Choosing Plants for Your Location

Site Conditions

In order to get the full benefits, beauty and pleasure from your native plants, choose plants that are well suited to the growing conditions at your location. You'll be happier with the results and so will the plants, when they are chosen to fit the soil, light and temperate conditions at hand. Native species have evolved to survive in particular environments, and meeting their requirements is key to creating a sustainable landscape that thrives, without replacing or ammending your soil. Plants that are well suited to the conditions at your planting site will create a garden that flourishes with minimal effort, and without additional resources for years to come.

Site Conditions, or Growing Conditions, are defined here. Familiarity with the “Soil Type,” “Soil Moisture,” and “Sun Exposure,” at your planting site will help you select the best filtering options on our website.

Planting Zones vs Native Range

Because so many gardeners are already familiar with the hardiness zones model, we include the “Zones” as a filtering option on our website. The USDA hardiness zones represent geographical areas of the United States and are defined by the average minimum winter temperatures. The hardiness zone map is located here.

However, if you are seeking plants that are indigeneous to your area, use the “Native Range” filter, instead of the “Zones” filter. The Native Range filter includes a list of the U.S. States. Use this filter to find the plants that are native to your state.

Keep in mind that whether you choose to filter by Zones, or by Native Range, the site conditions (Soil Type, Soil Moisture, and Sun Exposure) will remain primarily important.

Native Plant Ranges

Each native plant on our website includes a range map from BONAP (Biota of North America Program) which shows the naturally occurring distribution of the species. These maps are an excellent reference for restoring landscapes, or attracting local wildlife, birds and butterflies. The Bonap Range Maps will help you find plants which are native to your area, but this information alone cannot determine suitability for your site. The plants you choose have the best chance of success when their soil and light requirements are aligned with the site conditions at hand.

More Reading on our Blog: The Right Plant in the Right Place

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