CNPS-SLO encourages the use of California Native plants in public and private gardens and landscapes, and offers information about how to plan, start, and maintain native plant gardens and landscapes that are both ecologically beneficial and personally enjoyable .

Please take the time to cruise though the articles and information in this section of our site. We hope you reach out to us if you have questions about topics not covered here.

Also, if you have expertise in native plant gardening and would like to contribute, we would love to hear from you!

Why Should I Incorporate Native Plants In My Own Garden?

In addition to their natural beauty, natives provide water-conserving, drought-tolerant and sustainable garden design choices. For more information about the benefits of incorporating native plants in your own garden, click here.

What are Native Plants and Why are They Important?

To learn more about the importance of native plant conservation, please click here.

NATIVE PLANTS THAT ATTRACT BIRDS | A very thorough list of native plants with the type of bird that each plant attracts, the part of the plant that is used and in which season. For example, if you wish to see Cedar Waxwings in your garden in the summer and fall, plant Washington Filifera (the birds feast on the date fruit) and Fraxinus species for the seeds produced in the fall.

FRAGRANT CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANTS FOR THE GARDEN | Gardening for fragrance opens up another dimension of gardening. You can be whisked back to another place and time or other remembrances by the fragrances given off by your plantings. Once you start noticing aromas, you will quickly come up with your own favorites. Since everyone’s sense of smell is different, fragrances are open to different interpretations.

NATIVE PLANTS THAT ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES | The most important plants for caterpillars are buckwheat, California lilac (Ceanothus), deerweed and milk vetch and lupines, mallows, oaks, rock cress and other mustards, and grasses. Unless you provide larval food plants in your garden or nearby, the number of adult butterflies will be limited. The butterflies of San Luis Obispo County are listed, with the host/food plant of the caterpillar. In most cases the food (nectar plant) of the adult butterfly is also given.

Three Native Garden lists

North County Plant List | PDF Templeton Residence on Jack Creek Plant List

A List of California Native Plants and Their Garden Needs |  PDF list updated, updated 2015 by  Marti Rutherford

Atascadero Native Garden | PDF listing of the natives in this San Jacinto Avenue, Atascadero garden

Atascadero Native Garden | PDF Listing of the natives in this Dolores Avenue, Atascadero garden

 

 

Seed Collection and Saving for the Casual Gardener

This document talks about why and when to collect native plant seeds and offers tips for collecting and storing seeds. By Marti Rutherford, CNPS-SLO, April 2016

 

How to Handle Deer Problems in Your Garden

This article helps you determine if you have a low, moderate, or high level of “browse” and suggests the appropriate methods for combating your problem. Also included is a  brief list of plants that have shown some success in deer-prone areas.

 

View Posts by Category

< 2017 >
April
  • 01

    All day
    04-01-2017
    Santa Margarita Park and Ride
    US-101 & El Camino Real & US-101, Santa Margarita, CA 93453, USA

    Saturday, April 1, 2017, 8:00 am

    Malcolm McLeod Annual Field Trip Meeting at Carrizo Plain

    Join us to explore and appreciate the remarkable and unique display of annual and perennial spring wildflowers in eastern San Luis Obispo County. This could be the BIG YEAR in this giant swath of undisturbed California Prairie. Remember, this is a remote area, so make sure you have plenty of gas, water, as well as food.

    Meet at the Santa Margarita park-and-ride (freeway exit, State Route 58 at Hwy 101) at 8:00 am. We will caravan from there with a brief stop at Shell Creek. You may be able to carpool with someone, so it is recommended to arrange your ride ahead of time, or jump in with others at the meeting place. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, bring sunscreen, a hat, and layered clothing for warmth, as needed.

    For more information contact: George Butterworth, (805) 438-3641, gbutterworth8@gmail.com or Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com. Rain cancels.

