Dog-Friendly & Drought Tolerant

Exchange Pet-Poisoning Hibiscus, Foxglove and Ivy with Smart Alternatives


HGTV interviewed veterinarians to identify 26 plants to avoid if you have pets in the garden.  A few Southern California favorites –   Hibiscus, Foxglove, and English Ivy – made the list.  The good news?  There are much more drought tolerant alternatives that will help you achieve a more vibrant version of the same aesthetic.

Foxglove (Digitalis) vs. Penstemmon

Looking for something that will catch every eye? The spectacular variety of tubular, bell-shaped flowers make Foxgloves a focal point in many gardens.  As usual, however, there is an equally charming, bright and beautiful water-wise alternative.  Read More

Hibiscus vs. Laventera

Lavatera and Hibiscus both provide generous screens or focal points of large striking flowers – some up to 15 high! Their similarities stop with their profound and bountiful beauty. One thrives in the wild and woolly west, while the other is a high-maintenance and delicate beauty that will have a hard time surviving Southern California without heroic levels of intervention.  Read More

English Ivy vs. Silver and Gold

Looking for a low maintenance way to cover a large swath of ground? Ivy is a popular solution… and a popular habitat for rats and other undesirables. Both Lessingia and Gazania are cleaner, more water wise alternatives to ivy that also have the benefit of blooming. While both are lovely, the California native Silver Carpet outshines even South African Sun Gold. Read More