According to the California Native Plant Society | CNPS, native California native grasses provide several attractive benefits for both landscape professionals and their clients when creating and maintaining a thoughtful and efficient garden.
Native plants offer benefits that include:
- | Water savings
- | Low maintenance
- | Reduced use of pesticides
- | Support for native wildlife
- | Local ecology enhancement
- | Beautiful appearance
A unique and important role for California native grasses
California native grasses play a unique and important role in providing cover, nesting materials, and additional food sources for beneficial, garden-friendly wildlife.
They also provide the aesthetic design benefits of contrast, loose structural form, and interesting leaf variety. Best of all, they’re unmatched for their graceful, flowing movement throughout the seasons.
Over 300 species of native grasses are found in California and they are an integral part of diverse habitats including cool, wet forests to hot, dry deserts.
Most native ornamental grasses prefer lots of sun and will be tolerant of drought once they’re established. However, many species improve their appearance with occasional water during dry periods.
The deep roots of native grasses stabilize soil, increase water infiltration, and recycle nutrients. When native grasses are planted in urban environments, their unique qualities can even help to filter polluted runoff.
Native rangeland grasses also excel in sequestering carbon to help reduce air pollutants and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Great California native grasses for the Bay Area
With so many aesthetic and ecological benefits, it makes sense to consider California native grasses for your next installation. At Pacific Nurseries, we have a wide selection of native grasses in many container sizes in our over 36 acres of inventory.
Below is a list of a few featured specimens that we think you’ll find particularly attractive for just about any Bay Area landscape.
Leymus condensatus ‘Canyon Prince’
This beauty is not a California native. But it’s one of the hardiest of the New Zealand Hair Sedges and one of our favorites. It forms striking mounds of narrow, bronzy-orange leaves and when exposed to sunlight, the foliage seems to shimmer with movement. It’s a striking solution in rock gardens as well as containers. And it prefers exposure to partial sun with regular watering.
Low maintenance with beauty all year long.Native grasses can be a thoughtful and attractive addition to just about any Bay Area landscape. And by following some of the low care tips below, you’ll ensure that your clients will thank you for your guidance in helping them save water and reduce maintenance work in their garden.
Although most California natives can be planted at any time of year, it is best to put them in the ground during the Fall and early Winter. This gives them time to establish a healthy root system and build the energy for new growth and stunning floral displays in Spring and Summer.
WateringMany native plants can survive with minimal supplemental water once they have become established (after 2-5 years). Some native species can maintain a healthy appearance for much of the year while being watered occasionally each month.
SoilMost native plants perform better without any fertilizer. Extra nutrients push plants to grow quickly, sometimes beyond naturally supportable levels and can shorten their life span. Adding a layer of mulch helps to slow water evaporation, discourage weed germination, and create a favorable environment for creating beneficial biological bacteria.
Want to know more about California native grasses?
If you want to discuss or learn more about California native grasses, feel free to contact any of our experts at Pacific Nurseries. As both a grower and a plant broker, we’re ready to work with you to provide just the right plants that will make your project a water-wise success. It’s one of the many qualities that make us different from just an ordinary nursery.
Contact us online or just give us a call at 650.755.2330.
We can also provide an Estimate for one item or for an entire installation. Just attach your Microsoft Excel .xlsx plant list to our convenient online estimate form.
Share your favorite California native grasses
Have you recently installed California native grasses for your project? Share your success with our community! We look forward to hearing from you
As President of Pacific Nurseries, Don Baldocchi gets satisfaction knowing the Bay Area is greener and more beautiful by helping landscape professionals succeed. Email Don or give him a call at 650.755.2330.