Introduction to Native Plants

Summer chaparral garden; Image: Philip van Soelen

Why garden with California native plants?

The benefits are endless. You will be able to:

Support pollinators + wildlife

Many native bees and butterflies rely on native plants for habitat and survival. When you create a native plant garden, you provide insects and wildlife with an oasis of food and shelter.

Butterflies on Deerweed Photo: Tony Tubbs
Butterflies on deerweed (Acmispon glaber); Image: Tony Tubbs
Poppies, celestial sage, and white sage. Credit Amina Sharma.
California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), celestial blue sage (Salvia ‘Celestial Blue’), and white sage (Salvia apiana); Image: Amina Sharma

Conserve water

Once established, many California native plants require little irrigation beyond normal rainfall. On average, native plant gardens use 83% less water. Saving water conserves a vital, limited resource and saves you money!

Do less maintenance

While no landscape is maintenance free, California native plants require significantly less time and resources than traditional turf-dominated landscapes. A native plant garden requires 68% less maintenance than a traditional garden.

Credit Robert Hall.
Image: Robert Hall
Credit Jonathan Kemper
Image: Jonathan Kemper from Unsplash

Reduce run-off and pollution

With native plants, you can skip the harmful pesticides. Native plants have developed their own defenses against many pests and diseases. This means less chemicals for you, your family, pets, and community.

Create a sense of place and connection to nature

Create a landscape that celebrates the beauty of California, allowing you the opportunity to connect with the nature from your region in your very own yard.

Credit Jeff Bisbee.
Image: Jeff Bisbee