Container gardening 2014-notes

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11/1/2014 1 © Project SOUND Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Gardening with California Native Plants in Western L.A. County Project SOUND 2014 (our 10 th year) © Project SOUND Planning a Pot: container gardening with California native plants C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Madrona Marsh Preserve November 1 & 6, 2014 Fortunately, many gardens have shady seating areas © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Today we’ll see how some design principles can help you design a prettier balcony, porch or patio with native plants in containers

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Page 1: Container gardening   2014-notes



© Project SOUND

Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden

Gardening with California Native Plants in Western L.A. County Project SOUND – 2014 (our 10th year)

© Project SOUND

Planning a Pot: container gardening with

California native plants

C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake

CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve

Madrona Marsh Preserve

November 1 & 6, 2014

Fortunately, many gardens have shady

seating areas

© Project SOUND

© Project SOUND

Today we’ll see how some design

principles can help you design a prettier

balcony, porch or patio

with native plants in


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© Project SOUND


Why does this grouping ‘work’?

© Project SOUND

© Project SOUND

Reason 1: repetition


© Project SOUND

Reason 1: repetition

Repeating a design

element adds simplicity

and order to the design

Designs with little repetition

look chaotic – there is too

much variety

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Why does this grouping ‘work’?

© Project SOUND

© Project SOUND

Reason 2: variety

© Project SOUND

Reason 2: variety


Too little variety – particularly

in shape, or foliage color or

texture – is boring.

This grouping ‘works’ for another reason

© Project SOUND

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© Project SOUND

Reason 3: use of vertical space

© Project SOUND

Reason 3: vertical space


© Project SOUND

Reason 3: vertical space


Good use of vertical space increases

the variety and appears more ‘natural’

(and therefore pleasing)

Some sort of trellis with

vine/climber as natural-

looking background layer

© Project SOUND

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Needed: smaller vine/climber for background

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Grape – too large

Morning-glory –

too invasive

Honeysuckle – too pink

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Climbing Penstemon - Keckiella cordifolia

© Project SOUND

Characteristics of Climbing Penstemon

A woody vine/ open climbing shrub

Size: usually 3-6 ft long (to 15 ft); fast-growing

Sprawling – often found growing through other plants

Evergreen in mild climates with a little watering, deciduous in winter cold or under drought stress.

© Project SOUND

Who could resist such a pretty flower?

Blooms: May-Jul

Flowers: bright orange-red to deep red in clusters – very showy

Excellent summer nectar source:

Hummingbirds Butterflies Bees, etc.

Birds also eat the seed

Added value: color and

habitat value

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© Project SOUND

Tricks for gardening with Climbing


Does best in light shade

Likes any well-drained soil

Probably lives longer with little/no summer water, but it can be kept green with modest waterings

Prefers cool roots, so consider mulching with organic mulch

Prune only to remove dead branches or to shape

© Project SOUND

Climbing Penstemon in the garden

Great summer color in dry shady areas –really showy

Good under oaks

Excellent habitat

On slopes

As backdrop for other plants – attractive leaves with some summer water

Can be trained to “climb” if given support

© Project SOUND

Will need to be


An alternative would be a larger shrub –

pruned/trained to decrease it’s depth

© Project SOUND

We’ll need to

find one that

likes shade and

does well in a

large pot

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© Project SOUND

California huckleberry – Vaccinium ovatum

Beatrice F. Howitt © California Academy of Sciences

Western N. America from central CA to British Columbia

S. to Santa Barbara, N. Channel Islands; El Cajon & Bottle Peak (near Escondido) in San Diego Co.

Dry, shaded slopes; moister, woodland edges

Occurs not too far from near the coast, often in the ‘fog belt’ from sea level to 3,000 feet (0-914 m)

