Landscaping with native vegetation is not only a great, cost-effective way to beautify your property, it can also help save endangered species. Plants such as Santa Cruz cypress are critically endangered and need human support to survive. The native Santa Cruz plant species are also adapted to live in the area, making them easy to care for, resistant to drought and less likely to die or become compromised.
If your Santa Cruz home has the sandy soil that Bonny Doon Manzanita and Santa Cruz cypress love, they may be a good choice for areas you want trees and shrubs in. Bonny Doon Manzanita (Arctostaphylos silvicola) is known for its water-retention properties and its leaves’ silver sheen, which reflects excess sunlight. Santa Cruz cypress is a conifer that can achieve 30 feet in height when planted in a sheltered area or when properly staked.
There are other endemic plants of Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz wallflower, Santa Cruz monkeyflower, Ben Lomond spineflower and Ben Lomond buckwheat are all native to the sandhills of the region. Note: don’t go picking these up from the local hills! They should stay where they are. Rather, contact local nurseries, such as Central Coast Wilds (centralcoastwilds.com) which specialize in native plantlife.
California plants that are not specifically native to the Santa Cruz area are also excellent. The California Native Plant Society (cnps.org) has an extensive lists of native vegetation and nurseries that can help you find the best plants for the landscaping you desire. Native wildflower seed mixes can provide just as much color as non-native, water-loving plants. Generally, native plants don’t require special or extensive fertilization.
If you have your heart set on a certain “look” to your property, chances are that you can find it in an environmentally friendly local plant, shrub or tree. There are hundreds of different plants, each adapted for Santa Cruz’s unique climate, altitude and terrain. An especial bonus is that native plants encourage native birds and wildlife to shelter in the area, affording you improved opportunities to see Santa Cruz’s fauna in action.
If you want to showcase the natural beauty of your Santa Cruz property, what better way than to feature the native flora? If you are looking for plants perfectly suited for the climate and soil, landscaped to attractively grace your yard, native Santa Cruz plants are the ideal choice.
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