En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - August 09, 2012

From: San Diego, CA
Region: California
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Drought-tolerant trees for planters in San Diego
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We need some ideas for a drought tolerant tree that will provide shade (4 foot raised planters in sunny location) not get too big when mature, and not too messy. San Diego

ANSWER:

Here are some suggestions for San Diego native small trees/large shrubs that are drought tolerant and should do well in your large planters:

Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber (Birch-leaf mountain-mahogany) is evergreen and grows to about 15 feet.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and from the Theodore Payne Foundation under its synonym, Cercocarpus betuloides.

Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow) is deciduous and here are descriptions from Las Pilitas Nursery in Escondido and Santa Margarita and from the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Comarostaphylis diversifolia (Summer holly)  is evergreen and is a slow-grower to 20 feet.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and from the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon) is evergreen and usually grows to 6 or 8 feet but can grow as high as 20 feet.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Malosma laurina (Laurel sumac)  is evergreen and can grow to 18 feet.   Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and the Theodore Payne Foundation.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Smooth mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Summer holly
Comarostaphylis diversifolia

Toyon
Heteromeles arbutifolia

More Shrubs Questions

Evergreen thorny bush for California
May 01, 2010 - I need to find an evergreen thorny type bush, shrub or tree that will grow with about 3-4 hours of morning sun only. Prefer CA native, inland/semi coastal. Purpose: To provide a deterrent for "tag...
view the full question and answer

A method for killing nandina and ligustrum with herbicide
October 19, 2012 - Is there an effective herbicide that can be painted on the stumps of Nandina and Wax-leaf ligustrum to keep them from growing back? Thanks so much!
view the full question and answer

Climbing native roses for Garland TX
December 02, 2011 - I live in Garland, Dallas County, TX and would like climbing roses on the trellis situated against my brick home. What kind would you recommend for the area and any that would be easy to care for. T...
view the full question and answer

Care for lantana in Katy TX
December 04, 2010 - Hello. I live in Katy TX and have a number of Lantana shrubs. How and when should they be cut back?
view the full question and answer

Plants for a creek bank in Northern Illinois
March 26, 2009 - Hello. I live in Northern Illinois. The creek (northern exposure in a wooded area) on the back of my property has bare muddy banks and is subject to seasonal floods. I want to plant something hardy t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center