© Project SOUND

California huckleberry – Vaccinium ovatum

© Project SOUND

CA huckleberry – blueberry-like shrub

Size: 3-6 ft tall

3-5+ ft wide

Growth form: Evergreen shrub


Informal shape

Many slender branches –delicate appearance

Foliage: Leaves medium green, simple,


Somewhat like camelia

Used extensively as greenery in florist’s trade

©2014 Jean Pawek

©2014 Jean Pawek

© Project SOUND

Flowers: typical Heath family

Blooms: in spring; usually Feb-Apr in S. CA

Flowers: Pink or white

Small and urn-like (think: manzanita)

Hummingbirds and large (long-tongued) bees love them

Sweet fragrance

©2010 Neal Kramer

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Berries are delicious

– even raw

Ripen in summer into fall: ripe fruits are dark and often shiny

Used extensively in jams, jellies, pies, wine, baked goods, etc.

Huckleberry fruits contain high concentrations of both mono- and disaccharides (sweet)

They also are rich in vitamin C

Birds and critters will eat what you leave them

© Project SOUND ©2008 Zoya Akulova

© Project SOUND

Shade in S. CA Soils:

Texture: well-drained; sandy/gravel

pH: acidic – pH 4.0-6.0

Light: Morning sun or high/dappled shade

(under trees) to quite shady

Water: Winter: adequate rain (remember, it

comes from the north)

Summer: best if watered every week or so; Water Zone 2-3

Fertilizer: likes poor soils; may need to use ½ strength acid fertilizer (‘blueberry/azalea fertilizer’)

Other: Prune after flowering

Don’t like to be moved

©2014 Jean Pawek

© Project SOUND

California huckleberry

In the berry patch

As an accent plant

For a life-friendly hedge

As an interesting container plant


Cultivar ‘Blue Madonna’

Slightly smaller, even in the shade; slower growing

All the other good qualities of the species

Grow Native W.L.A. Nursery has it now

Suncrest Nurseries grows it – may be available at Lowes, Armstrong

© Project SOUND


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Why grow ‘blueberries’ in a pot?

Allows you to grow them in gardens with no shady soil (patios; balconies; roof gardens)

They are pretty – accent plant

Allows you to give them the cool root conditions they need

Allows you to water them a bit more than the rest of the garden

Allows you to tailor the soil conditions to the plant: Increase the drainage

Lower the pH

© Project SOUND


Many forest plants – and

those from the Northwest –

like these conditions

Specialty soils for acid-loving plants that

need a little water

Purchase an acidic potting mix (used for azaleas, gardenias, camellias)

Mix 1 (slightly acidic) 4 parts potting soil

1 part sharp (not playground) sand or perlite

Mix 2 (more acidic) 30% peat moss

50% good quality potting mix 20% perlite

Mix 3 (acid with better drainage) 1 part 1/4" pathway bark

1 part peat moss

1 part forest-byproduct-based potting soil (azalea mix or acid plant mix)

1 handful of soil sulfur per plant

© Project SOUND


Growing acid-loving berry plants in


Start with a large container

Use an acidic potting soil

Fertilize (half strength) with organic acid fertilizer or cottonseed meal in spring & again in early summer

Mulch/top-dress yearly w/ pine needles or pine bark (composted is best)

You can add a decorative mulch on top of the pine needles

© Project SOUND

Small gardens have limited space

© Project SOUND

It’s still possible to

use vertical space


Plant & hardscape must be

chosen thoughtfully

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Need a little foliage interest/contrast –

designing the mid-ground

© Project SOUND © Project SOUND

Oregon Grape – Mahonia (Berberis) aquifolium

© 2006 Louis-M. Landry

© Project SOUND

Oregon Grape is a

popular home shrub

foundation plant

mass plantings

shrub border

contraasts well with other broadleaf evergreens

useful in shady spots


© Project SOUND

Creeping Barberry

(Berberis/Mahonia repens)

Most often used as a low natural groundcover Evergreen; low-growing

Easy to grow

Fills in to cover an area

Interesting, attractive foliage

Bright spring flowers; winter foliage color

Great under trees; other shady areas

To attract fruit-eating birds

Fine in pots/planters

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© Project SOUND

Cascade barberry – Berberis (Mahonia) nervosa

Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary's College

Coastal N. America from British Columbia to N. CA

Northwestern California, n High Sierra Nevada (Sierra Co.), San Francisco Bay Area, n South Coast Ranges

