Which Plants Need Winter Protection?

With snow on the hills and frost on the ground, I’ve received plenty of calls inquiring about which plants need protection and which do not.  Listed below are tender evergreen plants, most of which are tropical and come from warmer regions. However, any plant that is deciduous (looses its leaves naturally) does not need protection from frost; this would include hydrangeas, Japanese maples, fruit trees (excluding avocados and citrus), lilacs, and crepe myrtles. Perennials that die back to the ground in the winter also do not need protection these would include echinaceas, asters, rudbeckias, calla lilies, phlox, agapanthus, alstroemerias and peonies to name a few.

I suggest using frost cloth for protection, cover your plants at night and remove during the day when the temperature rises. Wilt Stop and Freezpruf are both liquids that you spray the entire plant with (this works great on small plants and containers).

Remember to keep your plants watered; a dry plant will freeze much quicker than a moist one.

Abutilon (Flowering Maple)
Alyogne heugelii (Blue Hibiscus)
Adiatum raddianum (Maidenhair Fern)
Anigozanthus hybrids (Kangaroo Paws)
Brugmansia versicolor (Angel’s Trumpet)
Chrysanthemum frutescens (Marguerite Daisy)
Cuphea hyssopifolia  (False Heather)
Fuchsia x hybid
Hibiscus rosa sinensis
Lycianthus ratonnetti (Potato Bush)
Neriums (Oleander) – certain varieties
Osteospermum fruticosum (African Daisy)
Plumbago auriculata (Cape Plumbago)
Tibouchina urvilleana (Princess Flower)

By Shawna Anderson, Garden Consultant/CCNPro
Thrillers, Fillers & Spillers

Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers Plant List

Sun Thrillers:

Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia)
Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckias spp.)
Coneflower (Echinacea)
Coreopsis (Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’)
Dahlias (Dahlia spp. And varieties)
Delphinium (Delphinium elatum)
Dianthus Heart Attack (Dianthus b. 'Heart Attack')
Elephant Ears (Alocasia)
Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri varieties)
Goldenrod (Solidago 'Baby Gold')
Honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida ‘Lemon Beauty’)
Hyssop (Agastaches spp. and varieties)
Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthus varieties)
Mat Rush (Lomandra 'Breeze')
Mirror Plant (Coprosma)
New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax spp.)
New Zealand Wind Grass (Stipa arundinacea)
Penstemons (Penstemon spp. and varieties)
Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa spp. and varieties)
Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicfiolia)
Sage (Salvias spp. and varieties)
Sedge (Carex spp. and varieties)
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus varieties)
Yarrow (Achilleas varieties)
Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)

Shade Thrillers:

Black Mondo Grass(Ophiopogon p. Nigrescens)
Blood Red Dock (Rumex sanguineus)
Coleus (Coleus varieties)
Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea varieties)
False Spirea (Astilbe spp.)
Flowering Maple (Abutilion varieties)
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
Giant Lilly Turf (Liriope gigantean)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida ‘Lemon Beauty’)
Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra varieties)
Sedge (Carex spp. and varieties)
Sweet Flag (Acorus)
Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’)

Sun Fillers:

Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia)
African Daisy (Arctotis hybrids/Osteospermum spp. and varieties)
Aster (Aster spp. and varieties)
Avens or Geum (Geum chiloense and varieties)
Bluebeard (Caryopteris spp. and varieties)
Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys)
Gold Coin Cow’s Eye (Astericus maritimus ‘Gold Coin’)
Lavender Cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissis 'Lemon Queen')
Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)
Marguerite Daisy (Argyranthemum frutescens)
Mirror Plant (Coprosma repens)
Nemesia (Nemesia fruticans varieties)
Pansy hybrids (Viola wittrockiana varieties)
Pelargonium (Pelargonium x hortorum 'Vancouver Centennial')
Primrose (Primula spp. and varieties)
Spurge (Euphorbia 'Blackbird’,‘Helena’s Blush' and/or 'Ascot Rainbow')
Swan River Daisy (Brachycome varieties)
Twinspur (Diascia varieties)
Zinnia (Zinnia 'Profusion Series')

Shade Fillers:

