November Tips: Southern California

Returning rains mean a greener landscape, beautiful roses, and finishing up fall planting.
Water Roots Remember to water plants
less frequently.

  • Adjust your watering schedule for cooler weather, using less water.
  • As the weather cools and the sun moves lower in the sky, reset your irrigation timer to water less frequently. However, don't change the number of minutes the system waters each time. In many areas, trees and shrubs will need watering only every week to week and a half, and citrus trees just once a month.

Planting Trees and Shrubs -- Continue planting perennials, groundcovers, herbs, roses, and trees and shrubs. Also plant native wildflowers such as California poppies.


  • There's also time to plant beds with cool-season flowers, such as pansies, calendula, candytuft, foxgloves, snapdragons, stock, sweet peas, and sweet alyssum.
  • Complete planting of cool-season veggies, such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflowers, lettuces and greens, potatoes, radishes, and peas.
  • Plant the cool-season bulbs you refrigerated in October as long as they've had 6-8 weeks chilling time. Or buy pre-chilled bulbs at the garden center.

Dividing Perennials -- Now is a good time to divide perennials, especially those that bloom in the spring. This way, they'll have time to establish themselves before it's time to flower.


  • Cooler weather is also the time to transplant small trees and shrubs.
  • If you haven't already, fertilize cool-season lawns, such as bluegrass, using a product made especially for fall if possible, and one that also includes a pre-emergent herbicide. Don't feed warm-season lawns, such as Bermudagrass, so that they can begin their winter dormancy.
  • You may get some of your best rose blooms this month. But stop fertilizing roses this month to encourage them to go dormant for a couple of months in January and February.
  • In those areas where frosts are just an occasional thing, keep plantings well-watered so whenever a freeze threatens, plants are more likely to survive. A "turgid" well-hydrated plant is better-equipped to recover than a dehydrated plant.
  • Watch for snails and slugs. As needed, set out bait.

Smart Pruning -- Prune deciduous fruit trees. After pruning, spray with dormant oil to prevent fungal diseases and pest problems.


Planting Bare-Root Trees, Shrubs, and Roses -- Order bare-root trees and shrubs, roses, and vegetables for planting next month.