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Native Plant Sale Planting Guide

Fall Planting

Fall is a great time to plant natives in the Eastern Sierra. With the summer heat diminishing, new plantings are not as stressed and are able to establish more quickly. They will grow large root systems that help them withstand the drying winds of our climate and many will flower the next spring and summer.


Most of the plants we offer require a well-draining, lean soil. Most have evolved in nutrient-poor, granite based soils and may not thrive in amended garden soil. Adding coarse sand to the soil or making raised beds will improve drainage. For good flowering and an attractive, natural shape, most of our plants require full sun. Some plants, such as Columbine, Fireweed, Coffeeberry and Monkey flower grow best in bright shade or with protection from afternoon sun, and need more frequent watering than the other plants offered.

Watering and Care

Once established, most of our plants need very little supplemental watering, but all new plantings need a little extra care in the beginning. Since growing situations and weather conditions vary, it is difficult to give specific watering instructions. Observe your plants!

In general, water new plantings once or twice a week until freezing temperatures occur. If winter moisture is sparse, give plants a good soaking twice a month. When plants are established, a deep watering two to three times a month will usually be sufficient. Always water deeply rather than just sprinkling. Watering in the early morning is beneficial to plant health.

A gravel and rock mulch will make your garden look good and will help the soil retain moisture. Burying a rock near your newly planted native will moderate soil temperatures and will give an attractive, natural look to your garden. Avoid the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides for healthy soil and wildlife.

Planting Hints

If you can not plant immediately, be sure to check your new native plants daily and keep them in the shade. Potted plants can dry out quickly. Please try to plant within a week.

Water plants well the night before planting. Dig planting hole a little wider than plant container and loosen soil well. Fill hole partially with water and let drain. Water the plant well and squeeze on the corners of the pot, point the plant to the ground and give the pot a quick shake - the plant should slip out of the pot. Loosen root ball if roots are crowded. Place plant in hole with top of root ball even with surrounding ground. Fill hole. Make a shallow moat around plant to contain water. Water thoroughly. If possible, try to create a little temporary shading to protect your new plantings from the hot sun. Use propped up wood or plastic, shadecloth, cedar shakes stuck in the ground, or row cover fabric. Remove in a week or so.

Good Luck and Enjoy Your New Native Plants!

Please let us know how your garden grows. Contact our plant sale coordinator with questions or suggestions or if you would like to return pots for re-use. Thank you for your interest!

IMPORTANT - Write the name of each plant on the back of the plastic label. The paper label will peel off. Use a hard pencil or a sharpie.