Perennials for summer/ fall Zone 8 Sacramento area

presidiogardenJune 28, 2012

Hi everyone,

I will be moving to Sacramento into a house that has a large east facing yard. The yard area is full of rocks and there is no landscaping, so it will be quite a bit of work for me to renovate it, but I am up for it. Part of the reason there are rocks and no plants is that the dogs that live there dig up the dirt, so I will need to build a creative fence around my garden to keep them out.

I am curious as to the types of plants and flowers I can use for this time of year to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees. I have never created a butterfly garden before but I am looking to create something that looks like this:

I really like yarrow and I know that is good for attracting ladybugs. I have never lived in an area with an abundance of hot sun, so I thought I would ask for your help and advice on what types of flowers you like. The typical summer weather is generally sunny mid 80s to low 90s for the highs and 50s- 60s for the lows. I am very excited about my new garden and will share pictures here when I have it set up!

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I live in Sacramento (Natomas) and here is the list of plants we have in our garden.

Fabaceae (Leguminosae) i.e. Lupinus
Hibiscus Cairo (Rosa-sinensis)
New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)
Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)
Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)
Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia)
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) "Magnus"
Hot Lips (Salvia microphylla)
Mystic Spires Blue (Salvia longispicata)
Flutterby blueberry cobbler (buddleia)

I still need another Milk Weed, like a Narrow-leaf. But that's more or less it. Our garden is new so it has yet to fully develop. But so far so good.

Check out Art Shapiro's site at UC Davis. He's a local that has study sites in the area that will help you select plants specific to your area.

Also, I was under the impression our zone is 9.

Here is a link that might be useful: Art's Butterfly World

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Do you know if those plants are drought tolerant? I forgot to mention that in my post. Trying to use as little water as possible. Milk weed is one of my favorites, I will be sure to include that.

Are those flowers you included in your list year round bloomers?

I'm not sure about the zones- I went to the usda site and typed in the zip code I am moving to (95831) and it came up as 8A.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Plants like the butterfly bushes, milk weeds and salvia don't need a lot of water. My garden is planned to always have something in bloom except winter. Your zip code is for the "Pocket" area of Sacramento close to the river. We're not too far from the river ourselves, just 10 miles north of you off Hwy. 5. I typed in your zip code and it came back 9 as well.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Do you recommend any nearby nurseries? I usually go to Home Depot for the soil and nurseries for the plants (as they are usually better cared for and healthier).

I was not aware of many of those plants before your post but they do look beautiful and exactly what I am going for. I will probably add some succulents as well.

Any ideas about how to construct a barrier to keep the dogs out?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 7:19PM
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Also, what type of soil do you recommend?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 12:01AM
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Capital Nursery will be the closest to you. Them and Fair Oaks Blvd. Nursery are probably the best in the area.

Our garden is in it's first year. We really won't get a good feel for it for another year. But so far so good. We use regular dirt and I mix in potting soil when I put something in.

As for the dog, I put up chicken wire around mine for the winter to keep our dog out. After spring I took it down and he's more or less stayed out of there. Our only real culprit are neighborhood cats.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 12:32AM
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Thanks for the tip. My parents told me that the Freeport Capital Nursery location is closing soon, or maybe it already has.
I have decided to do a container butterfly garden to begin with. I have a huge pile of worm castings that should be ready in about a month that I can mend the soil with.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 4:05AM
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I know the Freeport Capital Nursery was going through some financial difficulties for a while. However, they recently sold their property to Raley's grocery store. Apparently their new lease with Raley's will give them the financial flexibility to survive.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Hi Brien,
well I finally got moved in. I went to Capital Nursery and bought quite a few flowers:
Red Hot Poker
Day Lily
As well as vegetables.
However, the plants are dying or wilting! I have left all of the flowers in their original containers. The coneflower and aster have very wilted leaves and look sick. I have been watering them every other day, as I figured they were drought tolerant. Having to water every day does not seem drought tolerant to me.
The vegetables have been a huge failure. Both cucumber plants are completely dead. The peppers are doing ok but look very wilted. The marigolds are drying and dying as well. The beans are pretty much all gone. Strawberry plant is looking rather frail. The parsley is on its way out. The only things looking like they are doing ok are the tomato plants and watermelon *fingers crossed*.
I have been watering the vegetables every day. I bought some soil amendment mixed with worm castings and placed some bat guano, bone meal, and blood meal into each hole in the ground.
What is going on?? Is the direct sun scorching these plants? This gardening experience is turning into a disaster.
The cosmos, salvia, and zinnias appear to be doing quite well, however.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 4:12PM
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As you know it's been super hot this week. Even I'm dealing with wilting plants. Mine get watered via the drip in the morning and in the evening I manually water them. With this heat they need a lot more water.

As for your new ones still in pots, try moving them to the shadiest spot of your house and keep them watered. The heat is suppose to cool down this week, so it might be a good opportunity to get them into the ground.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:14PM
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I have never gardened in a location that went over 85� so this is all new to me! I have been exploring the neighborhood though and there are some very attractive and interesting butterfly garden type landscapes everywhere so I know that I got the right plants. It's horrible what it has done to my vegetable plants, though.
Weather has been very nice today. Hopefully it stays put!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 6:35PM
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