Open or shaded woods, slopes; moist or somewhat dry (for the Pacific Northwest) areas below 6000 ft. Elevation

Coarse, shallow, rocky soils, coarse alluvium, or glacial outwash

© Project SOUND

Cascade barberry – Berberis (Mahonia) nervosa

©2011 Jean Pawek

© Project SOUND

Cascade barberry – like a short Oregon grape

Size: 2-3 ft tall

2-3+ ft wide (slowly spreading)

Growth form: Evergreen shrub

Erect to mounded; leaves all from central stem

Woodsy appearance

Foliage: Large compound leaves

Leaflets like holly-leaves – spiny margins

Roots: deep roots – don’t move after established

©2011 Jean Pawek

© 2006, G. D. Carr

© Project SOUND

Flowers: like sunshine

Blooms: in late winter to early spring – Feb-April depending on weather; may also bloom off & on later

Flowers: Bright yellow – brilliant

against darker foliage

Small flowers, in parts of 6 (typical for Family)

Clusters open to dense – probably dependent on light

Hummingbirds eat nectar

Vegetative: most reproduction from rhizomes after disturbance (fire)

Robert Potts © California Academy of Sci


© 2006, G. D. Carr

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Like other Berberis, fruits are a treat

Can be eaten fresh – but expect to pucker

Quite tart – often combined with apples or other sweeter berries in coked and baked goods

Used for jam, jelly, juice, syrup, pie, baked goods

Birds and animals like the fruits too

© Project SOUND

© Clayton J. Antieau

Fruit, roots & bark used medicinally

Raw fruit: tonic and gentle laxative

Roots/bark – as infusion/ decoction (tea) As an eyewash for itchy eyes

To wash sores, psoriasis

To soak arthritic joints

Ingested as general tonic

For GI upsets and infections (anti-bacterial compounds)

© Project SOUND

© 2004, Marcia Mellinger

Bark scrapings, roots & root bark make

nice yellow dye

Come see natural dyes in action

Naturally dyed yarns and fabrics in quilts, needlepoint,

knitting and more!

Sunday, November 2, 2014, 4 pm to 6 pm

Madrona Marsh Nature Center 3201 Plaza Del Amo Torrance, CA 90503


© Project SOUND

California Colors: Fiberworks using Local Natural Dyes

© Project SOUND

Plant Requirements Soils:

Texture: most

pH: wide range - any local

Light: In S. CA needs some shade:

morning sun, dappled shade

Will even grow in quite shady spots

Water: Winter: adequate

Summer: best if slightly moist with occasional dry – Water Zone 2-3 (weekly)

Fertilizer: best with organic mulch and yearly ½ strength fertilizer

Other: prune off dead leaves as needed

Plants are slow to establish

(typical of Berberis) and will

remain happy in a pot for some


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© Project SOUND

Cascade barberry

Most often used as an evergreen groundcover under trees

In a woodland or habitat garden

Makes a unique pot plant ©2011 Jean Pawek

So many choices!!!!

© Project SOUND

Italian style

Tuscan style

Shape is important: aesthetics vs.


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Remember: you will be repotting plants periodically

Big containers for big plants (even trees)

© Project SOUND

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How big a pot? Good rule of thumb: big

enough for 2-3 year’s growth (learn enough about the plant’s growth to judge)

Go big - the smallest (for small plants) should be 2.5 gallon

Bigger can be better: Allows room for plants to


Easier to maintain correct soil moisture

Easier to maintain temperature

© Project SOUND


Visit the container garden at Rancho

Santa Ana Botanic Garden

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What’s the deal with CA natives in tall pots?

© Project SOUND

Advantages of tall, square pots

Good for small areas like patios, balconies

Easier to keep roots cool (in shady location)

More soil – square pot holds 50% more soil than round

Easier to water properly

Allows native plants with deep roots to develop more normal root systems

Advice on size: tailor size and shape to

plant’s root system

© Project SOUND

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Will Berberis work for this small patio?

