How-To Video: Favorite Shrubs for California Gardens

It's a good idea to use shrubs in your garden for a couple of reasons. They are easy to care for, they are low maintenance, and usually provide greenery year around.

  • In order for a shrub to become a California favorite, it has to look good 12 months of the year and it needs to be easy to care for.
  • Armstrong Garden Centers calls our top-selling shrubs “California Classics”
  • There are seven California Classics—all low care, all look great year round


Favorite Shrubs

1. Japanese Boxwood

  • Small, waxy, evergreen leaves
  • Often used for edging or hedges
  • Usually clipped, but soft and billowy if not
  • Easy care, regular water

2. Lily-of-the-Nile

  • Arching, tropical-looking leaves
  • Dramatic, globe shaped flowers in summer (great for cutting)
  • Various sizes from less than a foot tall to almost four feet (in bloom)
  • Full sun or partial shade
  • Low water once established, very easy care

3. ”Wheeler's Dwarf” Pittosporum

  • Dense, rounded growth, 3-feet tall, 4-feet wide
  • Leathery, shiny, dark green leaves
  • Creamy white flowers in spring smell like orange blossoms
  • Great for foreground or low boundary
  • Clean—good near swimming pools
  • Virtually “no care”

4. Star Jasmine

  • Very versatile and useful
  • Use as a groundcover, as a trailer or as a climbing vine, or train as a shrub
  • Shiny, evergreen leaves, many very fragrant white flowers in spring and summer
  • Takes hot sun, and some shade
  • Low care—just a bit of shaping

5. Texas Privet

  • Best for a quick privacy hedge, but can be a tree, too
  • Leathery, glossy, dark green evergreen leaves
  • Clusters of creamy white flowers in early summer, berries in fall
  • Few flowers or berries if pruned formally
  • Grow in any type of soil
  • Full sun or partial shade

6. Indian Hawthorn

  • Great background plant or informal hedge
  • Many named varieties—from 2- to 3-feet tall, 4- to 5-feet wide
  • Leathery, evergreen leaves, dense growth
  • Many flowers from winter through spring (shades of pink, white)
  • Low water once established
  • Easy care no bugs or diseases

7. New Zealand Flax

  • Dramatic plants with sword-shaped leaves
  • Many sizes and colors—makes a great focal point
  • Sizes: from 3-feet to 6-feet tall (check variety)_
  • Color: green, bronze, variegated cream/chartreuse, pink
  • Most prefer shade from hottest afternoon sun
  • Low water once established



  1. Plant
  2. Water to establish
  3. Feed with E.B. Stone *** 2-3 times a year
  4. Stand back and admire—no work required!