Sowing California Native Seeds

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Compiled by the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants, Inc.


Recommended application rates for our seed blends are:

  • Packet - 50 sq. ft.

  • Ounce - 200 sq. ft.

  • Pound - 3000 sq. ft.

  • 6-8 lbs. - one acre

  • Remove all weeds prior to planting. Do not till the soil since that will bring weed seeds to the surface that may still be viable.
  • Do not add any soil amendments or fertilizers. Natives don't need these and quite often they will harm the plants.

FOR CALIFORNIA: Sow seed in fall at the start of the rainy season. Scatter seed sparingly and barely cover. For even distribution, mix seed with fine dry sand or soil. The proportion of sand or soil should greatly exceed the amount of seed involved. Keep moist. Later sowings of annuals and perennials may be made through late winter, though smaller plants may result. With watering, seed of perennials may be sown throughout most of the year.

FOR COLD-WINTER REGIONS: Sow in spring in the open ground as soon as danger from frost is over. Cover seeds lightly. If the seedlings appear too thickly, they may be thinned out.