Not all perennials can tolerate the California sunshine, whose vibrant, constant rays trigger the state to be listed by the USDA as owned by gardening zones 8 to 11. Perennials that look beautiful in the spring usually fold beneath the extreme warmth of the California summer sunlight, resulting in flowerbeds that appear haggard and uncared-for. Gardeners who lack trees and buildings to offer respite in the sun can pick to pick crops that relish, rather than reject, warm, dry conditions.
Flowering plants thrive in conditions that are warm, creating their most outstanding blooms in locations with sunlight. Cultivars of Cheddar pinks (Dianthus gratianopolitanus) such as Firewitch and Tiny Rubys are tolerant of heat and humidity, growing into a mature height of between one to two feet and creating little pink blooms. Coneflowers (Echinacea spp.) turn into up to 3-feet tall, creating showy daisylike pink or purple flowers.
Where they develop in sunny, warm problems, many well-known culinary herbs hail in the Mediterranean area of Europe. Heat-loving herbs contain rue (Ruta graveolens), a plant that provides greyish-silver, spoon-shaped leaves; lavender (Lavandula spp.) a woody, shrub-like plant that provides purple, pink or white flowers that are very popular with bees; and thyme (Thymus spp.), a low-growing, shrubby perennial that produces fragrant foliage and flowers.
Ornamental grasses that are perennial can provide drama and peak to your warm-climate backyard. Varieties include Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima), a superb textured green and silver grass, which could grow in zones as warm as Sunset Climate Zones 2-B, 3 to 37, 39 to 41, making it ideal for Southern California as well as Northern California.
Cacti prosper in warm, arid conditions, requiring treatment and little maintenance. Prickly pears (Opuntia spp.) are low-growing cacti seen as a flat, oval pads and edible, water melon-like fruits. The tiny, spherical hedgehog cacti (Echinocereus spp.) boast quick spines and a profusion of colourful flowers. Other types contain the traditional giant saguaro (Carnegeia gigantea), a long-limbed, white flowering cactus; and barrel cactus (Ferocactus spp.), a genus of cylindrical species that produce huge flowers in the summer. Cacti are well-suited to life in California, developing best in temperatures.