The Best Native Plants for Landscaping: A State-By-State Guide

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Native plants are plants that have historically grown in a given region without human introduction. Before we started fencing off our yards and planting exotic and invasive species in our gardens, each geographical area's natural ecosystem provided a harmonious balance of flora and fauna. Over the course of thousands of years, the plants in these ecosystems adapted to the area's unique weather patterns, soil, pests, and diseases. Because they are accustomed to the conditions of their home range, native plants are easier to grow and are better for the environment, making them an ideal solution for any home landscaping plan.

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Benefits of Native Plants

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Whether you incorporate a handful of preferred native plants or go all out to create a conservation-friendly garden, there are many benefits to adding localized flora to your yard. Native plants typically use less water and fertilizer than non-natives because native plants are already naturally adapted to the local soil and climate conditions. For example, using localized plants that prefer wet conditions can help prevent erosion because they often have longer roots for securing soil and slowing rainwater runoff.

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Native plants also tend to be more resistant to pests and diseases, though invasive organisms can still present serious problems. At the same time, these plants can help support beneficial insects and animals by providing precisely the types of food, shelter, and nesting materials the wildlife have evolved to utilize. Native plants are essential for butterflies, which lay their eggs only on a select number of plants. These plants then provide sustenance for newly hatched caterpillars.

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Aside from supporting the environment, the fact that these plants are naturally suited to your region means that you'll put in less work watering, fertilizing, and fighting off pests and pathogens. Less work means you'll have more time to relax and watch the butterflies, birds, bees, lizards, and other critters enjoy your garden.

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Native Plants by State

Always research a plant's growing requirements before deciding to add it to your yard. Just because a plant is from your region doesn't mean it's suited to the exact planting conditions on your property. For example, a shade-loving plant that grows near water won't do well on a sunny, arid hillside.

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When looking for plants well suited to your region, this list of native plants from each state is an excellent place to start. And because plants don't observe human-drawn borders, consider growing plants from bordering states, as nearby states may share many of the same regional flora and fauna as your area.

Here are the best native plants for landscaping by state.

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The Best Native Plants for Each State

State

Good Native Landscaping Plants

Alabama

Eastern Red Columbine

Butterfly Weed

Crossvine

American Beautyberry

Atamasco Lily

Alaska

Columbian Monkshood

Saskatoon Serviceberry

Pacific Anemone

Yellow Marsh Marigold

Jacob's Ladder

Arizona

Buttonbush

Desert Sand Verbena

Agave

Scarlet Bouvardia

Arizona Mariposa Lily

Arkansas

Gulf Muhly

Turk’s Cap

Common Yarrow

Southern Maidenhair Fern

Leadplant

Northern California (Cool and Rainy)

Oneleaf Onion

Van Houtte's Columbine

Rose Rockcress

Beach Sagebrush

Small Camas

Southern California (Hot and Dry)

California Poppy

Greenleaf Manzanita

Desert Marigold

White Sage

California Fuchsia

Colorado

Red Baneberry

Dwarf False Indigo

Colorado Blue Columbine

Colorado Four O'Clock

Paper Birch

Connecticut

White Baneberry

Black Cohosh

Purple Giant Hyssop

Wood Anemone

Purple Milkweed

Delaware

White Snakeroot

Common Serviceberry

Swamp Milkweed

Trumpet Creeper

Alternateleaf Dogwood

North and Central Florida (Subtropical)

Florida Hobblebush

Splitbeard Bluestem

Florida Greeneyes

Florida Adder's-Mouth Orchid

Pinewoods Milkweed

Southern Florida (Tropical)

