Choosing plants for a garden in Los Angeles garden should be easy given the amount of warm weather and sunshine here, right? Not so fast. Some flowers prefer cooler weather and can’t tolerate California’s heat. That’s why most gardeners choose native plants which can handle anything the local climate throws at them. These plants need little water and promote a stronger environment since local pollinators prefer them. Here are some of the native plants and flowers that will thrive in your Los Angeles garden.

California Aster

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This perennial herb is part of the daisy family. The California Aster features fuzzy leaves that sit on a multi-branched stem. Mature flower heads will curl back to showcase florets in either white, pink, or lavender hues. Plant the California Aster on a sloped section of the yard with plenty of surrounding rocks.

Golden Yarrow

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The bright yellow blooms of this cheery plant capture the essence of Southern California. Golden Yarrow is also a member of the daisy family and grows all throughout the region as either a perennial or annual. A beautiful flower cluster sits on top of straight gray-green stems. Golden Yarrow is a common choice for Los Angeles gardens because it has an extended blooming season that offers gorgeous color to the yard.

Monkey Flower

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The bush Monkey Flower is a native perennial that can grow up to 5 feet tall and wide. The leaves of this shrub-like plant are sticky in texture and often have rolled edges. The flowers contain five large lobes found in a variety of colors from red, orange, and white. Monkey Flower is a favorite for pollinators like hummingbirds and bees. Plant in near an outside window so you can watch all the activity.

Big Berry Manzanita

Photo courtesy: Miguel Vieira

This large shrub is a standard plant found all over Los Angeles. The Big Berry Manzanita features oval light green-gray leaves that are smooth and slightly waxy. The plant can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide, but its size can depend on the conditions of the soil and climate of the garden. Those found in the desert with dry soil are smaller than those near the coastline. The white flowers of the Big Berry Manzanita grow in clusters that turn to large berries. The light red fruit is edible making it a target for neighborhood birds.

Bush Poppy

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Also known as the Tree Poppy, this native plant is an excellent addition to the garden given its moderate size. Bush Poppy will grow up to 10 feet high and 8 feet wide, making it perfect as a privacy hedge. The bush itself is an evergreen plant with textured leaves. The stars of the plant are the beautiful yellow poppy blooms that appear from late winter to early spring. These funnel-shaped flowers provide some reprieve from the winter as an early bloomer in the LA area.

California Sagebrush

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If you’re looking for more neutral colors in the garden, California Sagebrush is a great option. This scrubby plant grows all over the LA area in a wide range of elevations. It’s well known for its aromatic qualities. The size of the California Sagebrush often depends on the conditions, but most plants will be about 5 feet tall. Flowers do appear among the slender leaves of the plant but can be sparse. Plant this beauty on a southern facing slope that has dry soil.

Plenty of different styles, colors, and shapes are available when it comes to choosing plants for your garden. You’ll find tender perennial herbs to towering shrubs that love the dry and hot conditions. Consider adding all these native plants and flowers that will thrive in your Los Angeles garden this year.

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