Fall and winter are the best seasons to plant a California native. This allows the roots to become established before the heat of the summer. Native plants will do much better if planted in soil with good drainage. If the soil is heavy, add sand, gravel or other inert material. Do not add compost or fertilizer. This would cause the roots to stay close to the plant instead of going deep and into the native soil.
Mycorrhizae Fungi are beneficial fungi that attach to the roots, increasing the absorption area available to the root system. This improves the plants ability to absorb water and nutrients, maintain soil structure, and increase resistance to disease and stress.
We use mycorrhizae inoculants in our soil mix for growing the plants in containers and we strongly recommend the use of mycorrhizae tablets when planting your natives. 2 tablets for one gallon plants and 8 tabs for 5 gallon plants. Put the tablets in the hole touching the roots when planting. This is particularly important where construction, compaction or heavy chemical fertilizers have disturbed native soil.
Native plant roots need to go deep into the soil to become drought and disease resistant so it is important to water deeply.
A good watering is slow and long. A drip system is best, which conserves water and discourages competing weeds. Try to water 1 foot away from the plant crown. Native plants are very sensitive at the root crown, if the root crown is damp, harmful bacteria and fungi will grow.
Water every 6-10 days depending on site and weather for the 1st season.
After the 1st season a deep watering once a month is recommended for most native plants. This should prolong the blooming period and avoid summer dormancy.
Remember, good drainage is very important and do not over water!