Native Plants in Containers

dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal(9)

I wanted to start this discussion, because it was a interest of mine. I interested in other's experiences growing natives in containers from Tree, Shrubs, and wildflowers. Special interest in Manzanita's. Growing Mediums, and other cultural tricks discovered. This is a link for article for Manzanita I found.

Collecting Manzanita—
The Impossible Dream? NO!

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dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal(9)

I am growing plants in California. The 2 environments are
Coastal Sage Scrub, and mixed High Chaparral/ Singleleaf and Quad Leaf Pinyon
Pine Zone. The Native Plants here are
adapted to wet Winters and dry Summers. The Shrubs and Trees are sensitive to
moisture and nutrients ( timing and quantity). A shrub in the wild may live 50
to 100 years in the wild. But decline and die less than 5 years under garden
conditions. More people have killed their plants with water or fertilizer. I
hear “ But I only gave a little fertilizer or water”. The challenge is create
the optimum conditions in a container for the plant for the time of year. Currently
seeing if it is necessary, and developing methods to duplicate the Chaparral conditions in containers.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Dale, don't have time atm to dig deeply into this interesting concept, but very generally, if the plants-any plants-going into containers are perennials, then one must ensure a long-lasting medium that will retain its good drainage characteristics over the long haul. In Houzz's Container Gardening forum, there is a very good treatment of this subject. If you go there, you really can't miss it-it's a very long thread. But the basic ideas are: Uniform particle size-chunks actually, rot-resistant organic materials-you don't want it breaking down too fast because then the good drainage characteristics will be nullified, and so on. I'm leaving it there for now, but much to absorb in that thread, pun quite possibly intended!

+oM

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Wild Haired Mavens(Zone 10)

I enjoy growing native plants in containers. Got a live oak in a five gallon pot. I sit that pot on top of a 20 gallon pot. I change the 20 gallon pot soil as needed so i don't disturb the oak. They like good drainage and light fertilizer.

I also grow pots with woodland plants like others might grow a terrarium. If you want to grow natives buy cheap healthy plants and keep trying until you find the right conditions.

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dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal(9)

I have some Coastal Live and Interior Live Oaks growing from acorns in SC7 conetainers this year. Plus like various wildflowers.The challenge has been the irrigation during the summer dormancy period of CA natives, in permanent larger Containers . I am trying minimal capillary irrigation Sub/Wick or Sand Wicking Beds at lower moisture levels. Trying to duplicate natural capillary water in Native Habitat. Manzanita and other chaparral species are subject to root and disease problems during the natural dry periods. The normal wet periods are winter and early spring. Also promoting good Mycorrizhae health in the growing mix. Feeding with light mulch type methods. Using fertigation at about 20 to 30ppm N for seedlings in conetainers. Link to free Nursery Manual.

Nursery Manual for Native Plants

Photo of some Manzanita , Mountain SageBrush seedlings from seed.

Growing Medium (1:1) Peat: Vermiculite with Perlite Mulch SC10 cells, constant Fertigation with 30-50ppm N MiracleGro 15-30-15

Outplanted Big Berry Manzanita(from rooted Stem Cutting) 3th year


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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

You are an advanced grower. I am pleased to see your mention of mycorrhizae. This is the future of plant growing. Of course, it's also the past and the present in natural systems! Good luck with your interesting project.

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Wild Haired Mavens(Zone 10)

Your trees look adorable. So healthy. That manzinita is drool worthy. Im going to follow your progress as id love to have a row with ribes, manzanita, coffeeberry huckleberry, ceanothus, oregon grape, uva ursi and wildflowers growing along the edge of my oak.

Got my live oak at Lowe's and its been in a five gallon pot three years. It went into shock the first year. The oak is very forgiving I usually miss a month watering in summer and it gets a little ugly. Cottonseed meal provides those mycro...

Got California cherry from seed. The cherry is super easy growing in a pot of compost with wildflowers. The leaves look quite similar to oak so far.

Someone sent me wild walnut thats doing great. It had a normal winter dieback and leaf out.



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dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal(9)

wisconsitom- I don't know about advanced, just constantly learning all the time. I went from an overeducated fool in Horticultural Sciences, now learning just to get out of the way of Nature. Check out these links on the Groasis Waterboxx, and the Trials of growing Vegetables No Fertilizer Mycorrizhae only videos 1-15.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se6cr-sFZGw

video 1 of 15

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV7ftuIfSeA

website: https://www.groasis.com/en

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dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal(9)

WildHairedMavens- They may have some native plant nurseries in you area, offering plants, and tips. I don't have that property any more. Limited to container culture at the moment. The Oaks will be an experiment and learning experience. This is one in the Pasadena area https://www.facebook.com/HahamongnaNursery/ , and Tree of Life Nursery in south Orange County. Talk to the Nurseries about irrigating Oaks in the Summer. Can be touchy, and have root problems, and decline with summer water after the first years. Like Mulches of Oak leaves and Barks, encourage EctoMycorrizhae also.

