Native perennials, plants that have come to grow naturally in our regaion without human intervention, continue to grow in popularity. Having evolved in the local ecosystem, they are easier to grow and hardy. Natives provide the ideal habitat for native insects that are critical to a healthy environment. Typically these plants require less treatments of pesticides and fertilizers making them more organic. Besides their beauty, these benefits have led to an increase in the use of natives in the landscape.
In honor of National Pollinators Week, enjoy this post from 2015 that covers some of our favorite native perennials.
Which to choose? There are many choices of native plants but we've narrowed the list down to our favorites based on health, longevity and beauty.
Vernonia 'Iron Butterfly' (Ironweed)
Willowy texture, provides late season color when coneflowers and others have passed their peak. It is a nectar feast for butterflies and tolerant of even the most rough, dry, infertile soil.
Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)
Clusters of fragrant pink flowers on tall green stems. A must for attracting Monarch butterflies. This should be at the top of the list for any gardener that is creating a butterfly garden. Very, very popular plant this summer!
Eragrostis (Purple Love Grass)
Short habit for the front of the border, flower stalks emerge in August and cover the plant in a pink cloud of tiny seeds. Great for color and especially for texture.
Heliopsis 'Summer Nights' (Oxeye Daisy)
The dark red stems and red-tinted foliage stands out in the garden. Midsummer blooms have mahogany centers that make the yellow petals seem to glow! A great food source for songbirds and butterflies.
Panicum 'Northwind' (Switchgrass)
This ornamental grass has steely blue foliage and a vase shape habit that really makes it stand out. Seedy plumes emerge above the foliage in late summer. This bullet proof plant will grow in dry/sandy soil as well as wet/clay soil.
Dalea (Purple Prairie Clover)
A long blooming specimen with violet flowers from midsummer thru fall. The Dalea is unique because it actually ADDS nitrogen to the soil. Plant a few in your garden and it will feed the plants around it.
Caltha (Marsh Marigold)
A spring blooming native with yellow buttercup flowers. This plant loves swampy, wet soil making it perfect for low laying areas or along the edge of a pond.
Spigelia (Indian Pink)
This plant is a hummingbird magnet! The trumpet shaped blooms are tipped in red. A great perennial for dry shade. A late summer bloomer. In the pic below, the bloom is just starting to emerge.
Baptisia australis (Blue False Indigo)
A large shrubby perennial with blue flower spikes from May thru early June, blue-green foliage, and black seed pods that provide fall interest. The Blue False indigo is salt and drought tolerant making it great for mailbox or roadside plantings.
Coneflowers now come in a wide range of sizes and colors including red, white, orange, pink, and even green. Once established they are drought tolerant and many are very fragrant. These cheery plants are easy to maintain and add fun summer color to the landscape. Mix sizes and colors!
We have a large selection of natives available now at the garden center.
Say goodbye to high maintenance plants and expensive treatments and Go Native! this summer. We are here to help. Give our garden center a call or stop by. Our experienced staff is waiting to help you!