Here at North Park Nursery, we get a lot of the same questions over and over – not because they’re bad questions, but because our customers all have many of the same problems that they need to solve! On our blog, we try to tackle some of these problems and encourage you to visit us so we can help you even further. In the past, we’ve touched on:
- – The perfect blooming, evergreen, fast-growing shade tree.
- – Fast-growing, drought-tolerant and full-sun screening shrubs: Part 1 and Part 2.
- – Recognizing and dealing with leaf miners on citrus trees.
- – Growing fruit trees in San Diego.
Today, we’ll look at some options for full sun, drought tolerant ground covers perfect for San Diego!
Baccharis – Baccharis is a California native that actually grows from a single base like a shrub, but sends long, low stems in all directions, forming a thick, dense and evergreen mat that is tough as nails. It is super drought tolerant, thrives in full sun and is perfect for difficult clay soil and for stabilizing slopes. Does not tolerate extended foot traffic.
Dymondia – Sometimes called silver carpet, Dymondia is a petite member of the daisy family. Green on top and a beautiful white-silver on bottom, it gets all-over yellow flowers. Very drought tolerant and sun-loving, it fills in at a moderate pace and is good for tight areas like between pavers. Takes well to foot traffic.
Ice Plant – Around Southern California, “ice plant” can be a dirty word. But there is a difference between the aggressive, invasive Carpobrotus edulis, a South African native that has overtaken many of our beloved beaches, and members of the genus Delosperma. These “hardy ice plants” are less aggressive and more demure in stature, but they have the same neon-colored blooms and are just prolific enough to fill in any space rapidly. Great for coastal areas, not very tolerant of foot traffic.
Mondo Grass – Dwarf mondo grass, which comes in a beautiful dark green and also an almost black purple color, is one of the most widely used lawn alternatives. It tolerates foot traffic, grows at a moderate to fast pace, is evergreen, thrives in full sun but takes some shade and requires very little water. What’s more, it is the ground cover that looks the most like a traditional lawn.
Sedum – There are a lot of different varieties of sedums, in various colors and shapes, from red to green. Sedum are succulents, and as such are one of the most drought- and sun-tolerant ground covers on this list. A mixed bed of different kinds of succulents looks almost like a field of wildflowers. Some of the most commonly used and fun cultivars include ‘Gold’ or ‘Dragon’s Blood’ – a bright neon yellow and deep blood red, respectively. Not tolerant of foot traffic.
Thyme – Low-growing thymes like ‘Woolly’ and ‘Elfin’ thyme are some of our customers’ favorite groundcovers. With their small, fairy-like lavender flowers and herbal fragrance, they appeal to kids and adults alike. They are great for small areas like between pavers and hold up well to foot traffic. Can be somewhat slow to establish.
If you see anything you must have, please give us a call or stop in to see about getting some ground cover to start your next project today!