Coleus (Coleus hybrids)
Coleus (Coleus hybrids)
Coral Bells (Heuchera varieties)
Dryopteris erythrosora (Autumn Fern)
Efanthia Spurge (Euphorbia ‘Efanthia’)
Cuphea (Cuphea llavea ‘Flamenco Samba’ and/or ‘Cha Cha’)
Fragrant Delight Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens ‘Fragrant Delight’)
Fuchsia (Fuchsia x hybrida)
Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)
Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum)
Pentas (Pentas lanceolata varieties)
Plantain Lily (Hosta varieties)
Quick Silver Hebe (Hebe pimeleoides ‘Quick Silver’)
Rosy Maiden Fern (Adiantum hispidulum)
Geranium (Geranium spp. and varieties)
Varigated Campion (Silene dioica ‘Clifford Moor’)
Viola (Viola cornuta varieties)
Wishbone Flower (Torenia fournieri)

Sun Spillers:

Blue Pimpernel (Anagallis monelli)
Cranesbill (Erodium x variabile)
Creeping Zinnia (Sanvatalia procumbens)
Emerald Gaiety Euonymus (Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’)
Garden Verbena (Verbena hybrids)
Gold Carpet Bidens (Bidens feruliforia varieties)
Ground Morning Glory (Convolvulus sabitus)
Kent Beauty Oregano (Origanum rotundifolium ‘Kent Beauty’)
Lantana (Lantana x Bandana Series)
Licorice Plant (Helichrysum petiolare)
Lithodora (Lithodora diffusa)
Little Trudy Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii ‘Little Trudy’)
Million Bells (Calibrachoa varieties)
Peruvian Verbenas (Verbena peruviana varieties)
Silver Falls Dichondra (Dichondra argentea)
Thyme (Thymus serphyllum varieties)
Walkabout Sunset Loosestrife (Lysimachia congestiflora ‘Walkabout Sunset’)

Shade Spillers:

Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia ‘Jungle Green’)
Dickson’s Gold Bellflower (Campanula ‘Dickson’s Gold’)
Dwarf Wirevine (Muehlenbeckia axillaris ‘Nana’)
Glechoma hederacea (Ground Ivy)
Golden Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia ‘Goldii’)
Mahogany Carpet Bugle (Ajuga reptans ‘Mahogany’)
Parrot’s Beak (Lotus Berthelotti varieties)
Silver Falls Dichondra (Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’)
Sunshine Speedwell (Veronica repens ‘Sunshine’)
Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batata varieties)
Water Hyssop (Bacopa varieties)

There are many plants that work great in containers, this is just a few of my favorites. Don’t forget to try herbs and vegetables, just remember to consider the plant’s light and water requirements.

The availability of the these plants varies from season to season so be sure to visit your local nursery often…spring – summer – fall and winter!

By Shawna Anderson, Garden Consultant/ACCNPro
Thrillers, Fillers & Spillers

Now’s the time to plant Cool Season Annuals!!!!!

This past spring many customers came in looking for Sweet Peas, Snapdragons, Peas, Violas, Pansies, and Poppies just to name a few.  However, these are all cool season annuals that should be planted in the fall. Fall is the time to plant cool season annuals while the soil is still warm and the winter rains will help get them established. These plants love the cool, rainy (hopefully) days and nights.

Below is a list of cool season ornamentals and vegetables:


Alcea rosea (Hollyhocks)
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Calendula officinalis (Calendula)
Calendula (Pot Marigold)
Campanula medium (Canterbury Bells)
Centaurea cyanus (Bacherlor’s Button)
Consolida ambigua (Larkspur)
Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet Pea)
Tropaeolum majus (Nasturtium)
Matthiola incana (Stock)
Myosotis sylvatica (Forget-Me-Knot)
Nierembergia hippomanica (Cup Flower)
Nigella damascena (Love-In-A-Mist)
Papaver nudicaule (Iceland Poppy)
Papaver spp. (Poppy)
Primula spp. (Primrose)
Viola x Wittrockiana (Pansy)


Lettuce, Peas, Spinach, Kale, Arugula, Mustards, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brusselsprouts, Potatoes, Onions, Leek, Garlic, Chives, Beets, Turnips, Peas, Artichoke, Carrots and Fava beans.

Are you “Deadheading”?

