Those who live in fire-prone areas, like the state of California, must prepare their home for the worst- a wildfire. As a homeowner, you must think of everything, from the paint on your walls to the material of your roof to your cable wires to to the plants surrounding your house. This is because some things are better at preventing fires and others will make a fire spread faster. What plants are fire resistant?
Table of Contents
- Learn Which Plants Are Fire Resistant
- Lemonade Berry
- Oak Trees
- The Importance of Native Plants
- Pay Close Attention to The Placement of Plants
Learn Which Plants Are Fire Resistant
We have great news for you! There is a wide array of trees and other plants that homeowners can choose from that are both attractive and fire-resistant. A few favorite fire-resistant plants that are particularly useful include:
This plant is known for its signature pom-pom bloom. It attracts butterflies, so your yard will be beautiful all year-round. When a wildfire threatens, it also acts as a fire retardant.
Lemonade berry makes a great hedge substitute. Just like the name implies, it's also edible. You can make a nice tea from its berries!
Who doesn't love the mighty oak? Oak trees are a truly iconic tree species. Native trees with thick bark and wood that makes them more tolerant to fire. In addition to aiding fire resilience, their expansive canopies can cool your yard as well. Placed correctly, they can actually lower air conditioning costs by about half.
The Importance of Native Plants
All of the plants listed above are native to California. According to the LA and Times and landscape designer Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping, selecting plants that are authentic to our region is one way to help slow advancing fire. “Many native plants take longer to burn than some of the invasive weeds such as pennisetum and pampas grass,” Aoyagi says.
Non-native invasive plants, such as the wild mustard, actually help to promote fires. Also, avoid plants that shed dry bark or leaves, such as eucalyptus and palms. It’s like kindling! Landscapes that are natural to the area you live will make your home and the entire community more resilient to fire.
Pay Close Attention to The Placement of Plants
When asking what plants are fire resistant, you should know that it isn't just about the plant species itself. You must also be careful when it comes towhere you plant, not just what. Any type of vegetation that touches your home’s siding, is in front of windows, under eaves and vents, and/or under or near a deck all increase the likelihood that your home will be destroyed during a catastrophic wildfire. Experts recommend you don't place any plants within a few feet of your house, or one another. This forms a defense zone, or a barrier, which is your last line of defense.