Thomas Landscapes

Fire Resistant Plants For Firescaping

This plant list should be used as a guideline when selecting proper firescaping design. Just because you want your property to maintain the highest level of defense against wildfire threats doesn’t mean it has to have primarily concrete with no lush vegetation or green space. With careful planning, skillful firescaping can greatly reduce your property’s vulnerability in the event of a fire while still enhancing the natural beauty of your landscape. Fire resistant plants and landscaping are often drought resistant as well creating an even more beneficial landscaping result for California living. 

Begin with these firescaping tips

1. Create fire-resistant zones with stone walls, patios, decks and roadways.

2. Use rock, mulch, flower beds and gardens as ground cover for bare spaces and as effective firebreaks.

3. There are no “fire-proof” plants. Select high-moisture plants that grow close to the ground and have a low sap or resin content.

4. Choose fire-retardant plant species that resist ignition such as rockrose, ice plant and aloe.

5. Select fire-resistant shrubs such as hedging roses, bush honeysuckles, currant, cotoneaster, sumac and shrub apples.

6. Plant hardwood, maple, poplar and cherry trees that are less flammable than pine, fir and other conifers.

Fire resistant plant list

California buckwheat is hardy and easy to grow, preferring well-drained soil in a sunny location. Its flowers are attractive to pollinators and low-growing varieties can be used as a ground cover.

Catalina Cherry
This drought-resistant evergreen can grow up to 40 feet tall, with white flowers in the spring that are popular with pollinators, which produce red fruits in the fall.

Coral Bells
This leafy plant is known for its colorful foliage and drought resistance. It makes a good ground cover at 12-18” tall and produces delicate flowers on tall, thin stalks.

Island Mallow
This ornamental plant is native to California and makes a popular windbreak, growing up to four meters tall with showy red flowers. It does well in clay and sandy soils, making it ideal for preventing erosion.

French lavender is a fire resistant plant that thrives in dry growing conditions. This low-key plant will add beauty to your defensible space landscape.

Lemonade Berry
Also called lemonade sumac, this can be grown as a shrub or small tree. It is often seen covering entire hillsides. The berries are an important source of food for birds and small mammals, while its limbs provide excellent shelter.

Lily of the Nile
This herbaceous and leafy perennial grows striking clusters of blue and white flowers on stalks that can reach up to four feet high.

Manzanita can grow to 20 feet high and are loved for their shiny red or mahogany-colored bark. The larger varieties will continue growing for a century or more, and produce flowers that attract pollinators.

This compact shrub loves sun and heat, and is tolerant to both drought and poor soil conditions. It’s a perfect accent to rock gardens or other fire breaks you may incorporate into your landscape.

like aloe or cacti have a naturally high water content and will wilt without catching fire. They are ideal for helping reduce damage from wildfires, and can create a natural fire break.

Wooly Blue Curl
This evergreen shrub grows three to four feet high and flowers in tall, purple spikes from May to August. It needs full sun to thrive, but requires no additional water once established.

Yarrow is a hardy and versatile perennial, with a showy head of compact white and yellow flowers. It resists drought and is a favorite with bees and butterflies.

Yucca is a great fire-resistant plant and one of the first to begin sprouting again in burned areas.

See more information of fire resistant landscaping