Fall for Natives at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

While you can buy plants year round at the Garden Nursery, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden makes a much larger assortment of plants available at their Fall Native Plant Sale. The Fall Native Plant Sale opens to the public at noon on Saturday, Sept. 30 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 5.  The sale is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and takes place at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, Calif. 93105. This is the largest selection of native plants on the Central Coast with over 6,000 plants and 400 different varieties. Garden admission is not required to visit the sale.

“Part of our mission here at the Garden is to share the benefits of planting native plants in their own gardens,” said Steve Windhager, Ph.D., Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Executive Director. “Our Fall Native Plant Sale and the lectures we are offering this fall provides the community with the opportunity to discover these plants and to bring them home.”

Why plant natives?
Natives are perfectly suited to our summer-dry, winter-wet climate, and are better than plants from other parts of the world at providing habitat for our pollinators and wildlife. And, unlike many exotic plants, natives will not become problem invasive species.

Why plant in the fall?
Fall is the best season for planting in our area. Temperatures are cool, so soil doesn’t dry out as quickly. Not only does this give plants time to establish their roots and take advantage of winter rainfall, but many native plants, such as manzanita, bloom in winter or early spring. Cool winter rains encourage the growth of the strong root systems natives need to survive. Once established, most natives can survive our dry summers on little water, but to thrive, many appreciate some additional irrigation. We recommend deep, infrequent watering for most native plants.

What should I plant?
The Garden has lists of easy-to-grow plants, many of which you can see at the newly renovated Water Wise Home Garden, and in the new booklet, Water Wise Native Plants for Santa Barbara County, available at the Garden Shop. The booklet was written by the Garden, with funding provided by the Walter and Holly Thomson Foundation and the City of Santa Barbara. An electronic version of the booklet can be found online here.

Additionally, a recent introduction to the Garden Nursery will be available at the Fall Native Plant Sale. Senecio palmeri (Guadalupe Island Senecio — ‘Silver and Gold’) is a beautiful, knee-high white-leaved shrub with yellow daisy flowers. Limited amount available.

A list of available plants will be listed at sbbg.org, beginning Friday, Sept. 22.

Fall Native Plant Sale highlights:

  • September 29, 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m.: The members-only Fall Native Plant Sale Preview Party kicks off the season with beer, wine, live music and a silent auction.
  • September 30, 9 a.m.-noon: Members’ Morning, early bird shopping for members only.  Sale opens to the public at noon.
  • October 7, 4 m.-6 p.m.: Greg Rubin, well-known landscaper and author of The California Native Landscape, The Homeowner’s Design Guide to Restoring Its Beauty and Balance and The Drought Defying Californian Garden will be the featured speaker at this year’s Dara Emery Memorial Lecture: California Native Landscape Design.
  • 3 Thursdays, beginning October 19, 5 p.m.-7p.m.: Survey of California Native Garden-Worthy Plants explores the cultivation and installation of the best of the native California flora from expert Garden horticulturist Bruce Reed. Long-term maintenance is also covered in this overview. Many of the plants are showcased in both wild and garden settings.

For more information, register for classes, or RSVP to the Fall Native Plant Sale Preview Party, visit sbbg.org/classes-events.

Garden members receive discounts on plants, Garden Shop items, and classes. Join the Garden and become a member today at sbbg.org/membership

About the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden conserves and promotes California native plants through our gardens, research, and education, and serves as a model for sustainability. Founded in 1926, the Garden is the first botanic garden focused exclusively on California native plants and currently spans 78 acres with five miles of walking trails, an herbarium, seed bank, research labs, library, nursery, and gift shop. For more information about the Garden, please visit sbbg.org

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