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Wild Haired Mavens(Zone 10)

Dale, I know where to purchase them; just need to learn how to quit killing. If we had to bury old natives id be living in a cemetery.

Seems like Ceanothus starts kicking the bucket when I approach it at the nursery. Swear it starts wilting in the parking lot and it's all down hill from there.

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dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal(9)

Here is website I found in the late 1990's. I learned alot about Native plants care and cultivation. Many great topics about planting and care of the Natives. Ceanothus is a Nitrogen Fixing Shrub. I had a couple just watered deeply once at planting mulch, and left them alone. They grew like a weeds. Here is some links to Ceanothus and the other info.

http://www.laspilitas.com/groups/ceanothus/california_ceanothus.html

http://www.laspilitas.com/classes/Frankia.html

http://www.laspilitas.com/classes/native_planting_guide.html

http://www.laspilitas.com/classes/Garden_Myths.html

http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plant-articles

Addition: Expect to see great Ceanothus Photos next season.

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dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal(9)

Some Misc Photos I came across, of my Property 7.5ac and various Native Plants used for seed sources. Big Berry Manzanita, Mountain Sage Brush, RedShanks,Scrub Oaks, etc. Planted 350 tree seedlings that season.The area had Native Pinyon Pines , destroyed by fire started from the Cauhillla Indian Res about 80 years ago, just starting to regenerate slowly. The Pinyons grow about 1 to 2 in per year. Mountain Sage Brush is a Nitrogen Fixer and Nurse plant for Conifers. I will get back to the mountains I hope :-)

Transplanted Pines raised from seed in conetainers 3rd year outplanted Cauhillla Mtn. in Background.

Coulter Pines 2nd year form seed, with CA Incense Cedar in Background.

Growing Mix is 1:1 Sphagnum Peat:Vermiculite

Jeffery Pines Transplanted 2nd Season from seed into larger Styroblock

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

When i was younger, I never got the beauty of the dryer regions. I get it now! All it took in my case was a trip to Albuquerque with some time to drive around and look at the landscape. Very cool stuff. And man, talk about mycorrhizal associates! In that dry country, they are everything.

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dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal(9)

Link for video on Propagation Containers

Containers for Native Plant Nurseries

Native Seed Collection and Processing

Site I purchase my Containers Good Prices and small quantities can be ordered.

https://www.stuewe.com/

Ray Leach Containers https://www.stuewe.com/products/rayleach.php

Anderson Plant Bands

Treepots

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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

All very interesting. I gave up on Californian salvias and natives. I have learned to stick closer to home.

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dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal(9)

Soil Mixes for Natives

from Yerba Buena Nursery

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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

How fine a size on the volcanic rock/perlite? chunky or fine like a cause sand?I a get them germinating but then they seem to stall. I think that next time I will do a more friendly soil on top and a grittier sandier lean soil under neath.

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dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal(9)

The size of coarse perlite , 1/8-1/16 in size is good. Some seeds like to be surface sown,and need light to germinate. The above mix works out to 2 Parts Perlite to 1 Part (Bark fines or Sphagnum Peatmoss). I use a 50/50 Peat/Perlite mix of ProMix HP for seed starting. Also use bottom watering for seed germination.

The seeds are sown on growing medium surface, a mulch of perlite,grit ,or sand is used to cover seed. This keeps a humid,but not wet environment around seed. Also keeps stems drier, and prevents damping off problems. I not sure if salvia like surface sown without the mulch layer. I have grown CA Black sage, and CA White Sage.

Many Salvias need light for germination, just press into suface of soil mix. Can mulch with perlite later after gemination has occured. germinate-salvia-seeds

Addition: It was found that Clay Pot Irrigation worked well for Seed propagation for remote sites http://scc.wa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/AlternativeIrrigationSystemsForAridLandRestoration_Bainbridge_.pdf

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dale92539 Riverside Co SoCal(9)

Update Photo of the Coastal and Interior Live Oak seedlings from acorns (3 mo old) in SC7 cells, growing medium 1:1 Peat:Perlite, 30ppm N ferigation weekly with Dr Earth 4-4-4 liquid fertilizer. Will move plants to larger D27 Deepot conetainers in about a month.

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