© Project SOUND


something smaller

with the same


Plants to grow in groupings: consider the

natural associates

Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum)

Lonicera hispidula

Heuchera micrantha

Sedum spathulifolium

Festuca californica

Fragaria vesca

Mimulus aurantiacus

Achillea millefolium

© Project SOUND

But one of the advantages of container

gardening is that you can grow plants with

very different soil/water requirements

© Project SOUND

This may be how you think of ferns

© Project SOUND


But ferns can be very

useful in smaller

outdoor gardens

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Pete Veilleux - East Bay Wilds Native Plant


© Project SOUND

Penstemon procerus -


Penstemon, Offspring

of White Sprite

Dudleya, and Sedum

spathulifolium purpurea

and S. spathulifolia

'Cape Blanco'[email protected]

Ferns look lovely alone or as greenery in

mixed pots

© Project SOUND

Aspidotis californica and Unknown

Dudleya from Baja, Aspidotis californica -

California Cliffbrake, Sedum

spathulifolium - Stonecrop[email protected]/

An easy way to succeed

(in creating mixed pots) is

to plant species that

naturally grow together

© Project SOUND

California maidenhair – Adiantum jordanii

©2006 Steve Matson

CA Floristic Province – San Diego Co. to S. OR

Locally: Catalina & San Clemente Isl, Santa Monica Mtns

Shaded hillsides, moist woods, on damp banks at base of rocks and trees (pine; oak), mostly < 3500'

© Project SOUND

California maidenhair – Adiantum jordanii


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© Project SOUND

Delicate-appearing Maidenhair

Size: 1-2 ft tall

1-2 ft wide

Growth form: Somewhat irregular low

mound or creeping

Evergreen to drought-deciduous

Foliage: Compound leaves (fern)

Petioles thin, dark; leaflets wedge-shaped, bright to pale green.

Roots: slow growth from rhizomes

©2011 Robert A. Hamilton

© Project SOUND

Shade & some water Soils:

Texture: not particular

pH: any local (wide range – pH 4.0-8.0)

Light: Filtered sun or bright shade

under trees is best

Will take some morning sun

Water: Winter: adequate

Summer: occasional to moderate water: Zone 2 to 2-3

Fertilizer: ½ strength regular fertilizer in spring, esp. in pots

Other: loves leaf mulch; needs good air circulation

©2003 Brent Miller

© Project SOUND

Maidenhairs in garden

Shady places under trees (pine, citrus)

Shady slopes; N-facing aspect

As a delightful container plant

Host for Phytophthora ramorum

(Sudden Oak Death) ©2014 Susan McDougall

©2010 Gary A. Monroe

Potting mix for ferns:

base on requirements

Water-loving ferns 1 part general-purpose potting


1 part peat moss or leaf mold.

S. CA summer-dry ferns 2 parts general-purpose potting


1 part peat moss or leaf mold.

1 part perlite, pumice or builder’s sand

© Project SOUND


Goldenback fern

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When to repot ferns & mints

Repot when they overfill to pot – or become less vigorous

Best repotted in late winter when they are starting to put up new leaves

© Project SOUND

Medium ferns might be a good choice for

our small shady balcony garden

© Project SOUND

What else would

take advantage of

the light


Mints and pots just go together

Contain them – tend to spread vigorously

Provide correct water regimen – many need more water, particularly in our climate

Provide the proper amount of shade

The mints provide green foliage, flavorings, medicinals – perhaps even flowers

© Project SOUND

Mentha arvensis &

garden mints

© Project SOUND

Plant Sale at CSUDH

• Friday, 11/7 – noon to 4:30 p.m.

• Saturday, 11/8 – 11:30 to 2:00

See ‘Native Plants at CSUDH’ blog

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Yerba Buena – Clinopodium (Satureja) douglasii

© Project SOUND

San Miguel Savory – Clinopodium (Satureja) chandleri

Peninsular Ranges (San Miguel, Santa Ana mtns) – Orange, Riverside County & San Diego Counties

Northern Baja & N. Mexico

Rocky slopes, chaparral & Oak Woodlands, 520–690 m.

