Shrubs and perennials
When selecting shrubs and perennials for a garden, keep the following in mind:
What role will the plants play?
- hedge or screen
- feature plant
- seasonal color
- low border
How much space will the mature plant fill?
Measure your available space. Choose a plant whose mature size will not require constant pruning to keep it within that space.
What irrigation is available and what else is watered on this valve?
Match plants with similar watering requirements for the health of the plants and to conserve water. Most landscape plants' general water use can be found on the Water Use Classification of Landscape Species website.
Is this plant suitable to my climate and my site?
Look for site conditions such as full sun, part sun or shade; level or sloped ground; heavy clay or well-drained sandy loam soil. Check the recommended references below to see if your desired plant is recommended for your site and climate zone; San Joaquin County is in USDA zone 9 and Sunset Climate Zone 14.
Be sure the plant is not considered invasive for your area.
You can find out which plants are considered invasive in your area by visiting: https://plantright.org/about-invasive-plants/plant-list/.
The resources and links below will help you choose, plant, and maintain the best plants for your SUSTAINABLE gardens and landscapes. Several of the book resources contain lists of plants for specific categories like hedges, shade plants, or plants with colored foliage.
- Sunset Western Garden Book
- Plants and Landscapes for Summer-dry Climates (EBMUD)
- California Gardener's Guide; Vols. 1 & 2
- Landscape Plants for California Gardens
UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars
Plants for low water-use, low-maintenance, and pest and disease resistance. Also has planting plans for theme gardens.
Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS IV)
Lodi's Sustainable Gardening Guide
Stockton's Water-Wise Gardening Guide
Click on plants and garden galleries for regionally appropriate plants