Northern Exposure, Phoenix Style

Cape Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)If you expected this post to be about life in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska, I am sorry to disappoint.  But for those of you who struggle with plantings on the north side of your Phoenix home, stick with me here and you’ll get a mooseful of ideas.  Or at least one.

The north side delivers complete shade in the winter and a sliver of sear in the summer.  It’s our most challenging exposure, in my opinion.  So my go-to plant for the north side of a home is Cape Plumbago (Plumbago auriculata).

Cape Plumbago grows really fast, has a pretty green foliage and blooms in shades of blue.  It’ll survive without a lot of water, but thrive with a good watering here and there.  They’ll get pretty big, but can be sheared back for a more rounded appearance.  I put this one in last year,  and I’ll cut it back next spring so it can grow in more evenly.

I’m also thinking of tinkering with some Yellow Bulbine there, too.  The forms of the two plants would contrast nicely, and the yellow and blue blooms would look amazing!


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