Where to Buy Native Plants

The Garden Nursery

Building Your Native Plant Garden

Located in our courtyard, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Nursery is open to our members and the public seven days a week, featuring the largest selection of California’s native plants on the central coast. With hundreds of varieties available, there is something for everyone. Our knowledgeable staff are available to answer your questions and help you handpick the right native plants for your garden. Open year-round, the Nursery is always changing, so stop by to browse our selection often to see what’s new. Remember, all Garden members receive 10% off purchases — for every purchase.  

Nursery Hours
daily

10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Members’ hour

9 – 10 a.m.

Seasonality

When to Plant is as Important as What to Plant 

Many native plants are adapted to a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. This basically means that summertime in California is like wintertime in the rest of the world: a time when plants take it easy and get ready for the harsh times ahead. Of course, many native plants thrive and even flower in the harshest time of the year, but understanding this adaptation is key to growing many of California’s native plants.  

Backcountry Planting

Blooming Calendar

A well-designed native plant garden has something happening every month of the year. Select a month to see a few examples of what is in bloom in a native plant garden throughout the year. Although most flowering plants attract some wildlife, we’ve highlighted the ones that the critters seem to really enjoy.

Seasonal Listings

January

Manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.)
Attracts bumblebees, hummingbirds

California lilac (Ceanothus spp.)
Attracts butterflies, native bees

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)
Brilliant red berries, attracts birds

Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea)
Attracts hummingbirds

February

California lilac (Ceanothus spp.)
Attracts butterflies, bees 

Bush poppy (Dendromecon rigida)
Attracts butterflies, bees  

Hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea)
Attracts hummingbirds 

March

Black, white, and purple sage (Salvia spp.)
Attracts butterflies, bees 

California lilac (Ceanothus spp.)
Attracts butterflies, bees  

Western redbud (Cercis occidentalis)

Irises (Iris)  

California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)  

Lupine (Lupinus spp.)
Attracts bumblebees

Coral bells (Heuchera)

Monkeyflower (Diplacus spp.)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Lemonade berry (Rhus integrifolia)

April

Irises (Iris

Flannel bush (Fremontodendron californicum)  

Monkeyflower (Diplacus spp.)
Bloom April into summer 

Coral bells (Heuchera)  

Black, white, and purple sage (Salvia spp.)
Attracts butterflies, bees 

California lilac (Ceanothus spp.)
Attracts butterflies, bees 

California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)  

Lupine (Lupinus spp.)
Attracts bumblebees 

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium

Lemonade berry (Rhus integrifolia

Bush poppy (Dendromecon rigida) 

Many wildflowers: tidy tips (Layia platyglossa), farewell to spring (Clarkia), baby blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii), bicolor lupine (Lupinus bicolor), chia (Salvia columbaria) 

May

Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri

Beardtongue (Penstemon)
Attracts butterflies, bees 

Black, white, and purple sage (Salvia spp.)
Attracts butterflies, bees 

Blue eyed grass (Sisyrinchium bellum

Flannel bush (Fremontodendron californicum

California poppy (Eschscholzia californica

Many wildflowers: tidy tips (Layia platyglossa), farewell to spring (Clarkia), baby blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii), bicolor lupine (Lupinus bicolor), chia (Salvia columbaria)  

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium

June

Black, white, and purple sage (Salvia spp.)
Attracts butterflies, bees 

Live forever (Dudleya

Desert willow (Chilopsis linearis

Humboldt Lily (Lilium homboldtii)  

Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri

Beardtongue (Penstemon)
Attracts butterflies, bees 

July

Buckwheats (Eriogonum spp.)
Attracts butterflies 

Brittlebush (Encelia californica)  

Canyon Sunflower (Venegasia carpesioides)  

California fuchsia (Epilobium canum) 

August

Goldenrod (Solidago

California fuchsia (Epilobium canum)
Attracts hummingbirds 

Buckwheats (Eriogonum spp.)
Attracts butterflies 

Brittlebush (Encelia californica

September

Buckwheats (Eriogonum spp.)
Attracts butterflies 

California fuchsia (Epilobium canum)
Attracts hummingbirds 

Summer Holly (Comarostaphylis diversifolia)  

October

California buckeye (Aesculus californica)
In fruit 

California grape (Vitis californica)
Fall color 

Buckwheats (Eriogonum spp.)
Attracts butterflies 

California fuchsia (Epilobium canum)
Attracts hummingbirds 

November

Big-leaf maple (Acer macroplyllum)
Fall color 

Cottonwood (Populus fremontii)
Fall color  

Manzanitas (Arctostaphylos spp.)  

California Buckeye (Aesculus californica

December

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)
Red berries 

Currants and Gooseberries (Ribes spp.)  

Manzanitas (Arctostaphylos spp.) 

Partner Nurseries

Time to Shop for Native Plants.

If you’re ready to invest in your home garden, but you’re not within driving distance of the Garden, we can still help!

We’ve partnered with nurseries from Ventura, across Santa Barbara County, and even Buellton and Solvang to help you succeed when it comes to growing native plants. These nurseries are knowledgeable, have inventory, and are ready to support you – from beginners to seasoned pros.

Plus, if you’re a member of the Garden, you’ll get 10% off your purchase when you show your card – every time!

Partner Gardens

Not Close? Find a Public Garden Near You.

As part of the American Horticultural Society (AHS), our Garden members enjoy reciprocal benefits from gardens across North America. Not a member yet? Join us today.

While the Garden is unique in its specificity to native plants, our partnering public gardens should have someone available who also can support your efforts to grow native plants. For a list of gardens in your region, please visit the AHS website for more information.  

Ask an Expert

Do you have a question about your native plant garden? We’d love hear from you. Please submit your questions via this form and we’ll answer as many as we can and post our responses within our newsletters, insights (blog), and social channels so everyone can follow along.

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