Extremely rare shrub in wild; on CNPS LIST 1B: Rare, threatened, or endangered in California and elsewhere

Important medicinal plant for native peoples

Uses for Yerba Buena in your garden

Any shade place that can remain moist:

Garden edges (including edges of vegetable garden)

As a groundcover under trees and in other shady areas

attractive herb in shady garden borders

Can even stand some foot traffic

In an aroma garden – or use it for a nice herbal tea

Yerba Buena is dramatic in shady containers


Lovely evergreen foliage

Page 20: Container gardening   2014-notes



© Project SOUND

*Monkeyflower savory – Clinopodium mimuloides

Beatrice F. Howitt © California Academy of Sciences

Mostly on the central coast (foothills)

Locally : San Gabriel Mountain foothills; Arroyo Seco

Moist places, streambanks, chaparral and woodlands below 5,400'

© Project SOUND

*Monkeyflower savory – Clinopodium mimuloides

© Project SOUND

Monkeyflower savory: a little more upright

Size: 1-3 ft tall

2-4 ft wide

Growth form: Sub-shrub/perennial; drought-

deciduous to evergreen

Slender, fuzzy branches; more upright in brighter locations

Fast growth

Foliage: Simple, medium-green

Aromatic – minty (tea)

Roots: shallow roots; spread via rhizomes

© Project SOUND

Prettiest Clinopodium flowers

Blooms: off and on – late spring to fall (May to Oct.)

Flowers: Red-orange and showy; if happy,

masses of blooms

Like monkeyflower (sort of) or the red penstemons, Keckiella

Typical local hummingbird plant

Seeds: tiny

Vegetative reproduction: spreads (like a mint) with plenty of water

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© Project SOUND

Plant Requirements Soils: Texture: any

pH: any local

Light: Best bloom in morning sun; part-

shade, dappled shade or quite shady in most gardens

Water: Winter: adequate; tolerates

seasonal flooding

Summer: keep it green (Water Zone 2-3) or more natural (Zone 2) – taper off water in late Aug/Sept

Fertilizer: probably OK; organic mulch would work as well

Cut back to 2-4 inches in late fall

after blooming ceases (like CA

Fuschia – Epilobium species)

© Project SOUND

Garden uses for Monkeyflower savory

Under trees and other shady parts of the garden - groundcover

In a hummingbird garden paired with Heuchera maxima & Aquilegia Formosa – mid-ground

As an attractive pot plant


Foreground plants – the garden divas

© Project SOUND

If you have a larger space,

they can be up to 2 ft tall

© Project SOUND Arctostaphylos edmundsii 'Big Sur'[email protected]

Eriogonum crocatum - Conejo Buckwheat

[email protected]/

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Characteristics of foreground plants

Smaller < 1-2 ft

Planted at the very front of other plants – where you can fully appreciate them

Have some distinctive feature that make them stand out from the rest:

Flower color (usually)

Foliage color , texture



© Project SOUND

Annual wildflowers & bulbs make perfect

foreground plants in pots

© Project SOUND

Allium crispum Collinsia heterophylla

Many smaller native perennials work just

as well as foreground plants

© Project SOUND

Perennial begonia


© Project SOUND

Red Monardella – Monardella macrantha

© 2001 CDFA

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© Project SOUND

Characteristics of Red Monardella


to 1 ft tall

1-2+ ft wide

Growth form: Herbaceous perennial


Foliage: Shiny, dark green leaves

Aromatic; nice for teas

Roots: Forms colonies via rhizomes

© Project SOUND

Plant Requirements Soils: Texture: must be well-


pH: 5.0-7.0

Light: Best in part-shade; sunnier

only with good mulch

Water: Winter:

