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California natives you can plant in summer and Bloom!

California natives you can plant in summer that will Bloom! Bob Sussman 7/11/19


Yes it’s summer and the beautiful spring flowering native garden is well, in need of help. The temps are heating up and the spent flowers may look sort of interesting but really not so swift. Your neighbors have been looking at your natural landscape and aren’t so impressed like they were in spring.

What can I do?

Ok, we’ll in planning things out it might have been helpful to have added a fair amount of our California natives that either bloom most of the year as well as the summer blooming ones. Here’s a listing of Calif. natives you can plant in summer – they will flower and many of them through mid-winter. It’s a little more challenging to start plants in summer but these are doable as long as you understand they are newly planted and don’t have a deep root system. So, you’ll have to keep up on the watering more so than if you planted them in fall/winter.

Abutilon palmeri- Indian mallow

Native to our deserts and deserts of the southwest they’ll do well in full sun in your garden. Size? roughly 4′ x 4′ and will flower until early winter and start up again in spring.

Aster chilensis- California aster

Native to our coastal and a bit inland areas from Ventura County north and east of the Sierras but easy to grow in your garden – plant in shade to part shade. To establish in summer water 2x/week+/-. After established summer water 2x/4x month. Pink flowers from end of spring through fall. To keep them flowering this long you’ll need to give them a trim after the first set of flowers and they’ll flower again. A good one for feeding both bees and butterflies.

Eriogonum grande rubescens- red buckwheat

A Channel Islands native that will do fine in full sun near the coast and part shade inland. These flower late spring into summer then with some irrigation again in fall.

Erigeron glaucus- seaside daisy

Plant in full sun by the coast or part shade to shade inland. Low growing and spreading will flower from early spring into winter. When they’re done flowering cut them back they will regrow and flower again.

Heterotheca ‘San Bruno Mountain’- Golden aster

Low growing and flowering from spring into winter. Plant in part shade to shade.

Lavatera assurgentiflora and glabra- Island bush mallow

Island bush mallows – large shrub or small tree. These have lavender to magenta flowers. H 9′ x W 10′- plant in full sun near the coast in part shade inland. Big flowers from spring through late fall.

Monardella odoratissima- mountain mint, Monardella villosa- coyote  mint

Both the mountain mint(above) and the coyote mint blew are similar. Easy to grow and small perennials H 2′ x W 2′. Long flowering period from spring through fall. Plant in full sun to part shade.

Sphaeralcea ambigua- desert mallow

Medium size perennials H 4′ x W 4′- will flower from spring though mid-winter. After they are done flowering cut them back about 1/4th – apply water and they’ll flower again. Besides orange we grow several that are different colors that are from crosses produced by mallows that grow through the southwest and northern Mexico. The colors range from almost white, to pinks, to shades or orange to reds.

Verbena lilacina- Cedros Island verbena

These are actually native to Cedros Island off the coast of Baja Calif. but considered to be in the California floristic province. Any way don’t worry about that. These will flower all year and are very fragrant. H 2-1/2′ x W 3′. Plant in full sun near the coast or shade inland. They are very fragrant and will feed your butterflies.

Zauschneria several species…California fuchsia

While there are several species of these, most the same +/-, mostly red flowers, flowering summer through fall. In this region there are a couple of species while hiking around. Tend to be smaller H 1-1/2′ x W 2′. Plant in full sun to part shade. This picture was taken in Thousand Oaks, at California Lutheran University.

Ok, these are just a few suggestions of California you can plant in summer and they’ll flower. However, they’ll need to be watered between 1x and 3x per week depending on where you live and how hot it gets. This list can also take the summer watering and grow just fine, not all can. We also grow many southwest natives that can be planted in summer like chocolate daisies, Mexican tulip popppies, Mexican blue sage, yellow flowering sundrops – and will also flower but we’re just sticking to California natives withing the scope of the article.


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Iris germanica TB 'Orange Harvest' Re

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