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Regional Picks: Plant It And Forget It – Southern California

Fine Gardening – Issue 179

Zones: 911

Size: 3 to 5 feet tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil

I am a leucadendron fanatic, and ‘Blush’ is one of my all-time favorites. This plant has great red color in its foliage, striking winter blooms, and low water needs. Its foliage or flowers can be used for cut-flower arrangements. Australian plants are notorious for struggling with high-phosphorus soils, so this plant does best with limited fertilizer in acidic soil that has good drainage. With its bright color and vertical architectural form, ‘Blush’ makes a great showpiece or highlight in a garden.

Zones: 710

Size: 2 to 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall

Conditions: Partial to full shade; moist, well-drained soil

I am testing out this California native at Descanso Gardens in our new wildlife landscape. This gentle spreader is easily established and thrives underneath shade trees. Don’t let its common name fool you: California hedge nettle does not have any stinging…

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