replacing poppies, SE exposure,california native?

lynne3450May 22, 2011

Hi friends,

I just pulled out an overgrowth of California poppies in my backyard on a little patch that has Southeast exposure, and is shared by an orange tree, roses, a Douglas Iris and a Cleveland sage (Allen Chickering).

We're trying to stick to native California plants and flowers as we landscape.

Do you have any suggestions (native) that you'd like to recommend to me? I'd say we have about 8 ft x 3 ft. The poppies grew from seed this spring and it was quite a display, but I over planted them and once the blooms were gone it was quite a mess.

I'm considering Penstemon (various varieties available through Theodore Payne Foundation), Leonotis menthifolia (Lion's Mane flower, not a native, but low-water), or...?

I look forward to your suggestions! Thank you!

PS- I'd like to plant next weekend, yeah, end of spring/early summer, I know, not the ideal time to plant, but I'd like to give it a "go" and see what happens!

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

You might like to try Glaucium flavum or Yellow Horned Poppy. It is not a native though it is naturalized in the east. It is perennial and besides the yellow poppy bloom the foliage is very interesting. It will grow up to about 18 inches, with a silver gray foliage. Al

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 10:13PM
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oh, the yellow horned poppy looks pretty!

i like the idea of adding colorful flowers :) the area we're planting is very diverse and colorful, so anything with color is welcomed.

any other ideas?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 12:50AM
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Lynne, I confess I've made no effort to check out which of these are California natives, but if you're willing to consider leonotis. . . . I was only thinking about what might do well in a lot of sun and not so much water.
Here are some to consider:
Verbena bonariensis
Phlomis fruticosa
Penstemon Margarita BOP
Gaura lindheimeri
Stachys coccinea
Grevillea lanigera "Mt. Tamboritha"
Nepeta faassenii
Leucanthemum hosmariense

And of course there are drought tolerant herbs
rosemary, oregano, lavenders -- especially dwarf lavenders.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 9:20AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

Al, how do you do Glaucium flavum? By seeds or do you buy the plant. I found some seeds on ebay, but sometimes seeds don't work for me. Is it at half moon bay, sloat, summer winds? I have some colored ca poppies that finally did sprout, but I have a lot of area to cover and they are not working out in the bare areas. The ground must be too hard, because they won't take.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 10:18AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

They Glaucium flavum seeds will not start at all without at least 4 weeks of stratification, then their rate of germination is very good. I have never seen them for sale as seedlings. I am sorry to tell you the gophers also like them. Al

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 1:25PM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

That is fine, I don't have gophers, since I got rid of the lawn.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 12:40PM
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Thanks for your suggestions!

I did wind up buying two 4" pots of very colorful poppies (California natives, not THE California poppy- these look more exotic), a pink yarrow plant, a salvia pachyphylla ("rose sage") and a "powerline pink" sage to replace the poppies in this area.

I can't help myself! I have a real addiction to fragrant, colorful natives :)

Thank you for your advice, I had fun looking up the plants you suggested! :)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 11:22AM
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surfcityhb(10, Sunset 24)

I've had very good luck in a southern exposure with gaillardia "Oranges and Lemons" whose colors blend and create a similar patch of orange in the garden as a California poppy does, IMO. I interplant the two and the gaillardia continue on long after the poppies have come and gone. I never water them and I deadhead occasionally (about once a week) as needed. I have one group that's going on its third year and seriously, it blooms year-round in my zone 10b (Sunset 24). It's not native, but it blends nicely with my other drought-tolerant and native plants.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 6:46AM
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Very lovely, surfcityhb. Does your Oranges & Lemons get scale at the end of the season? Do you cut it to the ground for the winter?


    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 11:18AM
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I love the colors and fragrance too. I heavily mined a cactus hedge with cleveland sage. It smells really good out there after a rain.

I planted hummingbird sage (not the powerline pink kind) under a crape myrtle. I've had it for years and now it's completely encircled the crape.

If you can get your hands on the leonotis, it's spectacular. My family calls mine the "cheeto plant". I have never seen it in the nurseries around here (inland so cal): I bought mine in Ventura. It does really well inland.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 11:27AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I like yarrow a lot- especially the yellow with the gray foliage. The gaillardia is a pretty flower too. Leonotis gets HUGE in my yard- tree sized. I had to remove it before it ate the yard, and my husband has yet to forgive me. Blue flax is a nice perennial flower. I grew it from seed once and enjoyed the plant. Same with Mexican Hat. My Hummingbird Sage needs a bit of shade here to survive, but boy, does it smell good!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 11:56PM
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