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Native Plant Care

Articles: Native Plant Care

The California natives in this mixed border at the Leaning Pine Arboretum, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, benefit from the improved drainage of a raised bed. Photograph by David Fross
This excerpt from California Native Plants for the Garden, a new book from Cachuma Press, provides simple guidelines for preparing for and planting California’s native plants in the garden, activities best scheduled for the autumn months. Though focused on California’s natives, the advice is relevant for other regions along the West Coast with wet winters and dry summers, as well as for other plants from mediterranean climates.
The optimal time for planting most California natives is autumn, except in the mountains, high deserts, and other cold-winter areas of the state. Planting during this period—at the beginning of the rainy season—gives natives many months to establish root systems that will be much better prepared to survive California’s long, warm, dry summers. Plants installed in fall also produce more new growth and flowers the following spring or summer than those that are planted later.

For the native plants of our medi...

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