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San Diego

Fire-Safe Landscaping for California Homes – Is It Possible?

Posted by San Diego Landscaper on Wednesday, 29 July , 2015

Is there any way to fire-proof your yard? We all know that certain materials are more resistant to fire than others when used to build a home, and homeowners in fire-prone areas are advised to use these materials. However, little attention is every paid to the plants in the yard; most people seem to assume that if there is a fire, the landscape will be totally redone. There are plants you can choose that will resprout if burned, however, and some that may resist the intense heat and smoke associated with a fire nearby, according to experts.

Burned vs. Exposed Plants – Making a Comeback

If a fire hits directly in a person’s yard or home, there is little that “fire resistant” materials or plants can do. Nothing can withstand the intense, searing heat of a wildfire if it decides to make a direct hit. However, there are some plants that will regrow after a fire has burned their exteriors, such as chaparral and oak. These plants will resprout after a fire, but many plants that are burned in the flames will never come back. This is especially true for plants that have already withstood drought and are low on moisture. Fires tend to be more intense in drought areas, as well.

Some plants handle relative heat and smoke better than others, however, and these are the ones that may survive if they are spared a direct hit by a wildfire. Plants that can withstand rising temperatures and smoke over an extended period are those that will do well in wildfire-prone areas and should be natural landscaping choices for people in these regions.

Which Plants Tolerate Heat and Smoke Well?

As mentioned, native oak and chaparral tend to come back well after a fire, but there are other plants that may resist flames, smoke and heat better than others. Good choices in California for fire-resistant landscaping plants are:

  • Western redbud
  • Monkey flower
  • Sage
  • Yarrow
  • Lavender
  • California fuscia
  • Wild strawberry
  • California wax myrtle
  • Evergreen currant
  • Barberry
  • Oleander
  • Pittosporum
  • Wisteria

Grasses should be mowed to four to six inches in height in order to provide more of a firebreak but still protect habitat for insects and animals.

Juniper Landscape Company can help you choose the right plants to build a fire-resistant landscape. With the help of Juniper Landscape Company, you can enjoy beautiful plantings with the assurance that you are protecting the environment and maximizing your plants’ chances of surviving a wildfire.

Juniper Landscape Company is a provider of professional landscaping services in San Diego, we strive to make San Diego a beautiful place by doing business with integrity and creativity.


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