Gerry Hernandez | Colusa County Master Gardener
Many people have asked the UCCE Master Gardeners of Colusa County, “What water-wise plants can I grow in my landscape?” Fall is for planting perennial plants. Here are four of our favorites.
Yarrows are a carefree plant. They generously bloom in summer and into early fall. Leaves are gray or green. Flower heads are usually flat clusters. Yarrows need only routine care. They are water-wise once established. This is a full sun plant. Yellow is a common color for yarrow but it can also be pink or white.
Blue Grama Grass, Bouteloua
This grass is about 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide. One or two in a border is striking but massed together they create a beautiful meadow. Once established, it needs virtually no water. The flower (inflorescence) is oddly attractive because it flowers on one side of the stem only. You can mow or cut it back once a year to a couple of inches high. It needs full sun.
Hens and Chicks, Echeveria
Hens and chicks take me back to my childhood. This is a succulent. It is a water-wise plant that needs a little bit of shade. Sculptural foliage rosettes look like blue-green succulent “flowers.” It spreads by producing plantlets that slowly form a groundcover.
Autumn Sage, Salvia greggii
The Master Gardeners have fallen in love with salvias. Salvia have showy flowers attract hummingbirds and beneficial insects; flowers profusely in the spring and fall. There are some native salvias but many are hybrids. They are a wonderful plant for flowers and pollinators.
— For more information, go to arboretum.ucdavis.edu