Using native plants for your garden is an ideal way to reduce maintenance and to be eco-friendly.
Native plants, which are plants that grow wild in your climate, require minimal care, use few natural resources and provide food (and sometimes shelter) for pollinators.
What some people may perceive as weeds can be cultivated and used in native plant gardening to create an attractive and easy-care flower garden. Use these tips and plant some of these natives that have adapted to life in the East Coast climate to create a unique and beautiful flower garden of your own.
Match Plants to Right Location
While these native plants have adapted well to the East Coast environment, they still have specific sun, soil and water needs. Match the plants to the right location in your landscape so they will thrive.
Sun-loving natives will need to be planted in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. Shade-lovers need a shady location to grow in and plants that like a little sun and a little shade each day need an ideal planting location so they can thrive.
Plant for Succession Blooming
Native plants have specific bloom times, none of them will stay in bloom all summer but succession planting will keep bloom color going in your landscape throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
Select plants for your native garden that will provide color and foliage interest at different times of the year.
Native Plant Choices for East Coast Gardens
Anemones. This native produces large white flowers in spring. Anemones are rapid-growing ground covers that grow well in moist soil and partial shade.
Carolina Lupine. This is a tough plant that has fuzzy foliage and produces pea-like flowers in spring. Carolina Lupine will reach a mature height of 4 feet and grows best in full sun.
Merrybells. Another spring-bloomer that produces yellow bell-shaped flowers that dangle and sway in the wind. Merrybells grow best in a shady location and will reach a mature height of 2 feet.
Virgin’s Bower. Summer blooming native plant that also produces interesting seed heads in the fall. White blooms are fragrant and the plant will reach 4 feet tall when mature.
Eastern Bluestar. Tough native plant that produce blue, star-shaped flowers in spring and yellow foliage in fall. Plant in full sun and moist soil. Mature plants are 4 feet tall.
Swamp Milkweed. This is a favorite native plant of the monarch butterfly. Plant reaches 4 feet in height and produces showy pink flowers when planted in full sun and moist soil.