Hearty plants for planters on concrete SoCal

sarahsgardenOctober 15, 2010

I need to find hearty plants to put in 16" square planter boxes that are located on concrete at our school. There are 34 planter boxes in the courtyard. I think lantana will work, along with boxwood, heavenly bamboo, some types of rosemary, lavendar, and sage. What are your recommendations. We need some color and some variety, but don't want to replace these plants often. We are located in the Santa Clarita Valley and have hot summers and mild winters.

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Sarah, you might want to visit the display garden at CLWA.
Its on Bouquet Canyon on the hill up above Central Park.
The link below is a list of plants in the garden.
I do think Lantana and sages are a great choice. But the Lantana here in the valley will frost and turn really dark purple and sometimes black by Feb. It comes back fine in the spring. Although the concrete might be enough warmth to prevent that damage.
I would go with salvia microphylla as first choice and s. gregii as second.
The lavenders will require deadheading. If you do french lavender it can get 5 feet around and hundreds of flowers...thats alot of deadheading. Personally I like the look of french lavender over spanish.
You might consider sweet pea bush polygala dalmaisiana
or rock roses cistus. Both will require very little care.
Once the rock roses are established little water is needed.
Something else to consider the lavenders, sages and lantana will attract honey bees. They don't normally sting but some children might be afraid.

Here is a link that might be useful: CLWA plant list

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 3:44PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I am a fan of Sprenger asparagus ferns in containers. Ivy geranium. Trailing rosemary. I would avoid boxwood- they often turn yellow in full sun.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 1:00AM
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domehome(9 CA)

How about succulents?
There are also some good native plants like penstemmon that have nice flowers and will really take the heat. Mint might be another good one, at least you won't have to worry about the kids being poisoned by the plants!
I suggest you look up poisonous plants online before making your final decision.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 2:00AM
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I think domehome has the right idea: succulents.

16 inches square is a SMALL planter box and with most plants, you'll need to replce them often or at least put in lots of maintenance to keep them looking good.

Here's some good succuelents for such containers. Some of these are spectactular when in bloom. Do "arrangements" within each planter:

Aeonium haworthii âÂÂKiwiâ GOLDEN PINWHEEL
Aeonium manriqueorum âÂÂZwartkopâ BLACK-HEADED PINWHEEL
Aloe brevifolia SHORT-LEAF ALOE
Aloe vera ALOE VERA
Cephalophyllum pillansii SPARKLING ICE PLANT
Cistanthe grandiflora ROCK PURSLANE
Cotyledon tomentosa BEARâÂÂS PAWS
Cotyledon undulata SILVER RUFFLES
Deuterocohnia brevifolia CLUSTER BROMELIAD
Drosanthemum micans FLAME ICEPLANT
Drosanthemum speciosum SHOWY DEW FLOWER
Dudleya brittonii SILVER DOLLAR PLANT
Echeveria agavoides HENS-AND-CHICKS
Echeveria derenbergii HENS-AND-CHICKS
Echeveria elegans HENS-AND-CHICKS
Echeveria gibbiflora HENS-AND-CHICKS
Echeveria pulvinata HENS-AND-CHICKS
Echeveria runyonii âÂÂTopsy-Turvyâ HENS-AND-CHICKS
Echeveria shaviana HENS-AND-CHICKS
Echeveria âÂÂBlue Curlsâ HENS-AND-CHICKS
Echeveria âÂÂBlue Horizonâ HENS-AND-CHICKS
Echeveria âÂÂBarbillionâ HENS-AND-CHICKS
Echeveria âÂÂBittersweetâ HENS-AND-CHICKS
Echeveria âÂÂDondoâ HENS-AND-CHICKS
Gasteria batesiana OX-TONGUE
Graptopetalum bellum SUPER STAR
Graptopetalum paraguayense SILVER GHOST
x Graptosedum âÂÂVera Higginsâ GRAPTOSEDUM
Hechtia marnier-lapostollei FALSE AGAVE
Kalanchoe pumila FLOWER DUST PLANT
Kalanchoe thyrsiflora PADDLE PLANT
Kalanchoe tomentosa PANDA PLANT
Lampranthus deltoides OSCULARIA
Othonna capensis LITTLE PICKLES
Sedum cauticoloa âÂÂLedakenseâ STONECROP
Sedum forsterianum elegans âÂÂSilver Stoneâ SILVER STONE SEDUM
Sedum glaucophyllum CLIFF STONECROP
Sedum grisebachii ATHOS STONECROP
Sedum seiboldii AUTUMN DAPHNE
Sedum seiboldii mediovariegata VARIEGATED AUTUMN DAPHNE
Sedum spathulifolium PACIFIC STONECROP
Sedum spurium DRAGONâÂÂS BLOOD
Sedum tetractinum CHINESE STONECROP
Senecio articulatus CANDLE PLANT
Senecio scaposus SILVER CORAL
Yucca desmettiana RED YUCCA


    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 12:05PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Yes, succulents. They are good for years potted and require very little care, and are very "in" now so there's lots of selection available.

Make sure you select those with a high tolerance for reflected light and heat. Not all of them can take that environment.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 6:19PM
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