Bloom! California: Native Plants for a Bright Tomorrow

Contact: Liv O’Keeffe

California Native Plant Society Invites Industry Partners to Participate in Statewide Campaign.

Apr. 28. 2021, Sacramento — Bloom! California: Native Plants for a Bright Tomorrow is a new statewide effort spearheaded by the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) aimed at increasing the promotion and sales of California native plants across the state.

Developed in partnership with a diverse group of nurseries, water agencies, nonprofits, and others, the three-year campaign comes at a critical time as countries the world over grapple with the dual crises of extinction and climate change. Bloom! California provides an opportunity for the state’s residents — from business leaders and educators to consumers, outdoor enthusiasts, and school children — to play a role in the ‘re-greening’ of the Golden State with its native plants.


Hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) in bloom under native oak at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, a partner in Bloom! California.

“California is facing real-time concerns like drought and the collapse of insect and bird populations; native plant gardening offers a specific and tangible way for each of us to help,” said Liv O’Keeffe, senior director of public affairs for CNPS. “With local, state, and federal efforts underway to protect biodiversity, improve access to nature, and build climate resilience, we’re thrilled to roll out Bloom! California as a way for Californians everywhere to grow a more sustainable future for California.”

Enrollment in the campaign is now open for nurseries, growers, and retailers that are interested in supporting it. By enrolling with Bloom! California, partners commit to helping sell and promote Bloom! California and the campaign’s elected native plants (a full list of included plants can be found at Participants will receive shared, branded campaign materials for their websites, social media, and nursery points-of-sale, and will have direct influence over the campaign over it’s three-year lifespan. An increase in the sale of native plants through the campaign will directly translate into increased revenue.

“As a nursery and nonprofit with a mission to bring sustainable, ecologically beneficial landscapes to the built environment, Bloom! California is a natural fit,” said Evan Meyer, executive director of the Theodore Payne Foundation. “This campaign will set California on a path where beautiful, water saving and life supporting gardens are the norm rather than the exception.”

CNPS worked with a multi-disciplinary stakeholder group of experts and practitioners to select native plant species for the campaign, which provide an array of important benefits for people and nature: supporting pollinators and other wildlife, expanding direct access to nature, reducing pesticides use, beautifying our communities, and conserving water.

“Southern Californians understand that our water supplies are limited, and climate change is straining them even more. A big way to reduce water use and continue making homes more sustainable is by replacing grass with water-efficient California Friendly® and native plants,” said Bill McDonnell, water efficiency manager at Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a CNPS partner and advisor to the campaign. “Bloom! California will make it much easier for residents to find the perfect, sustainable plants for their gardens.”

Funded in part by a California Specialty Crop Block Grant, Bloom! California focuses on the sale of native plants that are considered California specialty crops, defined to include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. The industry recruitment phase of the campaign is now underway, with a consumer campaign set to launch in September 2021, running through 2023, with emphasis on planting seasons and other popular gardening times.

To learn more about Bloom! California, please visit


About the California Native Plant Society:

The California Native Plant Society is a statewide organization working to save and celebrate California’s native plants and places via plant science, advocacy, education, and horticulture. CNPS has nearly 10,000 members in 35 chapters throughout California and Baja to promote its mission at the local level.

Funding for Bloom! California was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM200100XXXXG032. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.


  1. I realize that there is one theory about using “native plant gardening” as a stepping-stone to preservation, but I wonder if any solid study has been done, after all these years of emphasis on such a point has resulted in any distortion of the original CNPS charter goals like preservation, for example.

    1. Residential native gardens are in a way restorations. I think if we are going to get people to care about preservation they can simply start in their own garden. Watch it thrive and appreciate the importance that it brings to the local ecosystem. Then from there it’ll be easier for people to make informed decisions (from experience in their gardens) about native plant preservation and take action.

    2. Check out Doug Tallamy’s book, Natures Best Hope. Lots of good science in there on the value of native gardening for nature restoration.

Post A Comment