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Planting your California natives in Summer 1,2, and 3

Planting your California natives in Summer 1,2, and 3

In southern California we can plant all year but we can plant everything all year. Of the things we can plant like desert mallows (Sphaeralcea), milkweed (Asclepias), California fuchsia(Zauschneria) and on and on and on. We also grow some southwest plants as well that can be successfully planted in summer – bloom and grow like chocolate daisies (Berlenderia lyrata) and also on an on.

But how to plant them in summer when the ground is hard and dry. Here’s what you do:

  1. Figure out where you want to plant your plants and place them out. Walk around and look at them from different angles. Make sure you have sun and shade figured out and the size.
  2. Dig the hole or dig out as best you can. In summer the ground can get really solid and hard to dig, see below.


These are narrow leaf milkweed plants(Asclepias fascicularis) food plant for the monarch caterpillars, which will be visiting in just a month or two. Some of our natives and southwest plants can look “dead” coming out of summer.

3. Some plants can look dead and maybe be dead. Milkweed plants can do this and what you should do is “flip the pot” and check the roots. This looks just fine and will be sending up stems when things cool down.


4. Next, you water everything. Fill up the holes with water, then water the backfill, and the plant in the pot. See the picture.


5. I just let the water drain and soak in overnight.

Tomorrow, I’ll come out and finish up the planting.

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Featured Plant



Botanical Name

Penstemon heterophyllus 'Margarita BOP'

Common Name

Penstemon BOP


Flower Color


Mature Size

1 tall × 1 wide

Climactic Requirements


Full Sun / Filtered Sun / Part Shade


Drought Tolerant / Occasional
Profile Availability

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