Needs good soil moisture but not too soggy

Summer: Likes regular water, but let

dry out a bit; about once/wk in a large pot

Fertilizer: none; likes poor soils

© Project SOUND

Red Monardella makes a

great container plant

Excellent as a pot plant; will drape over the edges of pot attractively

Be sure to place high enough for protection from cats

Also nice addition to a rock garden; place for fragrance

‘Marion Sampson’ Natural cultivar

forms tight mats of small, dark leaves, with brilliant red flowers. Well suited for rock garden and container use

Cultivar : ‘Marion Sampson’ © Project SOUND

Mountain Monardella – Monardella odoratissima

J. E.(Jed) and Bonnie McClellan © California Academy of Sciences

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© Project SOUND

Mountain Monardella:


Under trees, as a groundcover

Along partly shady walkways

Shady edges of the vegetable garden

As an accent in large containers

In a rock or butterfly garden

© 2010 Steven Thorsted

Ssp. pallida


We’ve seen the advantage of using pots

that are at least somewhat similar

© Project SOUND

Chinese taper




Vietnamese camellia pot

What kind of pot is best?

Thick unglazed terra cotta (cement; hypertufa)

Tend to be cooler for roots

Good drainage – good for

plants that need this

Risk of drought – need more attention to watering in hot, dry windy periods (summer/fall)

Glazed ceramic or metal (fiberglass; aggregate)

May risk overheating roots, depending on color, exposure

Good water retention – good for plants that need this

Risk of over-watering – need more attention during cool, wet periods (winter)

© Project SOUND

Bottom line: need to decide what types of plants you will

plant before you choose the appropriate type of pot © Project SOUND

* Giant Stream Orchid – Epipactis gigantea

G.A. Cooper @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

Page 25: Container gardening   2014-notes



© Project SOUND

* Giant Stream Orchid – Epipactis gigantea

Western U.S., Mexico

California Floristic Province (except Great Central Valley, s Channel Islands)

Locally Santa Monica & San Gabriel Mtns.

Seeps, wet meadows, streambanks , ledges

May occur in riparian woodlands,8709,8710 © Project SOUND

Flowers: beautiful orchids Blooms: in spring - usually Mar-May

in our area.

Flowers: On wand-like stalks – up to 20+

flowers per stalk

Flowers ~ 1 inch across

Color: 2 forms

Maroon and white (may actually be more pink)


Significant variation between individual plants

Pollinated by Syrphid flies, beneficial flies that feed on aphids.

Seeds: many, small. Difficult to grow from seed (unless you’re and orchid fancier)

Gary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

© Project SOUND

Stream Orchids are a showy

addition to a water feature

In a seep or bog garden

On edges of ponds or stream banks (including manufactured streams) or in moist ground near fountains

Grow in large pots – much as you would cymbidiums

Plant with Scarlet Monkeyflower to fill the space when Stream Orchid is dormant

The lower lip and tongue move when the flower is touched or shaken; hence the alternate name Chatterbox Orchid.

Epipactis gigantea ‘Serpentine Night’

© Project SOUND

Natural cultivar from just north of the Bay area

A bit more difficult that the straight species

Foliage emerges jet black in spring

Blooms are typically greenish purple.

Slower to spread than the straight species.


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Foreground: balconies create some

interesting possibilities

Greenbro planter (and its imitators)

The pots chosen for the foreground may also be unique

Succulents can often be good foreground choices: evergreen, unique foliage, flowers

© Project SOUND

© Project SOUND

*Broadleaf Stonecrop – Sedum spathulifolium

© 2003 Tim Sullivan

© Project SOUND

Broadleaf Stonecrop looks like a garden succulent


< 1ft tall

1-3 ft wide; spreading

Growth form: Evergreen succulent

Spreads quickly; mat-forming

Stems are fragile; don’t walk on

Foliage: Leaves of coastal forms may be

chalky white, or even white edged with red-purple.

Mountain/inland forms have vivid-green to blue-green leaves.

Leaves are succulent, in tight rosettes; ‘spoon-shaped’ hence the name..

© 2007 Neal Kramer

© Project SOUND

Good choice for

containers Sedums thrive in sunny places,

but they will also manage well enough in partial shade.

