Gardening with Native Plants - California Native Plant Society

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Gardening with Native Plants - California Native Plant Society

Text of Gardening with Native Plants - California Native Plant Society

  • 1. California Native Plant Society is a statewide, nonprofit organization of amateurs and professionals with a common interest inlearning about and preserving California native plants. Membership is open to all. The mission of CNPS is to increaseunderstanding and appreciation of Californias native plants and to conserve them and theirnatural habitats through education, science, advocacy, horticulture, and land stewardship. CNPS2707 K Street, Suite 1 Sacramento, CA 95816916-447-2677 fax 916-447-2727 Gardening withCaliforniawww.cnps.orgMonarch butterfly on lilac verbena (Verbena lilacina) with sandhills agebrush (Artemisia pycnocephala) in background. Photo: Peigi DuvallNative Plants Photos: Cover: Hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea). Photo: Toni Corelli Background images: Checkerbloom (Sidalcea malvaeflora) and Varied-col- ored lupine (Lupinus variicolor). Photo: Toni Corelli Below: Bush anemoneExplore the Variety(Carpenteria californica). Photo: Drew Ready.Californias unique geography has producedone of the worlds loveliest and most diversefloras. Large, white Matilija poppies, aromaticsages, a vine maples russet fall leaves, thecinnamon colored bark hanging on a Catalinaironwoodthese are but a few examples of ournative floras beauty and richness. Introduce afew native plants into your existing garden, orgo totally native. Fall in love with the gloriousCalifornia Native Plant Societydiversity of Californias native plants.Dedicated to the Preservationof California Native FloraWhy Garden With Native Plants? Lower MaintenanceWhile Californias native plants have graced In a garden environment, native plantsPink-floweringcurrant (Ribesgardens worldwide for over a century, few of do best with some attention and care, sanguineumvar. glutinosumthe landscapes designed for but require lessClaremont) and giant chain fernour states gardens reflect the water, fertilizer,(Woodwardia fimbriata) atnatural splendor for whichpruning, less or Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.California is famous. Byno pesticide, andPhoto: Peigi Duvallgardening with native plants, less of your timeyou can bring the beautyto maintain thanof California into your do many commonown landscape while alsogarden plants.receiving numerous benefits. Invite Wildlife Native plants, hummingbirds, butterflies, and California wild lilac (Ceanothus impressus). Photo: Peigi Duvall other beneficial insects are made for eachSave Water other. Research shows that native wildlifeTake advantage of water- clearly prefers native plants. Californiasconserving plants in your landscape. OnceReduce Pesticide wealth of insect pollinators can improveestablished, many California native plants Native plantsfruit set in your garden, while a varietyneed minimal irrigation beyond normalhaveof native insects and birds willrainfall. Saving water conserves a vital,developed help keep your landscape free oflimited resource and saves money, too. their ownmosquitoes and plant-eating bugs. defensesA beautiful mixed border of native sages, Encelia, and Clarkia at Golden West College Native Garden. Photo: Dan Songster against manySupport Local Ecology pests andWhile creating native landscapes diseases. Since can never replace natural habitats lost most pesticides A restful spring garden with golden to development, planting gardens, parks, kill indiscriminately,poppies and native grasses at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. and roadsides with California native beneficial insects become Photo: Peigi Duvall plants can help provide an important secondary targets inbridge to nearby remaining wild areas. the fight against pests. Reducing orRecommend native plants to homeowner eliminating pesticide use lets naturalassociations, neighbors, and civic pest control take over and keeps garden departments. You can also get involved toxins out of our creeks and watersheds.with local land-use planning processes.

