Fall is the best time to shop for native plants. Here’s where to browse in L.A.

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(Micah Fluellen / Los Angeles Times)

If you want to dip a toe into creating a habitat in your yard or on your balcony, fall is your time for action. The season gives native perennials a chance to get established during the cooler and, one hopes, rainier part of the year before the withering heat of late spring and summer.

Never mind the rain. Break out those dusty umbrellas and start browsing the many sales happening this month and next featuring native plants.

Thanks to the California Native Plant Society, more than 100 nurseries have committed to stocking select native plants as part of its Bloom! California campaign. Check out the website for ideas about how to incorporate native plants into your garden or your windowsill. (If you don’t see your favorite nursery on the list of participating nurseries, call and ask if they have any native plants available.)

Our latest calendar also includes classes, flower shows and restoration opportunities to keep you busy. Email garden and plant-related events to at least three weeks before the event, and we might include them in the calendar.

Here’s our list of Halloween and Día de Los Muertos events happening in the Los Angeles area.

Oct. 26, 2021


Oct. 9
Growing your own mini fruit garden is the subject of both a book and a workshop by author and Gardenerd website creator Christy Wilhelmi at the Fig Earth Supply nursery at 3577 N. Figueroa St. in the Mount Washington area of Los Angeles. Wilhelmi will discuss the process of selecting, locating and planting fruit trees for small spaces this fall and winter. The workshop, which starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, is $5, and copies of Wilhelmi’s book will be available for purchase. Register for the class online.

Oct. 10
A citrus-pruning workshop in the Arlington Garden citrus grove, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, will be conducted by Fruitstitute, an L.A. fruit tree service. This is the last of the season’s pruning workshops at Arlington Garden, a water-wise habitat garden in Pasadena that uses regenerative gardening techniques to nourish the soil with compost and other organic materials. Participants will learn about the seasonal care of citrus trees, followed by two to three hours of hands-on pruning experience. Come prepared with hats, sunscreen, water and clothes appropriate for getting dirty. The workshop, which will happen at 275 Arlington Drive, is not suitable for children. $50, register online.

Oct. 13
Jim Folsom, retired director emeritus of the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, is the guest speaker at Sherman Library & Gardens’ newly resumed Lunch & Lecture Series, 2647 E. Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. Folsom will talk from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. about Southern California’s Mediterranean climate and what it means globally and for local gardeners. Seating is limited, and registration is required. $35 ($25 members); lecture only is free to members, $5 to nonmembers.

Oct. 14-15
“Garden Flow” rehearsals with the Orange County dance company Backhausdance at Sherman Library & Gardens are a chance to watch daytime rehearsals of the interactive dance throughout the 2-acre garden. The rehearsals are from 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and are free after paying the $5 garden admission fee. (The evening performance on Oct. 16 is sold out.)

Oct. 16
Prickly pear party! Learn the many uses of prickly pear during the Roots & Regeneration class by Hupa Tribe descendant and native plant educator Kat High. It’s from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Arlington Garden, 275 Arlington Drive in Pasadena. High will demonstrate how to care for, gather and cook prickly pears. Participants should bring their own jars or containers to take home food and drink in. $25; register online.

Oct. 16-17
California Botanic Garden‘s Grow Native Nursery reopens to members from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 16 and to the general public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Oct. 17. Members must reserve a free timed ticket prior to their arrival on Oct. 16. Nonmembers don’t need a ticket to visit on Oct. 17, but only a limited number of people will be permitted inside the nursery at one time. After the reopening weekend, the nursery will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday through May 2022. Check the website for possible changes in hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Oct. 23-24
Chrysanthemum Show & Sale by the Orange County Chrysanthemum Society is set for the Sherman Library & Gardens, 2647 E. Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. The show, which is from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., will include classes about mums, Q&A sessions and many plants for sale. The show is free with $5 admission to the gardens (free to members).

Oct. 24
Start an Herb Garden or Expand an Existing One is a class offered by master gardener George Pessin, curator of the Greystone Demonstration Garden at Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills. It’s from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Bring your own 6-inch to 8-inch pot and take home an herb plant; the instructor will provide seedlings and potting soil. Tickets are $15 ($12 for Beverly Hills residents). Class size limited to 12.

Oct. 26-Nov. 6
The Theodore Payne Foundation’s Fall Plant Sale offers the native-plant foundation‘s largest selection of California native plants for the year, along with expert advice, activities for children and discount prices (15% discount for members, 10% for nonmembers). Admission is free, but attendees must RSVP to maintain COVID-safe crowd sizes at the nursery at 10459 Tuxford St. in Sun Valley.

Oct. 30
A presentation about the Harmon Canyon Oak Woodlands in Ventura County with Los Padres ForestWatch Conservation Director Bryant Baker will be from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Harmon Canyon Preserve, 7511 Foothill Road. It’s part of the Ventura Land Trust’s OAKtober Oak Awareness Month events. Baker will delve into the habitat, biology and natural history of the county’s oak woodlands and Los Padres National Forest. Participants will meet at the Harmon Canyon Preserve trailhead and walk a short distance to an oak grove.

Nov. 6
A native plant sale sponsored by the San Gabriel Mountains Chapter of the California Native Plant Society in partnership with the city of Monrovia is taking place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Monrovia Historical Museum, 742 E. Lemon Ave. Volunteers are needed to help with the sale, which is being organized by Artemisia Nursery. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Monrovia Canyon Park Volunteers, who help to maintain the park and recently repaired trails, remove fallen trees and were responsible for other improvements after the park was burned during the 2020 Bobcat Fire. A complete list of plants and seeds available for sale is available online at

Habitat Restoration at the Los Cerritos Wetlands is the topic of a volunteer event hosted by the Aquarium of the Pacific to restore 66 acres of wetlands by collecting seeds from rare plants, planting varieties native to the region and removing invasive nonnatives. The event takes place the first Saturday of every month through Dec. 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Volunteers should meet at Pacific Coast Highway and 1st Street in Seal Beach at 10:15 a.m. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Closed-toe shoes are required; hats and sunscreen are strongly recommended. Water will be provided, but this is a plastic-bottle-free event, so bring your own reusable water bottle. Registration is not required.

Nov. 14
The Elm Avenue Community Garden cleanup and winter gardening class are from 1 to 5 p.m. at 44841 Elm Ave. in downtown Lancaster. Volunteers will clean walkways for the winter growing period and receive instructions for creating and protecting a winter garden by Master Gardener Dave Mashore. The Elm Avenue Community Garden is an organic garden that grows and harvests vegetables, fruits and herbs to share with the community. The event is free. Find out more on its Facebook page: Elm Ave Community Garden — a Grow AV Project.