  • 02

    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    04-02-2017
    La Purisima Mission
    2295 Purisima Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA

    Sunday 2 April 2017 9 AM

    CNPS, LVBHS, and Sierra Club Spring La Purisima Burton Mesa Wildflower Walk

    Meet at the La Purisima Mission Parking Lot, corner of Purisima and Mission Gate Rds. (2295 Purisima Rd. Lompoc) at 9 AM for this annual California Native Plant Society and Sierra Club spring tour of the beauties of the Burton Mesa Chaparral. This should be a great year for wildflowers, annuals as well as shrubs; Optional afternoon tour.

    Sturdy shoes, lunch & liquids, camera and binoculars advised. For more information, call Charlie at 733-3189 Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9:00 am, Pecho Ranch, (PG&E property) near Montaña de Oro State Park. This is an RSVP only field trip open to 40 CNPS members.

    Details will be available in the April Obispoensis and via e-mail announcements. To place your name on the list, contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

  • 08

    9:00 am-12:00 pm
    04-08-2017
    Pecho Ranch
    Pecho Valley Rd, Los Osos, CA 93402, USA

    THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO RAINMdO

    Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9:00 am, Pecho Ranch, (PG&E property) near Montaña de Oro State Park

    We will walk to the top of the ridge road, located on the north ranch. As we ascend the road, you will see the habitats change from coastal sage scrub to chaparral and bishop pine forest. The top of the road offers a view of Morro Bay and the Coon Creek drainage.  Total distance is 5 miles, elevation gain is 800 ft., three hours.

    This is an RSVP only field trip open to 40 CNPS members. To place your name on the list and receive details about this field trip, contact Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.  Bill will ask for some personal contact information to be forwarded to PG&E.  

    Deadline to sign up for this field trip is March 25th.

    Rain cancels

     

    We will meet at the Point Buchon Trail check-in station. See map here: https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/in-your-community/local-environment/diablo-canyon-trails/point-buchon-trail.page

  • 09

    All day
    04-09-2017
    Wind Wolves Preserve
    39611 Oak Glen Rd, Yucaipa, CA 92399, USA

    Sunday, April 9, 2017, 9:00 am

    Wind Wolves Preserve

    16019 Maricopa Highway (State Route 166), between Maricopa, CA and Interstate 5.
    Join us for a daylong visit to Wind Wolves Preserve, part of the Wildlands Conservancy, located on the north slope of the Transverse Ranges, east of Maricopa, CA.

    This area has spectacular open spaces with carpets of wildflowers that stretch up into pine forests.
    We will meet outside the administration building at 9:00 am.

    Be sure to bring water, food, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, a hat, and layered clothing for warmth, as needed.
    Carpooling is available.

    RSVP if you plan to participate: Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com

    Rain cancels

  • 16

    1:00 pm-4:00 pm
    04-16-2017
    Irish Hills Trailhead
    1691 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA

    Sunday, April 16th, 1:00 p.m

    Join us for a plant walk from the Madonna Road trailhead (southwestern terminus of Madonna Rd.) into the upper reaches of the Irish Hills Open Space.

    The vast majority of soils in this area are derived from serpentine, which is a metamorphic rock, high in magnesium and iron, while low in calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. The excess magnesium in combination with low levels of calcium, phosphorus, and potassium create a stressful environment for plant growth, and therefore inhibit the growth of the vast majority of both native and introduced species. The unique assortment of plants that do grow in the Irish Hills and on other serpentine-based outcrops surrounding San Luis Obispo, make for an exceptional mixture, which we will see in bloom on this walk. A plant list will be provided.

    The length is 5 miles, 700 ft. elevation gain, 3 hours. Be sure to bring water, food, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, a hat, and layered clothing, as needed.

    Contact: Bill Waycott, (805) 459-2103, bill.waycott@gmail.com.

    Rain cancels

  • 18

    11:00 am-4:00 pm
    04-18-2017
    Growing Grounds Farm Wholesale Nursery
    3740 Orcutt Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Growing Grounds Farm is a non-profit wholesale nursery located in San Luis Obispo. Growing Grounds offers California natives, Mediterranean perennials, succulents, restoration and mitigation plants, a wide variety of grasses, and a selection of perennial herbs.