2. Where To Find Native Plants Going Native placing and caring for your new plants. FindPlaces to see native plants include national more information at native plant nurseries andforests, state parks, specialty nurseries, their websites.arboretums and botanic gardens, andWith a little curiosity and research, you cannature preserves, as well as in booksbroaden your plant palette. Choose plantsand on websites. Several premier that flower through the seasons. Fill yourgardens open to the public garden with plants that display a riot ofare East Bay Regional Park colors, have deliciously aromatic leaves,Districts Botanic Garden,or attract specific wildlife. Plant aRancho Santa Ana Botanicthemed landscape such as a rock gardenGarden, Santa Barbara or wildflower meadow. Discover nativesBotanic Garden, UC Berkeley that are deer- or fire-resistant.Botanic Garden, and UC SantaIn every garden, the right environment New growth on a bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum). Photo:Toni CorelliCruz Arboretum. Due to growing Bluff lettuce(sun, soil, water, etc.) must be found or (Dudleya farinosa).demand, conventional nurseries and Photo: Carol Mattssoncreated for plants to thrive. It is easier 14 times per month. For a garden full of thrivinggarden centers are beginning to carryand advisable to select plants that suit thenative plants, check plant-specific watering needsCalifornia native plants. If you dont find thesite rather than to modify the sitefrom authoritative sources.plant you are looking for, ask for it by name. to suit the plants. Like all gardens,even established nativelandscapes require some Soilroutine maintenance to Most native plants perform betterlook their best. without any fertilizer. Extra nutrients push plants to grow quickly, sometimes beyond naturally Growing supportable levels, and can shorten Conditionstheir life span. Mulching can be a Like all living things, valuable practice in low-maintenance native plants growGrowing togetheryoung Califor- gardening. A layer of mulch slows nian with Farewell-to-Spring (Clarkia best under natural andamoena). Photo: Mark Bourne water evaporation, discourages weed familiar conditions,germination, and creates a favorable also known as biotic communities.environment at the soil interface for beneficial Common California plantbiological bacteria. Adding organic matter to soil communities include northern may be necessary where development has left an and southern oak woodland, valleyinfertile top layer. grassland, chaparral, desert, coastal sageDouglas iris (Iris douglasiana), common horsetail (Equisetum arvense), and scrub and bluff, mixedwestern virgins bower (Clematis ligusticifolia). Photo: Drew Ready evergreen, and redwood forest. Choosing plants that are native to yourWhere To Buy Native Plants landscapes community will help ensurenNPS chapter plant saleslinks to local C their optimum health and performance. chapters are at www.cnps.org.nrboretums and botanic gardens A Plantingnative plant nurserieslisted in books and on N Although most California natives can the Internet (e.g. www.cnps.org/horticulture).be planted at any time of year, it is best to put them in the ground during the fall and early winter. This gives themNo Wild Collecting, Please! time to establish a healthy root systemCollecting plants without a permit is illegal on and build the energy for new growthCalifornia public lands, and wild transplants and stunning floral displays in springoften have a poor survival rate. Your local A colorful Southern California garden featuring and summer.CNPS chapter or native plant nursery can alsoflowering shrubs such as flannelbush (Fremonto- Pruning dendron sp.) and island bush poppy (Dendromeconprovide information on hybridization of rare and harfordii). Photo: Barbara Eisenstein WateringWhile many non-nativeendangered species andpreserving gene Flowering bright green dudleya (Dudleya virens ssp. hassei) and bear Many native plants cangarden plants are oftengrass (Nolina parryi ssp. wolfii) add texture and form to a vibrant nativeSilver bush lupine (Lupinus albifrons), Westernpool integrity. garden. Photo: David Fross survive with minimalpruned throughout redbud (Cercis occidentalis), and wild lilac(Ceanothus sp.). Photo: Chris Lewis supplemental waterthe year to keep up once they have become with their water- andGetting Startedestablished (after two to fivefertilizer-inducedVisit a native plant years). Proper watering can growth, for most nativesupplier. Your local present a challenge whenplants pruning once perCNPS chapter is afirst becoming acquainted year is sufficient. Checkgreat source for plant with native plants. Under-plant-specific pruningsuggestions. Manywatering of young nativetips from authoritativehave their own plant plants is a frequent cause of sources as plantsales where membersdeath, while over-wateringpreferences vary. Giveare eager to share can cause root rot and kill them room to growtheir experience and more established species. by properly spacingknowledge. Make your Some native species them in your gardenselections, and then can maintain a healthydesign. Crowded plantsfollow the suppliersappearance for much of theneed more frequentinstructions for year while being watered only pruning and care. n