Gardening with Native Plants - Container Gardening
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Gardening with Native Plants
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
What exactly is a Native Plant?
• Native Plants are the species that occur naturally in a given area.
• Native Plants include ferns, grasses, water and marsh plants, herbaceous perennials, shrubs, trees and vines.
Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
• There are so many choices! They come in many colors, shapes and sizes.
Why Containers?• Physical limitations– Low maintenance – Easy access
• Landscape limitations•Propagation
-You can separate some of your perennials annually and gift or plant in your landscape.
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
•Recycle-Great way to reuse many household items
Containers 101• Plan your container
• Determine light and moisture requirements
• Select type of container
•Mix soil and any soil amendments needed according to VTE recommendations
Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
•About• Small, non-spreading grass with blue-green
leaves that turn reddish orange in the fall• Fluffy silver seed heads are ornamental
through winter• Grows to 2’-3’ X 1’• Full Sun• Well drained, dry soil
•Benefits• Deer resistant• Drought tolerant• Attracts butterflies and birds
•Uses• Dried flowers• Cut flowers• Rock gardens• Bonsai
•Companions• Butterfly Milkweed• Pale purple coneflower• Stiff Goldenrod
Woodland Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
•About• Partial to Full Shade• Average Size 6”-1.5’• Average to moist soil• Prefers Organically rich soil •Benefits • Attracts Hummingbirds and Butterflies• Beautiful Spring Flowers•Companion Plants• Virginia Bluebells • Christmas Fern• Goat’s Beard
Madienhair Fern(Adiantum pedatum)
•About• Full Shade/Deep Shade• Moderate Moisture• Organically rich soil• Deciduous• Height 18”-2’ • Can be divided in Autumn or
Winter •Facts• Maidenhair fern is the source of a
pleasantly aromatic volatile oil long used as a rinse or shampoo that rendered black hair very shiny, hence the name Maidenhair.• The tough, water-repellant, shiny black stems were used by Native American peoples in basket weaving.
Where Can I Purchase Native Plants Locally?
Colonial Nursery – Williamsburg
Sassafras Farm – Gloucester Cooke’s Garden – WilliamsburgLet it Grow – WilliamsburgHomestead Garden Center –
Toano 2011 Native Plant Sales
John Clayton Chapter/Native Plant Society 4-30-11Virginia Living Museum 4-16 & 4-17 & 4-23-11
Where Can I See Native Plants?
• VIMS Teaching Marsh• Williamsburg Botanical Garden• Melissa’s Meadow at William & Mary• Stonehouse Elementary School• W&M Wildflower Refuge• Virginia Living Museum • New Quarter Park• Norfolk Botanical Garden• Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden• JCC Human Services (Master Gardener Project)
Websites of Note• www.wildflower.org • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center site has
excellent articles on gardening with natives, including guidelines for container gardening
•www.nps.gov/plants/pubs/chesapeake/• Web and PDF versions of handbook, Native
Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping, Chesapeake Bay Watershed, now out of print.
•www.claytonvnps.org• John Clayton Chapter, Virginia Native Plant
Society, extensive plant lists by county, excellent photo gallery.
•www.dgif.virginia.gov/habitat• Extensive how-to information for
environmental stewardship for homeowners, schools and businesses.
•www.floraofvirginia.org• Comprehensive research project publishing
2012 will describe more than 3,500 native plants with photos and illustrations.
•www.pubs.ext.vt.edu• Virginia Cooperative Extension (VA Tech &
Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia heliopsidis)
Great Resources for Native Plant Information
The Essential Guide Just
updated with FAQ’s and a
regional plant list.
John Clayton ChapterVNPS- Local
National Wildlife Federation140,000+
Why use Native Plants?
• Want to do less watering? Native plants are survivors and adapt to whatever is happening in their environment.
• Feel concerned about excess nitrogen causing algae blooms in the Chesapeake Bay? Natives don’t require fertilizer.
• Native Plants provide familiar sources of food and shelter for wildlife.
• On a broader ecological scale, planting native species contributes to the overall health of natural communities.