus
Plant Type: Cacti
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 10 ft. - 12 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 12 ft.

Cistanthe grandiflora

Common Name: Rock purslane
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 12 in.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Crassula arborescens

Common Name: Silver dollar plant
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Crassula ovata + cvs

Common Name: Jade plant
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 6 ft. - 9 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 9 ft.

Crassula perfoliata var. falcata

Common Name: Propeller plant
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 1 ft. - 2 ft.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Dasylirion quadrangulatum

Common Name: Mexican grass tree
Plant Type: Yucca
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 8 ft. - 10 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 12 ft.

Dasylirion wheeleri

Common Name: Desert spoon
Plant Type: Yucca
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 ft. - 7 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 7 ft.

Delosperma ‘Alba’

Common Name: White trailing ice plant
Plant Type: Ground cover, Succulent, Iceplant
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 6 in. - 12 in.   Width: 18 in. - 24 in.

Drosanthemum floribundum

Common Name: Rosea ice plant
Plant Type: Ground cover, Succulent, Iceplant
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 4 in. - 6 in.   Width: 5 ft. - 6 ft.

Dudleya species

Common Name: Dudleya
Plant Type: Succulent, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 6 in. - 18 in.   Width: 12 in. - 18 in.

Echeveria ‘Afterglow’

Common Name: Afterglow echeveria
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun
Height: 6 in. - 8 in.   Width: 10 in. - 12 in.

Echeveria imbricata

Common Name: Blue rose echeveria
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun
Height: 6 in. - 12 in.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Echinocactus grusonii

Common Name: Golden barrel cactus
Plant Type: Cacti
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 24 in.   Width: 18 in. - 30 in.

Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire’

Common Name: Sticks on Fire
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 4 ft. - 8 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 5 ft.

Graptopetalum paraguayense

Common Name: Ghost plant
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 15 in.   Width: 2 ft. - 3 ft.

Hesperoyucca whipplei

Common Name: Our Lord's candle
Plant Type: Yucca, Native
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 6 ft.

Kalanchoe beharensis

Common Name: Felt plant
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 5 ft. - 7 ft.   Width: 5 ft. - 7 ft.

Kalanchoe luciae

Common Name: Flapjack plant
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 12 in. - 18 in.

Lampranthus aurantiacus

Common Name: Orange ice plant
Plant Type: Ground cover, Succulent, Iceplant
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 15 in. - 18 in.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Lampranthus deltoides

Common Name: Pink ice plant
Plant Type: Ground cover, Succulent, Iceplant
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 10 in. - 12 in.   Width: 24 in. - 30 in.

Lampranthus productus

Common Name: Purple ice plant
Plant Type: Ground cover, Succulent, Iceplant
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 15 in. - 18 in.   Width: 18 in. - 24 in.

Opuntia ficus-indica

Common Name: Indian fig
Plant Type: Cacti
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 10 ft. - 18 ft.   Width: 10 ft. - 18 ft.

Opuntia robusta

Common Name: Prickly pear, Nopal
Plant Type: Cacti
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 12 ft. - 15 ft.   Width: 12 ft. - 15 ft.

Opuntia violacea var. santa rita

Common Name: Purple prickly pear
Plant Type: Cacti
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 4 ft. - 5 ft.

Pedilanthus macrocarpus

Common Name: Lady's slipper
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 2
Exposure: All day sun
Height: 3 ft. - 4 ft.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.

Portulacaria afra

Common Name: Elephant's food
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 6 ft. - 8 ft.   Width: 6 ft. - 8 ft.

Sedum nussbaumerianum

Common Name: Coppertone stonecrop
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 12 in. - 15 in.   Width: 18 in.

Sedum x rubrotinctum

Common Name: Pork and beans
Plant Type: Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun
Height: 6 in. - 8 in.   Width: 12 in. - 15 in.

Senecio serpens

Common Name: Blue chalksticks
Plant Type: Ground cover, Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: Morning sun, All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 6 in. - 8 in.   Width: 1 ft. - 2 ft.

Senecio talinoides ssp. mandraliscae

Common Name: Blue finger
Plant Type: Ground cover, Succulent
Water Needs: Low 1
Exposure: All day sun, Partial sun
Height: 12 in. - 18 in.   Width: 3 ft. - 4 ft.