If you’re looking for a sign to redo your garden, to add more plants to your landscape, or anything along those lines, then this is it. We’re telling you to use native plants!

They have it all: soft beauty, environmental benefits, visual interests, even fame. Well, we are working on the fame part, but you can help! Interested in hearing how? Find out below.

What’s All The Buzz About Native Plants?

Excellent question! And the answer may be more surprising than you thought. 

Besides the fact that native plants supply dazzling visual displays within your home and garden, they also have a lot of other jobs on their plates too. When planted, they immediately get to work!

Native plants provide a helping hand for using less fertilizer. Wait, less fertilizer? Yes! The main ingredients in most fertilizers are phosphorus and nitrogen. These two elements tend to run off into bodies of water causing an excess in algae growth. 

This abundance of algae results in less oxygen in water, which harms aquatic life and impedes on recreational activities. Who likes to swim through a colossal, slimy patch of algae? Not us!

Try planting Ninebark Shrubs (Physocarpus opulifolius) as they love their soil to be a low acidic level meaning fertilizers have no business being used.

Along with using less fertilizer, native plants help you use less pesticides too. How kind of them! Pesticides contaminate waters; in addition, people and pets can be exposed to the chemicals as well.

Did you know that 60% of water consumption on the West Coast is merely lawn irrigation? With a lot of water comes a lot of money.

No worries, many native plants have the power of deep root systems under their belt. Therefore, they can store more water, reduce runoff, and help control flooding.  

Buffalo Grass (Bouteloua dactyloides) varieties are notoriously known for their ability to reduce water consumption as they thrive in drought conditions. No need to tire out your sprinklers or drag out the hose anymore!

Native plants provide homes and food for all kinds of wildlife, including the important pollinators. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the butterflies, birds, and more that visit your lawn!

How To Use Native Plants In All Landscape Styles

Small 

Landscapes that lack in size don’t have to lack in display! Any space can be transformed into a garden with a few native plants here and there. 

A sidewalk strip, front porch, corner, and mailbox are prime locations for native plants. We recommend using informal edges for low maintenance and organizing swaths instead of mixing.

When planning your layout, be sure to start with tall plants in the back and work your way to short as you approach the front. Unfortunately, plants can’t stand on their tippy toes to be seen so you’ll have to do the work for them!

Little Bluestem Grass (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Big Bluestem Grass (Andropogon gerardii) are both ideal candidates for standing tall in the back. They enjoy filling small garden spaces with their silvery blue foliage.

Medium natives are the center of the show and love all the attention they can get. This is why they bloom the brightest and prettiest flowers for all to see. 

Sky Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense) and the Showy Goldenrod  (Solidago speciosa) always want to show off their colors, but not take away from the tall natives either. 

With light blue and golden yellow blooms, these native perennials make your small garden dance with joy!

Short natives live close to the ground most of the time and bring a small garden all together when planted. The Little Goldstar Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Little Goldstar') has no problem with being short. 

What it lacks in height, it makes up for in the volume of star-shaped yellow flowers with a deep contrasted center. This improved native plant stays compact and appreciates when butterflies visit!

By organizing a small native garden with tall, medium, and short plants, you’re saving space while making a big impact at the same time. 

Large

On the opposite hand, you can create large, beautiful landscape displays when you have a vast amount of space to work with. This is where there are hardly any boundaries holding your inner gardener back. 

Front yards, meadows, and prairies each exhibit large native landscapes that can be created with several varieties. 

It is almost easier to plant natives in large landscapes rather than small ones. Feel free to choose specific plants and map out your large landscape using the multiple options we provided for you below. 

They are sure to provide you with wonderful color and diversity!

Before planting, you will need to eliminate weeds as you do not want your pretty plants to be overgrown with invasive and unwanted weeds. Your native plants will appreciate this very much. 

In the early stages of growth, you will want to keep the soil moist. This will ensure that the plant has all the right nutrients to grow well. 

From then on, enjoy the view of vibrant shades of color and watch the visiting of several species of wildlife from the comfort of your home. 

Popular Native Plants For You

Trees

Oak Trees are splendid natives with broad leaves, acorns, and an important wood source. More often than not, there is an oak tree standing tall in a yard showing off its large stature and vibrant foliage. 

Oaks love to provide shade and wildlife are known for making tidy little homes within the tree. They are an excellent choice for a native addition to any location where they can spread their branches!

The Shawnee Brave Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum 'Mickelson') carries a pleasing pyramidal shape with green needles that fade into orange in preparation for fall. This native is perfect for wind or privacy screens in various landscapes. 

This Bald Cypress will shed its needles during the winter months only to grow back new ones just in time for spring making this cone-bearing native unlike most others!

Sycamore Trees are often called ‘American Sycamores’ because they are native to North America! These massive growers have a symmetrical canopy that takes pride in supplying an abundance of shade. 

Their dense, lush green foliage matches well with the varied bark colors. You don’t get much more native than growing Sycamore Trees in your large landscapes!

Shrubs

Chokeberry shrubs (Aronia) are native to the United States making them easy to grow while being an ornamental interest for gardens and landscapes. They like to show off their flowers in spring just to produce dark fruit during the fall.

Be on the lookout for wildlife sneaking a berry or two off these native deciduous shrubs! Aronia berries are an extremely healthy choice for juices, jams, wines, and more. No wonder they are a super fruit!

Sumac shrubs (Rhus) entail deciduous plants that are predominant in the United States. They are a fan favorite because of their form, Fall color, and colorful fruit clusters. Sumac shrubs enjoy when wildlife visit too!

Elderberry bushes are natives that many grow throughout the country. Their bluish-black fruits can be used for a variety of kitchen cooking. This ornamental bush adds colorful leaves and unique shapes to all landscapes!

Perennials

Ferns make wonderful native landscape plants that can be used in a garden for a variety of reasons. The best thing about ferns is that they can be valuable in any kind of setting. 

Their lush green foliage is attractive as a background or even the main event! They love to be planted in shady areas with a moderate supply of moisture, but other than that they are easy to grow and good to go. 

Coneflowers (Echinacea) have the ability to light up any landscape with their large colorful heads that burst with flavor. This bright native enjoys soaking up the sun from early to late Summer. 

Groundcovers

Sedge Grasses come in many colors, shapes, and sizes but all work the same magic for a landscape. These native plants love to cover up parts of the ground that you may not find very attractive! 

They revel in growing low and spreading out their thin strips of color. Being native, they thrive in many areas!

All in all, native plants easily check mark off every box when it comes to environmental benefits as well as adding more visual interests. Front landscapes thrive with all types of natives so get to planting!

Happy gardening!