Theodore Payne Foundation reminds us: ‘Tis the season to go native


By the staff of Theodore Payne

We’ve been lucky with our rain this winter, with more on the way. This welcome water may not entirely end our drought, but it’s a start—and native plants in the wild and in gardens especially appreciate the rains.

In Los Angeles, rain falls only during the cool months, with no precipitation during the warmer months. In other words, it’s dry here for a good part of every year and our native plants thrive in these conditions.

For water-wise gardeners, native plants are the answer. Once established (this takes about a year), a drought-tolerant California native plant needs only a good, deep soak every few weeks to be healthy and productive, to grow and flower.

Our native plants also attract and support native wildlife—including songbirds, hummingbirds, butterflies and gentle native bees—that evolved with and depend on these plants for food, shelter and nesting opportunities. Plant natives and they will come.

The Theodore Payne Foundation for Native Plants and Wildflowers is a non-profit dedicated to the use and preservation of California’s amazing flora. The venerable Sun Valley education center and nursery is open to the public year round with classes for adults and children, a book and seed store, retail nursery, art gallery, hiking trails and demonstration gardens. Children, families and friendly on-leash dogs are welcome.

Our cool, rainy season is the best time to start a native plant garden. Attend Theodore Payne’s Winter Plant Sale, Thursday through Saturday, January 26th, 27th and 28th, with discounts on plants, seed and Theodore Payne wear—and expert advice from Foundation staff and volunteers.

Grow local. Plant native!

For more information call (818) 768-1802 or visit

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