    Growing Grounds Farm is a wholesale nursery and does not sell directly to the public except on the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m

  • 20

    1:00 pm-5:00 pm
    04-20-2017
    Atascadero Library
    6901 Capistrano Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422, USA
    April 20, 2017 @ Atascadero Library 6555 Capistrano Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422
    **FREE Workshop & DPR CEU’s are applied for**
    Agenda:
    1:00 pm – 1:15 pm Check-In
    1:15 pm – 1:30 pm Welcome and Introductions Lauren Brown, California Native Plant Society, San Luis Obispo County
    1:30 pm – 2:15 pm Goldspotted Oak Borer: Life Cycle, Identification and Management Speaker: Kevin Turner and Kim Corella, Cal Fire
    2:15 pm – 3:00 pm Identification, Impact and Management of Shot Hole Borer Speaker: Akif Eskalen, University of California, Riverside
    3:00 pm – 3:15 pm Break
    3:15 pm – 4:00 pm Sudden Oak Death: Identification and Management Speaker: Kerri Frangioso, University of California, Davis
    4:00 pm – 4:30 pm Questions for speakers
  • 21

    3:30 pm-6:30 pm
    04-21-2017
    Atascadero Lake Park Pavilion
    9315 Pismo Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422, USA

    Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

    Special Guest Speaker: Penny Nyunt, daughter of Bert Wilson, owner of Las Pilitas Nursery

    Ribbon Cutting Flyer1

  • 22

    9:00 am-11:00 am
    04-22-2017
    Atascadero Lake Park Pavilion
    9315 Pismo Ave, Atascadero, CA 93422, USA
  • 22

    11:00 am-5:00 pm
    04-22-2017
    San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden
    3450 Dairy Creek Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA

    No additional detail for this event.

  • 23

    1:00 pm-4:00 pm
    04-23-2017
    Nipomo Native Garden
    927-999 Osage St, Nipomo, CA 93444, USA

    Nipomo Native Garden Spring Garden Tour offers a delightful afternoon of garden tours, talks, and a children’s program

    Talks

    1:30 Controlling Gophers in the Garden – Gopher biology, habits, hearsay

    2:00 Using Drought Tolerant Native Plants in the Garden

    3:00 Controlling Gophers again – a popular subject

    Children’s Garden Program

    Puppet making: All the fixings available to make your own puppet

    Flower Pounding: Kids can make a lovely bookmark to take home

    Kids can also enjoy the regular activities available in the Children’s Garden:- the sandbox, the wishing tree, hopscotch, and looking for insects and other critters in the Bug House.

  • 29

    12:00 pm-5:00 pm
    04-29-2017
    Cambria Veterans Memorial Building
    1000 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428, USA

    Saturday April 29 12:00-5:00  and Sunday April 30 10:00-4:00

    • Hundreds of freshly picked Central Coast wildflowers and other flora will be presented and described
    • Edible, Medicinal, Rare, Invasive and Poisonous plants will be identified
    • Botanists will be on hand for your questions
    • Treats available from the Wildflower Café
    • T-shirts, books, and more for sale

    Admission is free for students, otherwise it’s a $3 donation to this worthy cause.

    Brought to you by the Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve 805-927-2856

    Of special interest will be the “Fire-Following Flowers” the first to bloom out of the Chimney fire

  • 30

    10:00 am-4:00 pm
    04-30-2017
    Cambria Veterans Memorial Building
    1000 Main St, Cambria, CA 93428, USA

    Saturday April 29 12:00-5:00  and Sunday April 30 10:00-4:00

    • Hundreds of freshly picked Central Coast wildflowers and other flora will be presented and described
    • Edible, Medicinal, Rare, Invasive and Poisonous plants will be identified
    • Botanists will be on hand for your questions
    • Treats available from the Wildflower Café
    • T-shirts, books, and more for sale

    Admission is free for students, otherwise it’s a $3 donation to this worthy cause.

    Brought to you by the Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve 805-927-2856

    Of special interest will be the “Fire-Following Flowers” the first to bloom out of the Chimney fire