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Landscaping Tips: Winters in San Diego


Now that the frost has come to kill the majority of your plants, it’s time to find environmentally-friendly alternatives that can handle the cold. Sometimes it can be hard to find drought-tolerant, cold-hardy plants that are bright enough to liven up your winter landscape. Do not despair! There are options to bring color to your yard; you just have to ask the right people.

  • Snapdragons: These vibrant flowering plants are known for handling cold weather, but not heavy freezes, so they are perfect for the San Diego climate.
  • Camellia: This beautiful tree comes in a few different colors such as white and pink. Related to the tea-producing Japanese Camellia, this shrub is vibrant and cold-hardy.
  • Kafir Lily: This bright reddish-orange shrub adds much-needed color to any winter landscape. Try to plant these in late summer when the soil is still warm.
  • Carnations: Everyone’s favorite friendly flower is also quite resistant to most light frosts, which is hopefully all you’ll get in San Diego anyway.
  • Phlox: While this encompasses quite a few annuals and perennials, they are all pretty hardy as well as drought tolerant. They can add a great splash of pink, purple, white or red to any winter landscape.
  • Osteospermum: Known as a spring or fall flower in most areas of the country, this bloom can survive San Diego’s mild winter with the best of them. This easy to grow varietal is commonly used in containers, beds, and borders.
  • Yarrow: This small perennial is native to San Diego, and boasts drought tolerance as well as cold hardiness. You most often find white flowers of this varietal, and it even does well near the coast.

Vegetables: A great thing about winter vegetables is that they almost always bring some green to your landscape. Consider some leafy greens, and bulb varieties such as spinach, celery, kale, carrots, parsnips, turnips and leeks to add some green to your yard this winter.

Many local San Diegans like to take advantage of the mild year-round temperatures by creating outdoor seating and entertaining areas. You can light up your front or back yard with outdoor holiday lights, incorporate fire pits for warmth, an host a unique outdoor evening in the dead of winter! 


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