Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

California native plants: On screens and in gardens this week

Take virtual visits to native plant gardens April 17-24

Poppy blossom with bee in the middle
As much as we -- and the bees -- love California poppies, they are far from the only California natives that work well in a garden.  Get inspired this week via virtual visits to native gardens and sites around the state. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)

California native plants have been here all along, boosting native wildlife and helping keep our climate healthy. We can return the favor by planting and enjoying natives in our gardens and protecting them in our parks and wildlands.

Starting Saturday, the state celebrates California Native Plants Week, and native plants get a special boost from, not surprisingly, the California Native Plant Society. Their one-minute kickoff video can be viewed here .

CNPS is promoting the week with the theme "Grow CARE Everywhere." The acronym stands for a four-branch approach to enjoying and preserving California natives:

-- Cultivate. Nursery partners and local CNPS chapters are offering special events, plant sales and discounts .

-- Act. Dudleya plants are among natives in danger -- in this case, from poaching by people who want to cash in on the succulent trend. CNPS notes that plant poaching is a serious problem that puts dozens of species at risk every year. The group is supporting Assembly Bill 223 to make Dudley poaching illegal. Read more here and while you're there check out the adorable Dudleya GIFs associated with the various chapters of  CNPS.

-- Restore. Local chapters work to promote and protect native plants in their areas. CNPS has 35 local chapters across the state; information on the Sacramento Valley Chapter is here .

-- Enjoy. This is the one we can do from anywhere that has Wifi: Take a new 360-degree virtual tour of native gardens every day of the celebration week. Get inspired by visiting real-world urban and mountain gardens, botanic gardens, parks and wildlands all over the state. See CNPS' special page for the week for all the links and details.

Blue-violet flowers on a low-growing plant
This beautiful specimen of ceanothus grows in the UC Davis
Arboretum and Public Garden, which has many natives.

I also challenge my fellow gardeners to search out and plant at least one California native in their yards this month. These could range from tidy tips to blueblossom ceanothus, from coyote brush to Pacific madrone trees. Oaks, too! (C'mon, the squirrels do it all the time.) California poppy seeds, of course, are always a good bet.

Natives already know how to cope with the California climate -- including our drought years. And you'll be helping insects and birds, too, which depend heavily on native plants.

The nurseries in the area are increasingly tuned into the benefits of native plants, so don't be afraid to ask about the ones they carry. The UC Davis Arboretum sales are a great source for natives, too. Finally, check out this list at Calscape for ideas of native plants to grow.


0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Taste Spring! E-cookbook


Find our spring recipes here!

Local News

Ad for California Local

Thanks to our sponsor!

Summer Strong ad for

Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

Taste Summer! E-cookbook


Find our summer recipes here!

Taste Fall! E-cookbook

Muffins and pumpkin

Find our fall recipes here!

Taste Winter! E-cookbook

Lemon coconut pancakes

Find our winter recipes here!