Pride of Barbados     Caesalpinia pulcherrima

Full Sun, well-drained soil

8′ x 8′, reseeds readily

Herbaceous perennial. Do not cut back until late winter. Will be late to emerge in the spring.

Deer resistant in most areas.

Zone 8   (W. Indies and subtropics of the Americas)



Tropical Milkweed     Asclepias currasavica

Full Sun/Part Sun

3′-4′ x 3′-4′

Re-seeding annual. Collect seeds when seedpods are ripe and save to plant next year.

Somewhat deer resistant, but not reliable.

Zone 8 (S.Central, Central America)



Firecracker Fern     Russellia equisetiformis

Full Sun/Part Sun

3′-4′ and spreads! Attracts hummingbirds.

Herbaceous perennial. Cut back the the ground in late February.

Not deer resistant.

Zone 9 (Mexico Guatemala) 




Mexican Firebush     Hamelia patens

Sun/Part Sun

There are compact forms that only reach 3′ but the species can reach 4′-6′. 

Herbaceous perennial. Does not come back in severe winters.

Deer resistant.

Zone 8  (S. Central America) 



Jerusalem Sage   Phlomis fruticosa

Full Sun, well-drained soil

4′ x 4′

Evergreen perennial. Deadhead spent blooms below next set of leaves.  Shape in late February.

Deer resistant.

Zone 6 (Greece, Italy, Turkey) 


Mexican Bush Sage       Salvia leucanthe

Full Sun/Part Sun

Standard size is 3′-5′ x 3′-5′ / ‘Santa Barbara’ is dwarf version at 2’-3’

Bloom color may be purple with purple calyx or white with purple calyx (pictured)

Herbaceous perennial

Deer resistant

Zone 8 (Central and Eastern Mexico) 



Russian Sage      Perovaskia atriciplifolia

Full Sun

Standard size is 4’x4’, dwarf versions are 2’x2’

Herbaceous perennial

Deer Resistant

Zone 4    (Afghanistan) 



Society Garlic      Tulbaghia violcea


1 ½’x1 ½’,

Evergreen in mild winters. May freeze back in extreme cold

Deer resistant. Do not plant near front door as the odor smells like a skunk!

Zone 7    (S. Africa)



Mexican Oregano      Poliomintha longiflora

Full Sun, well-drained soil

3′-4′ x 3′-4′

Mostly evergreen. Prune to shape in late February.

Fairly deer resistant, but deer may browse. 

Zone 8  (SW US)




Pink Skullcap              Scutellaria suffrutescens

Full sun/Part sun

1′ tall by 2′-3′ wide

Evergreen perennial. Pruned during growing season by “ponytailing” foliage and trimming top. 

Deer resistant in most areas. 

Zone 7  (N. Mex.)



Creeping Germander       Teucrium cossonii

Full sun, well-drained soil.

6″ tall by 3′ wide, may cascade over walls

Evergreen most winters, but may die back in severe winters.

Deer resistant

Zone 8  (Mediterranean)




Globe Mallow      Sphaeralcea ambigua

Sun, well-drained soil

2′-3′ by 2′-3′, flowers come in orange, pink, red or white. 

Evergreen most winters. May die back in extreme cold.

Summer blooms. Prune to shape in late winter or between blooms

Zone 8    (SW US, NW Mex.) 




Green or Gray Santolina       Santolina chamaecyparissus

Full Sun, well-drained soil

1′ tall by 3′ wide, may cascade over wall

Evergreen perennial

Deer resistant

Zone 6  (Mediterranean)



Upright or Prostrate Rosemary      Rosmarinus officinalis 

Full sun, well-drained soil

Upright to 5′ tall. Prostrate form 2′-3′ tall by 10′ wide

Evergreen perennial. Does not prune well into woody growth. May shape new growth during growing season.

Deer resistant

Zone 8 for most varieties. Upright variety ‘Arp’ hardy to zone 7, Prostrate is less hardy. (Mediterranean) 



Gopher Plant    Euphorbia rigida

Full sun, well-drained soil

1′-2′ by 1′-2′, chartreuse flowers in February

Evergreen perennial, prune after flowering

Deer resistant

Zone 7  (Mediterranean) 




African bulbine     Bulbine frutescens

Sun, well-drained soil

1′ tall and spreads up to 10′, yellow and orange flowered varieties available

Herbaceous perennial

NOT deer resistant

Zone 8 (S.Africa) 



Blue Plumbago    Plumbago auriculata

Full sun to Part Sun

3′-4′ by 3′-4′

Herbaceous perennial. Prune to the ground in late February. Mulch in winter to protect roots. Do not plant in the fall. 

Deer resistant in most areas. 

Zone 8 (S.Africa) 


Leadwort Plumbago       Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

Part Sun to Dappled Shade

1′ tall by 18″ wide. Not related to Plumbago at all. Nice groundcover for partial shade. 

Herbaceous perennial. Foliage turns red in the winter. Cut back to ground in late February. 

Not reliably deer resistant.

Zone 5 (Tropical regions of S. Africa)


Lavender      Lavendula sp.


Size depends on variety. Must have well-drained soil. Prune in late winter just before growth begins. Do not prune into woody growth as it will not fill in.

Evergreen, Deer resistant

Zone 5 for English and French varieties

(Mediterranean to E Africa) 



Mystic Spires Salvia   Salvia farinacea x ‘Indigo Spires’)

Sun, Part sun

2′-3′ by 2′-3′

Herbaceous perennial. Cut back when it freezes to the ground. 

Deer resistant

Zone 7



Hybrid Lantana       Lantana sp.


Size depends on variety.

Many varieties are zone 9 and may or may not come back in Zone 8. Always check the Zone to see if it is an annual in your area. 

Cut back in late winter and wait to see if it is going to come back. Be patient.

Deer resistant in most areas, but not as reliable as the native Texas Lantana.