Eastern Natives Blog

If you have joined us for our other blogs within our Regional Series, you know the perks, advantages and reasons behind growing native plants or selections of native plants in a landscape

However, if this is your first rodeo, native plants hold several benefits from being easier to grow to providing beneficial resources to pollinators! These special plants have adapted to the soil conditions and climate within a certain area.

A superpower that they take pride in and one you should take advantage of!

Last, but certainly not least in our ‘Regional Series’ blog post is the Eastern region! It's been a long time coming, but today we will be highlighting our top 5 native plant picks for the Eastern growing zones.

If you do not know where you fall in our regional series, the map shown below gives you an idea of the area we will be covering today. For those of you who reside in the blue area, these native plants will be prime gardening choices!

Eastern Region

Sugar Maple

Sugar Maple | Acer saccharum

A Sugar Maple tree is known for its incredible orange and red-orange, maybe even a few yellow, fall colors. This tree is almost the definition of the autumn season and the holiday of Halloween.

Across the East, you will find rows of Sugar Maples in yards, alongside roads and more likely than not, in tree farms. This native deciduous tree has been, to no surprise, a primary source for tasty maple syrup for over 300 years!

Imagine draining the sap and boiling it down to maple syrup that can be shared with family and friends at yearly events. The compliments of homemade syrup will never end!

Its large oval to rounded crown shape and straight, sturdy bark make for the ideal landscape accent too. Not to mention, it also provides shade for those summer days, but it also can be grown in partial shade.

This native tree is truly unmatched!

Quick Care Tips:

  • With maple tree roots, be sure to give it plenty of space to spread. We suggest not planting it near any type of concrete.Read our maple tree roots blog for more insider information.
  • A Sugar Maple appreciates loose, slightly acidic soils in big open lawn areas or parks best.

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New England Aster

New England Aster | Aster novae-angliae

For a lovely perennial that doubles as a native wildflower, check out the New England Aster Normally it can be found near streams or low-lying meadows, but the blue-violet blooms that peak through are to not be ignored in a garden.

We suggest adding it to a butterfly garden since as soon as it is established, monarch butterflies and other pollinators will be its greatest fans. Pitch a seat to watch the forever ongoing nature show!

Or, place it near the back of a native flower garden or behind a few small flowering bushes. It stands tall so being seen in the back won’t be an issue.

Quick Care Tips:

  • It does well in both full sun and partial shade.
  • The New England Aster prefers being established in well-draining soil.

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American Cranberrybush Viburnum

American Cranberrybush Viburnum | Viburnum trilobum

The East provides the cool soils and moisture that the classic American Cranberrybush Viburnum needs. This larger scale native shrub is a favorite of many because of the many interests it brings to the garden.

In the spring, you’ll enjoy flat topped white flowers before they switch into red berries that provide decor in the fall. This persistent fruit can hang into winter or until the birds take them!

Most growers will pick them to use in homemade jams and jellies!

Not only will the berries be crimson, but the dark green leaves flow into a purplish-red tint too as it completes the autumn ensemble!

Quick Care Tips:

  • It prefers well-drained soils that have a higher moisture content than the average. However, it is still a hardy shrub that is easy to grow overall.
  • Perform a renewal pruning every few years by removing the old branches and keeping the young branches for flowers and fruit.

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Cole's Select Serviceberry

Cole's Select Serviceberry | Amelanchier x grandiflora 'Cole's Select'

A Cole’s Select Serviceberry withholds 4 seasons of interest that keep your yard looking fresh year long. In the summer, blueberry-like fruit will develop upon the green foliage. These are what we like to call juneberries!

The local songbirds will appreciate the food source of tasty fruit you have supplied!

As the leaves fall leading up to the winter season, a grey smooth bark is revealed. This decorative accent will be the star of the cold months.

Quick Care Tips:

  • Place this native serviceberry in an area that will receive full sun. It performs the best when baking in the sunlight! However, it will tolerate shade and urban areas.
  • It is widely adaptable to all soil conditions!

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American Beech Tree

American Beech Tree | Fagus grandifolia

Growing an American Beech tree is sure to be one of the best landscaping choices you’ll make! This outstanding, well-known native tree offers visual interests and value when planted.

The summer comes with dark green leaves followed by coppery-gold foliage in the fall. Winter forces these leaves to fade to the ground and shows off the smooth gray bark underneath. Many say that it’s the best firewood out there; however, we advise against this as the American Beech is a splendid garden accent to possess.

Upon reaching maturity, your native tree will produce the triangular Beech nut known for its fame to wildlife and people. Don’t be surprised if squirrels are always paying you a visit.

Quick Care Tips:

  • Plant in full or partial shade as this tree does not like to bake in the light all day! We suggest planting them near a larger tree.
  • It will need well-draining soil that has the ability to maintain a good moisture level as well. Adding in a layer of mulch over the roots and watering in times of drought will help with this!

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It’s a no brainer when it comes to deciding on native plants to add to a Eastern landscape! These 5 will flow to the top. But the real decision is whether to plant one or plant them all! A few, or several, natives never hurt anybody.

If you missed out on any part of our ‘Regional Series’ blogs, read the best native plants for the South , West and North today!

Happy gardening!