Fall Planting Tips

Autumn is the best time to plant California native perennials, shrubs, bulbs and wildflower seeds.

Since native plants have spent generations adapting to local growing conditions, they are great additions to home landscapes—and one that can save you time and resources. Native plants are rarely invasive. They support local wildlife—birds and butterflies depend on them for food shelter and nesting. And most of all they are beautiful.

Before heading out to buy plants, take a couple moments to examine your garden soil. A little preparation before you go can help you choose the best plants for your garden—saving you time and money!

  • A simple feel test can provide a good estimation of the soil’s physical structure.
  • Get your hands dirty and test your soil’s texture.
  • A more accurate sample will be collected about six inches below the surface.
  • The ratio of sand, silt and clay in soil determine its ability to hold moisture and nutrients.
  • A percolation test offers insight to how well your soil drains.
  • A simple DIY kit available in most garden stores can tell you what nutrients are present and if the soil is acidic or alkaline. 
  • Remember, the goal is to match the right plant to the right place. Many California natives plants grow in fast-draining, nutrient-poor soils.


Gardeners will find plenty of inspiration at the Fall Planting Festival at Grow Native Nursery Claremont and the Autumn Garden Party at Grow Native Nursery in the Veterans' Garden (West L.A.) Shop thousands of beautiful plants and water-wise solutions for your home landscape and get advice from horticulture experts.

Garden admission is never necessary to visit the nursery and parking is free for all visitors.