They’re among the easiest of perennials. Stick them in clay soil and they thrive, plant them in rocky places and they flourish.

You can water them on the same schedule as your other hardy perennials or treat them with benign neglect, as their succulent leaves store water, making them drought-tolerant.

© 2007 Neal Kramer

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© Project SOUND

Sedum spathulifolium

ssp. pruinosum

‘Cape Blanco’

Outstanding white foliage

Dense rosettes © Project SOUND

Sedum spathulifolium


Purple-red foliage, with white centers

Really showy!

© Project SOUND

*Siskiyou Bitterroot – Lewisia cotyledon

©2004 Mike Ireland

Far NW. CA and SW OR

Yellow Pine & Red Fir Forest, Northern Oak Woodland, Lodgepole Pine & Subalpine Forest

Sandy or rocky areas (granite outcrops; rock crevices), often north-facing, from 4000-7500 ft. elevation.

AKA ‘Cliff Maids’

© Project SOUND

*Siskiyou Bitterroot – Lewisia cotyledon

©2011 Sierra Pacific Industries Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary's College

Page 28: Container gardening   2014-notes



© Project SOUND

Cute little cliff-hanger Size:

< 1 ft tall (flower stalks may be taller)

~ 1 ft wide

Growth form: Herbaceous perennial

Evergreen or leaves shrivel with drought (like Dudleya)


Foliage: Leaves medium green,

spoon-shaped from basal rosette

Somewhat succulent

Roots: deep tap root

©2011 Aaron Schusteff

© Project SOUND

Flowers: glorious

Blooms: spring to early summer; usually May-June, though may continue blooming with some water

Flowers: Species has pink-magenta

striped petals; cultivars have wider range of yellows, oranges & pinks

Plants may be literally covered with blooms – spectacular!!

Good pollinator flowers

Seeds: readily available on-line (cultivars mostly)

Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary's College

©2011 Aaron Schusteff

© Project SOUND

Plant Requirements Soils:

Texture: very well-drained – sandy or rocky (or plant on mound or slope)

pH: likes slightly acidic (pH 5.0-7.0); ok w/ slightly higher)

Light: part-shade/morning sun in most S. CA gardens.

Water: Winter: adequate

Summer: occasional but don’t overwater – Zone 2; keep water off the crown

Fertilizer: probably best with ½ strength acid fertilizer once a year

Other: Gravel/rock mulch

Watch for snails, slugs, mealybugs

©2004 Robert E. Preston, Ph.D.

© Project SOUND

Lewisia: the ultimate

pot plant

In a rock garden or ‘Lewisia bed’

In a container

Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Mary's College

©2007 Mike Ireland Robert Potts © California Academy of Sciences

Page 29: Container gardening   2014-notes



Lewisia in S. California

Choose a terra cotta container because it is porous & evaporates water well

Plant on a hump (like Dudleyas)

Use pea-gravel mulch on the surface

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Making a place for Lewisias: in containers

Choose an unglazed terra cotta planter (best)

Use a good Dudleya/succulent/cactus mix Mix 1

1 part peat

1 part commercial potting soil (something basic)

3 parts porous rock, such as pumice, lava, or a mixture of the two

Mix 2

2 parts potting soil

1 part perlite or pumice

1 part lava rock, gravel or very coarse builder’s (sharp) sand (or combination)

¼ recommended amount of time-release fertilizer (Osmacote)

Use a gravel mulch

Place in semi-shady area

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‘Sunset Strain’

Lovely flowers in sunset colors – perfect for our balcony

‘Rainbow Mix’ has brighter colors

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In review: advantages

of container gardening

Allows you to garden even if you don’t have any yard

Allows you to grow plants with unusual requirements: Light



Other soil requirements

Allows you to combine plants with unique requirements in same garden

Allows you to showcase (accent) plants

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Page 30: Container gardening   2014-notes



Just because you garden in containers

doesn’t mean you should ignore good

garden design principles

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Variety © Project SOUND

Use of vertical space