Fall Gardening Guide: Fall Plants for San Diego Weather

Fall is a great time for color, and that’s why tons of people travel to the East Coast every year. Here in San Diego’s perpetually mild climate, we don’t have such a pronounced change in color to enjoy while sipping our pumpkin spiced lattes. Alas, there is a way to enjoy Fall color and San Diego’s awesomeness!

Here are a few plants that thrive in the Fall to give us San Diegan’s a feel for the season:

Fall Gardening Guide. #sandiego #garden #gardening #flowers

Fall always brings to mind certain thoughts and memories: hot chocolate, pumpkins, football, mums. Well, maybe not mums for everyone, but that should definitely be on the list for gardeners! Mums come in so many colors the options are endless, and they bloom in San Diego right at the beginning of Fall.

For our Fall color purposes, we like nice burnt orange colored mums with a white and maybe a little dark red. Whether you decide to plant these guys in the ground or keep them in a pot, if you follow some simple rules, you’ll have color until after turkeyday:

  • Put mums in FULL sun, no shade.
  • Keep their soil damp; they don’t like to dry out.
  • Use a well-draining soil mix like a cactus blend and add a little compost.


Fall gardening guide.

Tecoma Stans (or Yellow Bell Flower)
Mums are a short flower and this is more of a medium height shrub. Tecoma is a rizing star in San Diego gardening. It’s been used in Texas for a long time and thrives in our similar semi-desert climate. It can be planted at any time in our climate and will flower as long as it’s not subjected to frost. It’s deep green foliage stays nice and vibrant but its true beauty is in the large yellow clusters of flowers that form at the end of its branches.

This guy can tolerate either part shade or full sun and it’s drought tolerant but prefers frequent soaks letting it dry in between. For more blooms and a compact shape, trim fading blooms just as they start to wane.


Fall Gardening Guide. #sandiego #fall #gardening #gardenideas

Japanese Maple
Japanese Maples are relatively small trees and take some babying, but the results are amazing: a beautiful tree with lacy foliage that brings true Fall color to our sandy shores!

With many varieties, you’ll find your local nursery has a veritable buffet of colors and textures to pick from. You can plant these trees directly in the ground as long as you aren’t too close to the ocean (they don’t like salt), or in large containers. They love partial shade to mostly shade. The thing to avoid is letting the tree sit in the sun where it can easily dry out and burn.  Keep them in well draining soil with a good amount of organic compost mixed in and mulch to keep moisture in.


That’s a wrap for Fall colors in SD. Remember to follow us on our Pinterest page for helpful gardening tips, some awesome tricks and much much more.


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