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What Plants to Plant?

Perhaps the most difficult question for architects and homeowners alike.  The use of native plants in mainstream garden design is still in its infancy and there is precious little useful information on the topic.  Here we provide some basic guidelines that hold true in most situations.

Know Your Planting Site

It might sound obvious, but the starting point for using natives is to truly understand your soil, your moisture level, and your light.  There are thousands of indigenous native plants in every state. However, if you observe nature closely, there will be fewer than 15 growing in any particular microsite.  Each native plant has its optimal condition requirements, yet will survive in acceptable conditions.

Learn about Plants

The best publicly available information can be found from the USDA and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  Use these two sites in combination to a) determine the plants that are known to already grow in your county or state, and b) learn their soil, moisture, and light requirements.

Our Garden Guide

Another good starting point that provides a shortcut to matching plants to their optimal conditions is our Garden Guide.

Seek Professional Advice

When time is short and the tolerance for risk is low, seeking the assistance of a landscape designer or architect who works exclusively with natives is appropriate.  Browse through our Services pages to learn more about your options.

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