Gardening with Natives

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Phlox divaricata - Wild blue phlox

Native plants make beautiful, functional and environmentally smart additions to any garden. By planting native plant gardens, you can help to preserve the native plants that are disappearing from our natural areas as well as create small oases for native wildlife.

Native plants can provide a sense of place, for the garden and for the gardener. A landscape rooted in native plants creates a regional imprint; a sense that it belongs here, not just anywhere.

From an aesthetic standpoint, Pennsylvania natives excel, offering a wealth of color and texture, from buds to blooms to bark to berries. The native plant palette encompasses groundcovers, grand trees and everything in between.

Quite naturally, you may associate native plants and wildflowers with an informal landscape style, but many native plants fit in a more formal setting as well. As you learn more about native plants communities, you'll get plenty of "design" ideas from nature.

You'll need to begin by choosing the right native plants for your site, buying healthy ones and planting them properly. Once you do so, you'll find that natives are well-adapted to our climate, with built-in resilience to temperature and rainfall fluctuations. When planted in the proper situation, native plants require minimal maintenance.

Use the information below to help create a native home landscape that works for you!

Native Plant Informational Snapshots