Need tips on growing native plants

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

I am giving a presentation to our local native plant society soon on growing native plants. I already have a list of topics (seed collecting, stratification, soils, watering) and many details but I would appreciate any tips on obtaining and growing native plants, particularly cold desert and mountain plants. I'm sure some of you have great ideas that I haven't heard of yet.

Also, if anyone has good photos of collecting seeds, stratification, wintersowing, etc. I would like to use them for the presentation.

Camdenton, MO(Zone 6a)

Here are a few links that might help you get started:

Good luck on your presentation!

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Thanks, I'll have look at the high country gardens website. I haven't really explored their library yet. There goes a saturday afternoon...

Camdenton, MO(Zone 6a)


Austin, TX(Zone 8b)

I've realized there are two distinct groups of people interested in growing native plants. One is "landscaping with natives" - they've decided they want natives for lower maintenance, to attract butterflies, because it is desirable in the social group, etc. So they would basically go to the nursery or order from a seed catalog, just like regular plants. Those folks need to hear sources for natives, specific species for butterflies, and probably some gentle reminders about things like just because it is drought tolerant doesn't mean you can just stick it in the ground and never water it.

The other group is more the naturalists - they're intentionally trying to recreate an ecosystem or save disappearing species. They more likely need info about things like collecting and techniques for adapting natural propagation patterns. So try to match your talk to your audience.

Also, be sure to edit. However much time you have, there are way more things to say than will fit. Me personally, I prefer talks with a more focused topic covered in depth, than a broad survey so general as to not be practically useful. Do a solid job on one aspect, maybe the one that is most seasonally relevant right now, and they'll invite you back to cover the other topics.

At any rate, don't stress. The audience wants to exchange information just like you do, so it will be fine. Let us know what you decided to cover and how it goes...

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Thanks for the advice. I am planning to mention places to buy plants but focus on the natives that aren't commercially available. Seed collecting and trading, propagation, soils and microclimate are my major topics tonight. Some side topics are selecting the right plants and avoiding illegally collected plants. I also have lots of links to further explore the topic, including DG.

LOL - I don't have to worry about being invited back, I'm the vice-president and this talk is an emergency back-up because our original presenter couldn't make it.

Fortunately I have a couple of flats of seedlings from my greenhouse and seed packets from trades for show and tell. That should keep everyone happy for a few minutes.

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