Everglades Palm

Bandanna of the Everglades

American Crinum Lily

Common Persimmon

Pond Apple

Georgia

Bottlebrush Buckeye

Jack in the Pulpit

Blue Wild Indigo

Eastern Redbud

Georgia Frostweed

Hawaii

Nau

Ilima Papa

Hinahina

Aalii

Purple Hibiscus

Idaho

Jones' Columbine

Heartleaf Arnica

Prairie Sagewort

Sulphur-Flower Buckwheat

Streambank Wild Hollyhock

Illinois

Autumn Onion

Yellow Marsh Marigold

Bluebell Bellflower

Eastern Purple Coneflower

Purple Joepyeweed

Indiana

Fireweed

Closed Bottle Gentian

Spotted Geranium

Feathery False Lily of the Valley

Wild Bergamot

Iowa

Whorled Milkweed

Longbract Wild Indigo

Gray Dogwood

Showy Tick Trefoil

Dutchman's Breeches

Kansas

Downy Hawthorn

Black Samson

Tall Blazing Star

Prairie Ironweed

Prairie Blazing Star

Kentucky

Yellow Buckeye

Scarlet Beebalm

Kentucky Coffeetree

American Wisteria

Flame Azalea

Louisiana

Blue Mistflower

Evening Rain Lily

Prairie Larkspur

Rose Vervain

Wild Blue Phlox

Maine

White Colicroot

Showy Tick Trefoil

Cinnamon Fern

Lowbush Blueberry

Birdfoot Violet

Maryland

American Holly

Common Ninebark

Catawba Rosebay

Coralberry

Deerberry

Massachusetts

Dwarf Witchalder

Great Laurel

Swamp Rose

Christmas Fern

Crimson-Eyed Rose-Mallow

Michigan

Lanceleaf Coreopsis

Witch-Hazel

Shrubby St. John's-Wort

Michigan Lily

Common Winterberry

Minnesota

Meadow Garlic

American Bellflower

Prairie Blue-Eyed Grass

Shreve's Iris

Largeflower Bellwort

Mississippi

Mississippi Penstemon

Pecan

Buckwheat Tree

Clasping Coneflower

Pitcher Sage

Missouri

Missouri Violet

Plain Gentian

Common Sneezeweed

Clayton's Sweetroot

Eastern Hop-Hornbeam

Montana

Black Hawthorn

Purple Monkeyflower

Heartleaf Four O'Clock

Tufted Evening Primrose

Yellow Bee-Plant

Nebraska

American Hazelnut

Smooth Solomon's Seal

Bloodroot

Compassplant

Golden Zizia

Nevada

Sideoats Grama

Western Spring Beauty

Rocky Mountain Iris

Pink Plains Penstemon

Western Thimbleberry

New Hampshire

Creeping Snowberry

Eastern Teaberry

Sundial Lupine

Ostrich Fern

Twoleaf Miterwort

New Jersey

New Jersey Tea

Cup Plant

Shrubby Five-Fingers

New England Aster

Mayapple

New Mexico

Parry's Agave

Cliff Fendlerbush

Ocotillo

Prairie Coneflower

New Mexico Locust

New York

Dense Blazing Star

Tulip Tree

Sweet Crabapple

Great Blue Lobelia

Hairy Penstemon

North Carolina

Herb-of-Grace

Carolina Springbeauty

Carolina Jessamine

Dwarf Huckleberry

Eastern Sweetshrub

North Dakota

Wood Lily

Wholeleaf Rosinweed

Common Snowberry

White Heath Aster

Purple Meadow-Rue

Ohio

Pawpaw

Ohio Spiderwort

Eastern Shooting Star

Grayleaf Red Raspberry

Burningbush

Oklahoma

Maypop

Woodland Pinkroot

Jerusalem Artichoke

Winecup

Yellow Sundrops

Oregon

Sweet After Death

Nodding Onion

Western Columbine

Sagebrush Mariposa Lily

Holly-Leaved Barberry

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Sedge

Honey Locust

Plains Coreopsis

Scaly Blazing Star

Spotted Wintergreen

Rhode Island

Flowering Dogwood

Staghorn Sumac

Black-Eyed Susan

Highbush Blueberry

Cranberry

South Carolina

Maroon Carolina Milkvine

Carolina Ash

Carolina Azalea

Threadleaf Coreopsis

Cardinal Flower

South Dakota

Flat-Top Goldentop

Old Man's Whiskers

American Plum

Purple Meadow-Rue

Broadleaf Cattail

Tennessee

Sugar Maple

Pignut Hickory

Mountain Laurel

Bristly Locust

Common Elderberry

East Texas (More Humid)

Texas Redbud

Scarlet Rosemallow

Comfortroot

Texas Spiderlily

Texas Bluebonnet

Texas Panhandle/Western Areas (More Arid)

Pigeonberry

Texas Bluebell

Purple Leatherflower

Texas Madrone

Featherplume

Utah

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Utah Serviceberry

Silverweed Cinquefoil

Desert Sweet

Mountain Monardella

Vermont

Arborvitae

Hobblebush

Shrubby Five-Fingers

Black Cherry

Vermont Blackberry

Virginia

Tall Thimbleweed

Virginia Strawberry

Virginia Waterleaf

Fall Obedient Plant

Bitternut Hickory

Washington

Vanillaleaf

Olympic Larkspur

Alpine Twinpod

Grand Collomia

Pacific Bleeding Heart

West Virginia

Virginia Bluebells

Gray Goldenrod

Virginia Springbeauty

Virginia Creeper

American Strawberry Bush

Wisconsin

Eastern Leatherwood

Paleleaf Woodland Sunflower

Northern Bush Honeysuckle

Low Prickly Pear

Slender Beard-Tongue

Wyoming

Wyoming Indian Paintbrush

Purple Prairie Clover

Rubber Rabbitbrush

Aspen Fleabane

Soapweed Yucca

Source(s): https://www.wildflower.org/collections/; https://laist.com/news/climate-environment/native-plants-101-a-starter-guide-to-replacing-your-thirsty-lawn-with-drought-tolerant-plants-that-look-good#what-native-plants-should-i-choose; https://www.honolulumagazine.com/growing-a-native-hawaiian-garden/; https://hawaiiannativeplants.com/our-plants/
Image Credit: Sergey-AND-Marina/iStock/GettyImages

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