Growing plants in your garden that occur in surrounding natural landscape provides the resources birds and other wildlife need. This is a beautiful way to lessen your impact on the environment and support your local ecosystem. Using native plants also reinforces a "sense of place," creating distinctive qualities that make one place different from another.
Right Plant, Right Place
Plant distribution is not uniform in nature, even over short distances or small areas. Some plants thrive most anywhere, while others require specific growing conditions. Native plants that struggle in a garden may just need a change in location. Many native plants have a built in advantage, as they are adapted to our soils and local climate. Visit the Regional Garden in our gated outdoor gardens to see plants that thrive in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Does Your Garden Flutter?
Butterflies are important pollinators and a delight to see in any garden. Are you inspired by our Pollinator Garden and interested in growing one of your own?
Get tips and suggested plants for the Mid-Atlantic region to assist local butterfly populations and grow your own easy-to-maintain butterfly garden.
Buy from Reputable Nurseries
Native plants used in landscaping, coveted by collectors, or valued for medicine are sometimes plundered, and their loss reverberates through the ecosystem. Always buy native plants grown by reputable nurseries.
Avoid Green Invaders
Some non-native plants are "plant thugs." They typically lack natural predators, fail to provide food for wildlife, or spread like wildfire when their seeds are eaten. Battles to control them are expensive and success is often temporary. Remember, for every invasive plant, there is a good substitute.
If you have questions about a plant in your garden, please feel free to reach out to our Plant Hotline. You can leave a message at (202) 226-4785 or send us an email, which will be forwarded to the appropriate person for a response.