No Need to Plant-Sit These California Natives

Going on vacation? Trying to find someone to care for your garden while you’re away? Well, this amazing duo of SoCal natives goes on vacay with you, as they need almost no water in the summer. Black sage and Flannel bush will lounge around your garden, perfectly blending with the beautiful and laid-back vibe of the SoCal summer. So take your time off and come back home to a garden that will look as fab as you do!

Black sage (Salvia mellifera)
Evergreen shrub, California native measuring 5’ tall and 5’ wide. Very fragrant, medium green leaves on a very low-water-use plant. White to lavender flowers held in whorls on stems, spring to summer. Attracts butterflies, birds, and native pollinators. No supplemental water needed if average rain has fallen in winter. If not, water once or twice in winter and perhaps once in summer.

Flannel bush, Fremontia (Fremontodendron californicum)
Evergreen shrub, California native measuring 20’ tall x 40’ wide. Extremely low water use. Bright yellow 3” flowers cover this plant from spring into summer making a dazzling sight. It doesn’t tolerate summer watering, so it’s a perfect fit for water conservation. The leaves and stems are covered with irritating hairs, so wear long sleeves if you need to prune it. Smaller hybrids are El Dorado Gold and Ken Taylor (4–6’ tall by 6–12’ wide).

Enjoy native flowering plants at TreePeople’s Coldwater Canyon Park headquarters!

Above: Photos of Black Sage (left) and Flannel bush (right) by Donnella Anderson.

  • lucinda

    Dear Linda
    Does Tree People have a list of appropriate landscapers to refer to the public for those who can’t do it for themselves and also need a plan?

    I am a Tree People board member and have this need for our own home.
    best Lucinda

    • Linda Eremita

      Sorry for the tardy reply Lucinda. We are developing a better system to give timely replies to blog comments! TreePeople does not have a referral list, but you might check with L.A.’s own Theodore Payne Foundation ( The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the understanding and preservation of California Native Wild Flowers and Plants.

      And stay tuned, because soon TreePeople’s website will have sample landscape plans, toolkits and more! Plus, quarterly at our Sustainability Workshops we offer the Native Plants and Turf Reduction workshop. The next one will be Saturday, October 5. You
      can sign up here