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!

San Luis Obispo Planting Guide thumbnail SLO Planting guide

Download and print this planting guide that is customized for the San Luis Obispo planting region.

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.

 

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< 2020 >
February
  • 01

    All day
    02-01-2020

    Saturday, Feb. 1st, 8:30 am

    This is a strenuous hike of 16 miles and 2,500 ft. elevation gain and will likely take most of the day. Carpool in front of the Pacific Beverage Co. in Santa Margarita at 8:00 am or meet at the Rinconada trailhead at 8:30 am. The Rinconada trailhead is located on Pozo Road, 2.5 miles southeast of the Santa Margarita Lake Road intersection and is well marked with signage just ahead of a righthand turn. Be sure to bring adequate water and food, a hat, sturdy shoes, and dress in layers for the weather. There will be a couple of stream crossings, so please bring either waterproof shoes, or flipflops/sandals. Also, there will be poison oak. Dogs are welcome on a leash. Contact Bill, 805-459-2103.

    Rain or the threat of rain cancels.

  • 06

    7:00 pm-9:00 pm
    02-06-2020
    SLO Vets Hall
    801 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Program speaker: Ann Howald

    Mixer and Browse Sales Table 7:00 pm, Program 7:30 pm

    Howald imageAnn is a retired botanist who attended UC Santa Barbara, and was a teacher, consultant, and agency botanist during her working life. Her retirement project is to complete an annotated checklist of the plants of Mono County, where she now lives in the summer in her Airstream trailer, a used model refurbished as her botany lab. Her winter work takes her to herbaria all over the state, where she studies plant collections from Mono County made by others. She also is a fieldtrip leader and weed puller for the Milo Baker and Bristlecone chapters of CNPS.

  • 22

    All day
    02-22-2020

    Saturday, Feb. 22nd 9:00 am

    Join us on a bird and plant walk. For those wanting to focus mainly on birds (freshwater fowl), you will walk along the south lakeshore for a distance of roughly two miles. The bird hike will be limited to 20 people; please email Chuck to reserve a spot at woodard@live.com. For those wanting to focus on both birds and plants, you will hike the Grey Pine Trail, returning along the lakeshore. The Grey Pine Trial hugs the north-facing hills on the lake’s south edge. This walk is roughly 3.5 miles with 300 feet elevation gain. Santa Margarita County Park is located off of West Pozo Rd., 10 miles southeast of Santa Margarita, CA. At mile-9 along Pozo Rd., bear left onto Santa Margarita Lake Rd. When you arrive at the park entrance, tell the ranger you are part of the bird and plant group, then proceed to the adjacent parking lot on the right, just inside the park. Bring water and snacks and binoculars, and dress in layers for changing weather. A hat, sunscreen, and sturdy shoes are recommended. No dogs please. Contact Bill, 805-459-2103.

    Rain or the threat of rain cancels.