By: Jennifer LaMontagne – Horticulturist – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI
The definition of a native plant can differ among gardeners. One way a native plant might be described is a tree, shrub, vine, or perennial that was growing in a place in Wisconsin before European settlement and without human introduction or intervention.
While some may think that native plants contribute to a disheveled look in a garden, they are well adapted to Wisconsin soils and climate and can survive in the most challenging landscapes. They require less water and fertilizer and have few insect or disease problems. In addition, the deep roots of native plants can help control erosion and runoff. Natives attract pollinators and provide food and shelter for a variety of wildlife. Using native plants increases biodiversity and the health of our environment.
When designing a native garden, one must consider the planting location. Is the area hot and dry? Or shady with soil that stays continually moist? Choose natives plant species that can survive in your location.
Natives tolerant of dry locations: Lead Plant (Amorpha canescens), Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Prairie Coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata), Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea), Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium), Prairie Alum Root (Heuchera richardsonii), Lupine (Lupinus perennis), Prairie Cinquefoil (Potentilla pensylvanica), Compass Plant (Silphium laciniatum), Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum), Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolius heterolepsis), American Hazelnut (Corylus Americana), White Oak (Quercus alba), Elm (Ulmus sp.)
Natives tolerant of moist soil: Meadow Anemone (Anemone canadensis), Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina), Wild Senna (Cassia hebecarpa), Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), Monkey Flower (Mimulus ringens), Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum), Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum), River Birch (Betula nigra), American Larch (Larix laricina), Willow (Salix sp.)
Natives tolerant of shade: Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), Purple Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum), Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum), Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), Hemlock (Conium maculatum), Witchazel (Hamamelis virginiana), Snowberry (Symphoricarpos sp.)
Stop in today to find plants native to Wisconsin! Bloch’s Farm has many tree, shrub, and perennial natives available. Call 920-294-6000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Visit our website online at www.blochsfarm.com and our Facebook page. Don’t miss out on this weekend’s sale! July 17th – 19th 25% Off Perennials and Native Plants!