Guidelines for planting California native plant plugs or larger potted plants

  • Preferably plant in late November to mid-January when plants are dormant. Planting is spring is ok, but plants will need more frequent watering through the dry months.
  • Dig the hole down and out twice the size of the plant’s container.
  • Fill hole with water and let drain, then fill the hole again. Add plant after second draining.
  • If the water does not drain well, then create a mound about three times the width of the container and at least 1.5 times as high with drainable soil to place the plant in that allows the water to drain away from the root wad. Break up the ground below as much as possible. Most drought resistant plants do not like their roots to stay saturated with water.
  • Do not add fertilizer or soil amendments unless soil is very low on nutrients. If adding supplemental nutrients, add to the hole prior to planting.
  • Break up root ball if roots are compacted.
  • Plant with top of root ball at or slightly above ground level.
  • Backfill and compact the soil by hand around the plant.
  • Create a catchment ridge about 12” around plant to help retain water.
  • Water heavily to get out air pockets.
  • Add 2-3 inches of mulch but avoid covering stem of plant.
  • When planting in the fall to early winter, water once a week if rainfall is absent, otherwise let winter rains water the plants.  If planting in the spring, water plants at least once a week or more depending on heat conditions until the following rainy season.

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