Native plants are essential for the biodiversity of local wildlife such as birds, bees and other beneficial insects. Fluctuations in the environment and weather have some of us questioning how we can make changes to our landscaping to make it more beneficial for the surrounding ecology.
One of many valuable reasons to plant native material is that it tends to be accustomed to our more than challenging weather conditions in periods of drought, rain or extreme cold. It is important to note that not all native plants are a good choice for gardens or other areas alike as many native species are still sensitive to element exposure and so on. Some species can also grow quite tall and have a spreading habit that may be difficult to maintain.
Listed below are 3 full sun native plants that are easy to use in your garden and provide some of the essentials for helping to re-establish our local wildlife. When planting a native garden, it is good to consider color, texture, repetition and rhythm when choosing plants.
Perennial: Blazing Star (Liatris spicate)
3’ x 4’ tall & 12'' x 18'' width
Beautiful upright spikes of pinkish-purple flowers growing in a feathery mound of greenery that is notable for attracting local birds and butterflies. This perennial is not drought tolerant however, and requires more frequent watering in the hotter and dry months. Bloom time is end of June through the end of August and is highly deer resistant.
Shrub: New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
Full sun to part shade
3’ x 4’ height & width
Delicate puffy mounds of white flowers surrounded by large bright green shrubby leaves that bloom from June through July attracting local birds and butterflies. This native beauty also gives off a pleasant floral fragrance so placement near a window or outdoor seating area will really make this plant shine.
Tree: Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
20’x 25’ height & 25’x 30’ width
Full sun to part shade
Clusters of elegant pink flowers blooming profusely throughout the month of April. The green leaves of this tree resemble that of a heart and the multi stem trunk gives it a unique and interesting shape. Perfect for softening a corner or harsh line against a house and will thrive in many types of soil and sun exposure making the Redbud easy to care for. It is also quite the show stopper in the Spring! But that’s not all for this native beauty, the leaves in the summer turn bronze and brown pods remain on the tree giving some summer seasonal interest without having to worry about a mess.