4 Native California Plants Worth Buying for Spring – And Where to Buy Them

What’s not to love about spring? This season is a great time to enjoy the sun, go out and take a jog, and grow new flowers for your garden. 

Of course, it is normal for us to think that flowers are the classic symbol of spring. Beautiful, colorful, and fragrant to smell, having a garden filled with many plants and flowers brings you a little closer to Mother Nature.

But there are people who struggle to choose what plants they should grow and cultivate for the spring season. What’s more, by not having the knowledge or experience to take care and maintain a garden, it might end up as a disaster.

We don’t want that to happen for your garden in the future, right? 

Worry not! You can still make your garden more beautiful with native plants. These native flowers are good for springtime and they require little to no maintenance on your part. Plus, they grow well in the California weather.

Here are four amazing native plants that you should consider growing in your California home garden.

California Brittlebush

The California Brittlebush (Encelia californica) is another native flowering plant that can be found throughout southern California and Baja California. This plant is part of the Asteraceae genus or Aster Family. This perennial subshrub can grow from 3 to 4 feet in height and width, and it is easily distinguished by its yellow, daisy-like flowers and bright-green, oval leaves. The leaves can remain on the plant for a whole year.

It is also called by its other common name, the Coast Sunflower. This is because its color closely resembles a sunflower and its native habitat happens to be near the shoreline.

This beautiful native flower is perfect for any garden as a decorative plant. It is drought-tolerant, insect resistant, and disease resistant. This flowering plant is rich with sweet nectar, which attracts bees and butterflies that serve as pollinators. It only needs a good place to grow and receive nutrients.

The required living conditions for the California brittlebush are well-drained/sandy soils and full sunlight. If you happen to live near the coast, this plant can live in seaside conditions. What’s more, the flower usually blooms between February and June.

If you are searching for a native plant that can be used as a great cut flower and has low gardening maintenance, the California brittlebush may have what it takes for your home garden.

Where to buy them: Plant Depot

Blue Morning Glory

The Blue Morning Glory (Ipomoea indica) is a native flowering vine of California and it is part of the Ipomoea genus (bind weeding or morning glory family). This vine can reach up from 4 to 15 feet in height. It is mostly recognized by its unique characteristics such as evergreen vines, heart-shaped leaves, and bright blue trumpet-like flowers. 

This vine is typically called Ocean Blue Morning Glory and Koali Awa in Hawaii. 

What’s interesting about this native vine is that it is one of the two flowers under the Morning Glory family that blooms blue flowers, the other one being the Japanese morning glory flower. 

This vine usually blooms from late spring until fall, so expect this plant to live for most seasons. It’s also a great plant to have in a cottage garden or Mediterranean-style garden if you need it to climb a wall, serve as ground cover, or hide your old fence. 

If you are planning to grow this perennial vine for your garden, you need to make sure that you have well-drained, loamy soil and full sunlight. You can sow the seeds and let it germinate for 1 to 2 days. 

While it is still growing, make sure to water the blue morning glory a lot. It also needs a great liquid fertilizer to ensure a healthy growth. You may water this vine seldomly after it grows at a considerable rate.

Even though it is considered as an invasive weed, the blue morning glory has been recognized around tropical parts of the world. In fact, it was given the Award of Garden Merit way back in 1993 because of its gorgeous flowers and fast growth rate. 

Where to buy them: Botanical Interests

California Flannelbush

The California Flannelbush (Fremontodendron californicum) is part of the Sterculiaceae family, which consists of tropical plants such as cacao and cola nut. It consists of interesting features such as bright yellow flowers and evergreen shrub. 

This native plant can grow from 8 to 18 feet in height, so it is advised for anyone who is planning to grow this plant to place it away from walkways and patios. 

The genus name, Fremontodendron, comes from the name of Major General John Charles Frémont. He is a 19th explorer who discovered this beautiful plant. While the species name “californicum” generally means California.

If you want to establish a Mediterranean-style garden in your home, then this plant will be a nice addition that will serve as an ornamental piece. 

To start growing this plant, there are two methods you can choose: propagation by seed and planting it through softwood cutting. After choosing the method you will use, make sure that it is placed on a dry or well-drained soil under full sunlight. 

Because it is drought-tolerant, you can water this plant sparingly. If you water too much, it might acquire root rot disease.

Just like the other native plants, the California flannelbush needs little maintenance. This is great if you want to grow a native shrub or tree for your garden that produces beautiful flowers without much effort.

Where to buy them: https://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/317–fremontodendron-californicum 

Long Petaled Iris

Frank Mayfield, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Long Petaled Iris (Iris longipetala) is a rare native wildflower plant that can be found in few parts of California. This particular perennial herb can grow up to 2 feet in height and width, and it has striking features such as lavender blue flowers and evergreen leaves. 

Though it is quite uncommon compared to the other native plants, it is worth your time to cultivate and take care of this plant. It has a pleasant fragrance and the beautiful lavender flowers add an aesthetic appeal to your home garden in spring and summer.

To make sure the long-tailed iris grows well in your garden, you need to check first the soil and weather conditions. This flowering plant needs to grow in a clay soil with slow to medium drainage. For the weather conditions, it prefers to grow under full sunlight or partial shade. 

Once you can verify if your garden fits the plant’s preference, you can start growing it. One effective way is by planting the seeds directly into the soil. It doesn’t need any preparation, so just let the seeds germinate on the soil bed until it starts sprouting. 

This is another native plant that is very easy to take care of and requires little maintenance. 

Where to buy them: Yerba Buena Nursery

Conclusion

There is a certain sense of joy when it comes to planting new flowers in your home garden during the spring season. Plants and flowers are proven to have a calming effect to some people, which is why it is important to choose what native plants to include in your own garden.

If you need additional help in picking new plants to improve your garden’s beauty and appeal, you can always ask the local plant nursery and horticulturist for their expert opinions.

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