GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

Planting time

Posted by George J Janczyn on October 18, 2009

Brandegee's Sage

Brandegee's Sage

Anchor Bay Manzanita

Anchor Bay Manzanita

The California Native Plant Society had a plant sale at Balboa Park on Saturday and I came home with some Anchor Bay Manzanita and Brandegee’s Sage for our slope, which we keep fairly dry. I’ve noticed that when I look at drought-tolerant offerings at the local nurseries, they always seem to be well-watered, and the soil in the containers always quite moist. The same appeared to be true for the plants at the sale. This probably is not an original idea, but my plan is to keep the plants in the containers for a month or six weeks at the spot where I’ll plant them and keep water to a bare minimum. I’m guessing that should reduce the shock when they go into the soil for good, and they’ll appreciate whatever rain we get this winter that much more!

One Response to “Planting time”

  1. Nice choices, and great seeing you at the sale! I saw the sage and was tempted by its linear leaves, and the manzanita should be a nice low contrast that should grow a little faster than some selections. My favorite way to get natives established in the landscape is to plant them and water them really well. (Spot watering with a hose works great.) I might water every 3-5 days, depending on the weather, for a couple weeks, then taper off to weekly, bi-weekly, then monthly as the plants get established. Any rains along the way will of course mean you can not water until the soil dries a bit. By late spring you should be able to water them very little (the manzanitas) or not at all (the sage). The secret to drought-tolerance is as much a deep root system as any adaptive mechanisms above the ground, and a potted native plant may need as much water as any other potted plant until it gets established. Good luck with the plants!

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