DECEMBER 2017 – It’s the most wonderful time of the year in San Diego, because of Christmas of course, but also because it’s the perfect time to take advantage of cooler temperatures when some of the most colorful and beautiful flowers used in landscaping thrive. Our in-house designer Ryan Burrow recommends Cyclamen, Poinsettias, Dianthus, Pansies, Snapdragons, Lisianthus and Euphorbia, which all make excellent additions to residential and commercial landscapes.
Cyclamen, known for their characteristic “four leaves up – one leaf down” formation, come in red, white, pink, and purple. These plants grow to about 8 inches in height when in full bloom and do well in shade to partial sun or full sun on the coast. To keep these plants looking beautiful and vibrant in the winter, simply twist and pull dead blooms to “dead-head”. Cyclamen go dormant in the summer but are perennials that can live up to 100 years when cared for properly.
In other parts of the country, Poinsettias are popular houseplants during the holiday season, but here in San Diego they make a stunning addition to color beds. This sub-tropical plant native to Mexico comes in white, red, and variations of those colors. They thrive in San Diego’s cooler winter weather, but be sure they stay on the dry side. Plant classic red toward the back of your bed with Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ in front for a timeless Christmas look.
Dianthuses are sometimes called “pinks” and they belong to the same plant family as Carnations. They come in reds, whites, pinks, purples, and variations of those colors, bloom beautifully in full sun, and are often planted in borders. Dianthuses reach between six to 18 inches tall and have a spicy fragrance.
Pansies come in a variety of colors from purple to gold, adding a cheerful splash of color to your winter landscape. They thrive in cold weather, and will take frost. Pansies do well in full sun to partial shade but are not entirely heat resistant. Pansies grow to about six to nine inches in height and can last the entire winter in San Diego. Keep them looking fresh by removing dead flowers regularly.
Snapdragons come in a variety of colors. They love cooler weather and will bloom until it starts warming up in spring. These flowers can grow anywhere from six inches to three feet, so they are often used as “mid-sized” additions to landscaping planted between shorter and taller plants. Snapdragons do well in sun to partial shade. Many are fragrant and can even be cut and used in indoor flower arrangements.
The multi-layered overlapping petals of Lisianthus give this stunning flower a rose-like appearance. Varieties include a wide range of colors including white, pink, purple, and yellow. These flowers are tall like Snapdragons and can bring a pop of color toward the back of your beds. Like Snapdragons, Lisianthus are elegant as cut flowers and are often found at local farmers’ markets and florist shops. Lisianthus do best in a sunny spot with well-drained soil.
Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’
Don’t let the delicate lacey looking white bloom of Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ fool you. This plant is drought tolerant and will bloom almost year-round. This plant does well in sun to part sun to shade. Growing 12 to 18 inches tall, it makes a great addition to any color bed. Unlike many of the other varieties, Euphorbia does not need to be deadheaded.
Want to learn more about how you can take advantage of cooler temperatures to make your landscape come alive with winter color? Please call us at (619) 579-9151 to schedule a visit from one of our in-house designers.
A Word About Wildfires
As of this writing, six major Southern California wildfires stretching from Santa Barbara County to San Diego County have burned over 140,000 acres. Approximately 200,000 residents have been evacuated and 23,000 homes have been threatened.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our friends and neighbors across the county in the path of the fire. Thank you to our first responders who risk their lives to keep San Diegans safe. Read more about protecting your family and property against wildfires including: creating a defensible space, planting fire resistant vegetation, and preparing a fire evacuation plan in our July blog post.