The Monthly Gardner – November

California Tree Mallow

November in Southern California is the beginning of our rainy season, although, this year, it did begin a bit early. And while October is the ideal time to plant, if you haven’t already done so, November offers a window of opportunity for a number of plants, including: onions, strawberries, ground covers, a variety of bulbs and California native plants.

California Native Plants

As varied as the California landscape, so too are its native plants. Some grow along stream beds and require a great deal of water while others come from California’s chaparral, and are drought resistant. Depending on your garden’s requirements, native plants can make a wonderful addition to your garden, but you need understand their respective requirements and plant accordingly.

California Holly

Pat Welsh, one of America’s great garden resources and the inspiration for “The Monthly Gardner” suggests in her book, “Southern California Gardening,” the following: “Among the hundreds of fine native plants that are well adapted to landscape use are California tree mallow (Lavatera assurgentiflora), Catalina cherry (Prunus lyonii), Cleveland sage (Salvia clevelandii), lemonade berry (Rhus integrifolia), monkeyflower (Mimulus hybridus), St. Catherine’s lace (Eriogonum giganteum), sugar bush (R. ovata), Torrey pine (Pinus Torreyana), California holly (Heteromeles arbutifolia), and western redbud (Cercis Ocidentalis). Two outstanding native ground covers are trailing Manzanita (Arctostaphylos ‘Emerald Carpet’) and evergreen currant (Ribes vinurnifolium).”

She also recommends these nurseries that specialize in native plants: Tree of Life in San Juan Capistrano, The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Theodore Payne Foundation and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden or just search Google for “California native plant nursery” and your location to find a native plant nursery near you.

November is also an excellent time to prune tress, cut back shrubs and remove all the dead or dying plants and get the garden ready for spring — because here in Southern California it will be just around the corner.

Torrey Pine Tree

Trim, Prune, Mow, Divide

  • Prune pine tress and other conifers through February
  • Divide and transplant agapanthus
  • Divide Matilija poppy
  • Open up spaces in dense tres to allow wind to pass through
  • Prune acacias
  • Prune cane berries other than low chill rasberries
  • Cut back chrysanthemums after bloom and clean up the groundCut back red fountain grass when it begins it new growth
  • Divide and deadhead perennials.


  • Cool-season bedding flowers, but not wildflowers
  • Cineraria for growth
  • Don’t feed roses
  • Fertilize cool-season lawns; stop fertilizing warm-season lawns when growth stops.

One thought on “The Monthly Gardner – November”

  1. HI Eva, yes, I’d like to be added to your Monthly Gardner list. thanks for the tip on cutting back the geraniums. I’m a little late to prune this year, but I’ll be more agressive on cutbacks next year.
    Thanks, Kathleen

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