A flowering plants goal is to set seed but you can prevent that by deadheading (removing spent blooms) this will convince many plants not to go to seed but continue to bloom through their growing season. If left alone, a flowering plant would put forth a bloom the blossom would then be fertilized and set seed. In this complete reproduction task, the plant expends its energy and nutrients to set seed instead of producing more flowers.

The question most often is “where do I make the cut”? This depends on the species. However, all you need to remember is to prune spent flowers and stems back to a point where there’s a new lateral flower or bud. If no new flower is apparent, prune the stem back to a lateral leaf. Some species can also be sheared and they are noted in the list below.

Below is a list of perennials and annuals that will benefit from deadheading:

Abutilon hybrids (Flowering Maple)
Achillea spp. (Yarrow)
Aconitum spp.(Monkshoods)
Adenophora bulleyana (Bulley’s Ladybells)
Agastache rugosa (Hyssop)
Alcea rosea (Hollyhock)
Alstroemaria hybrids (Peruvian Lilly) – pull stem, do not cut
Angelonia angustifolia (Angelonia)
Anigozanthus hybrids (Kangaroo Paws)
Antirrhinum hispanicum (Snapdragon)
Argyranthemum frutescens (Marguerite Daisy) – can be sheared
Arctotis hybrids (African Daisy)
Armeria maritima (Sea Pink)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)
Astilbe x arendsii (False Spiraea)
Aster novi-belgii (Aster)
Asterica maritimus (Gold Coin)
Bidens ferulifolia (Bidens) – can be sheared
Brachycome multifida (Swan River Daisy) – can be sheared
Centaurea x hybrids (Bachelor’s Button)
Centaurea montana (Mountain Bluet)
Centranthus ruber (Jupiter’s Beard)
Chrysanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)
Cosmos bipinnatus (Cosmos)
Consolida ambigua (Larkspur)
Coreopsis grandiflora (Coreopsis)
Cuphea llavae (Bat-faced Cuphea)
Delphinium elatum (Delphinium)
Dianthus caryophullus (Pinks)
Diascia barberae (Twinspur) – can be sheared
Dicliptera suberecta (Dicliptera)
Digitalis purpurea (Floxglove)
Echinacea purpurea (Coneflower)
Euphorbia spp. (Spurge)
Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed)
Helianthus annus (Sunflower)
Heliotropium arborescens (Heliotrope)
Hemerocallis hybrids (Daylilly)
Hesperis matronalis (Dame’s Ro
Hydrangea macrophylla (Mophead)/last pruning should be done in August
Gaillardia spp. (Blanket Flower)
Geum spp. (Avens)
Lavandula spp. (Lavender)
Lobelia erinus (Lobelia) – can be sheared
Lychnis coronaria (Rose campions)
Monarda didyma (Bee Balm)
Nemesia fruticans (Nemesia) – can be sheared
Nepeta spp. (Catmint)
Osteospermum fruticosum (African Daisy)
Pelargonium x domesticum (Geranium)
Penstemon gloxinoides (Penstemon)
Pentas lanceolata (Star Clusters)
Perovskia atriplicfiolia (Russian Sage)
Petunia x hybrids (Petunia) – can be sheared
Phygelius x rectus (Cape Fuchsia)
Phlox paniculata (Border Phlox)
Scabiosa spp. (Pincushion Flower)Rosa hybrids (Rose) – cut down approx. 1/3 of the stem to an outward facing leaflet
Rudbeckia spp. (Black-eyed Susan)
Salvia spp. (Sage)
Solidago canadensis (Goldenrod)
Tagetes erect (Marigold)
Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican Sunflower)
Teucrium chamaedrys (Germander) – can be sheared
Veronica spicata (Spike Speedwell)
Viola hederacea (Johnny Jump Up) – can be sheared
Vinca rosea (Madagascar Perwinkle)
Zinnia angustifolia (Zinnia)

After you’ve deadheaded don’t forget to fertilize. I’ve been using
Dr. Earth’s Life Fertilizer for plants in the ground and Dr. Earth’s Liquid Concentrate for my containers and have been real happy with the results. Remember never fertilize a dry plant so water a day before you fertilize then water well afterwards.

By Shawna Anderson,
Certified Horticulturist/California Certified Nursery Professional