How to Choose Fire-Resistant Plants in San Diego County

How to Choose Fire-Resistant Plants in San Diego County

Fire season is a year-round concern in California. The memory of the October 2023 Firestorm and the devastation it caused to homes and structures is still fresh. Many of the properties that were lost had an inadequate “defensible space.” A defensible space acts as a shield between a structure and an advancing fire.


Any combustible vegetation must be cleared within a 100-foot radius of any structure. Preparing your landscape for planting is essential. Mulch is also essential, as it helps retain moisture and isn’t likely to flame up in a fire. Another important note is to remove weeds. Weeds are often the most flammable part of a landscape, so weed abatement is a must. We recommend hiring weed abatement specialists to remove weeds and brush properly.


As a property owner, you can create a defensible space around your property by planting fire-resistant plants.

defensible space

As a general rule, use plants that:

  • Grow close to the ground
  • Are drought tolerant
  • Are easy to maintain and prune
  • Have a low resin or sap content
  • Will grow without accumulating dead branches, needles, or leaves


fire severity zoneFire-Resistant Plants for San Diego Landscapes

We can plant a wide range of fire-resistant plants in San Diego landscapes. The following fire-resistant plants are just some of our suggestions. Click here for a larger suggested plant list courtesy of San Diego County.


  • Big Leaf Maple
  • Manzanita
  • King Palm
  • Mexican Blue Palm (Blue Hesper Palm)
  • Western Red Bud
  • Loquat
  • Kaffirboom Coral Tree
  • California Bay Laurel

Suggested Shrubs for a Defensible Space:

  • Madrone
  • Manzanita
  • Coyote Brush
  • Natal Plum
  • California Lilac
  • Lantana
  • Island Bush Snapdragon
  • Pomegranate
  • Cape Honeysuckle
  • Yarrow


  • Aptenia
  • Rosea Ice Plant
  • California Poppy
  • Coast Barrel Cactus
  • Blanket Flower
  • Sunrose

Besides creating a defensible space, you can better prepare for wildland fires. Here’s how:

  • Sweep roofs, gutters, and eaves regularly. Remove any dead branches around your roof, chimney, etc.
  • If a fire is approaching, remove combustible materials such as wood piles, barbecue grills, tarps, doormats, and lawn furniture.
  • Have an evacuation plan.
  • Shut off propane, natural gas, and fuel oil supplies.
  • Connect your garden hose and full hot tubs, pools, garbage cans, and other large containers with water.
  • Disconnect the garage door opener (that way, you can still open the garage door if the power is out.)
  • Turn on outside lights and the lights in your home as it makes your home more visible if there’s heavy smoke.

Experience Quality Service. The Difference...Is Growing

Are you looking for a new HOA landscaping company? Are you in need of professional weed abatement service? Westturf Landscape Management has you covered with top-notch San Diego commercial landscaping services. Call us 760-650-3120 or send us a message.


Let's work together

If you have a creative project in mind or are looking to make your HOA job more manageable, get in contact with Westturf Landscape Management. When it comes to quality efficient landscaping services, we have you covered. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Westturf Landscape Management
701 Mercantile Street
Vista, CA 92083
Phone: 760-650-3120

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