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best no care plants for zone 10b

A friend has asked me to help her redo her front yard after she discovered that the lovely vine that made her house look like an Ivy League university was eating her soffets and roof.

She needs a tree out front _ no lines to worry about, just needs to be a good street tree. And then something to put in the beds that run across the front of the house, and a few other things to add interest.

The key is no-care. She travels a lot and does not have nor want a sprinkler system. She has lawn guys who basically take her money and do enough to keep code enforcement out of her hair. They'll be fired pretty soon actually.

So I need suggestions on the easiest no-care plants.

I'm thinking:

Pride of Barbados as a standard right out front in the circle of the circle drive, with a century plant, a few broms and maybe Jacob's coat to fill out a mulched bed. This bed is full sun, with no wires, and could take a real tree actually.

Should I suggest she put in a live oak? There's room between the circle and the house and her yard is kind of a bare, an unshaded oasis in the middle of a street of beautiful trees.

For the bed by the house, I'm wondering about some philodendron. A neighbor of mine just redid a similar bed with philodendron and it's nice. The bed is not full sun, and is bordered, but not with a high border so you couldn't put in something like heliconias or firecracker plant because they'd ultimately get loose, like they have in my yard.

I have a split-leaf philo that tends to shade out any weeds and is totally no-care. Am I missing something with these plants?

Beyond that, I'm thinking some cuttings of my weeping croton (Ricky, what is it called? I always forget) and some plumbago.

She will never water, feed or trim anything, ever. So it needs to be a yard the new lawn guys can keep up with without too much guidance. I'll talk to them early on, but .... it needs to be no-care without looking like it's abandoned (she's already next door to a foreclosure that's gone to jungle.) I can get the lawn guys to remulch the bed every six months, but beyond that... It needs to grow but not become a jungle.

Ideas. What's your favorite no care plant?


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