Native Plant Sense

Lewis & Clark Recreation Area entrance sign welcomes visitors with pup tents and large recreational vehicles. They see a field of native grasses in the distance, limestone-like visitors will see glow along Missouri River cliffs at sunrise, and native Liatris or blazing star, soon to bloom purple at the state park.

When you garden with some native plants, the unique qualities of your location shine. Here are a couple of additional native plant pointers.

Native plants are durable. Trees and shrubs are foundation plants that last decades. Plants adapted to the region’s weather fluctuations, pests, and diseases tend to be hardier. Native Ponderosa pines appear to be more able to withstand pine wilt that kills non-native trees. Perennials like Echinacea or coneflowers grow well in soil and weather conditions and have herbal qualities not often favored by deer and rabbits.

Plant them intentionally. The balance of distinct boundaries enhances even a meadow of wildflowers randomly sown by the wind. Yellow Rudbeckia and coneflowers fill a raised bed bounded by a hardscape.

About native plants.

We planted these native perennial Monarda or bee balm as individual specimens in a flowerbed. 

The article “Native Plantings” in the August Northern Gardener magazine provides more tips from 150 years of gardening information by the Minnesota State Horticulture Society. The magazine is available for browsing at the Yankton Community Library.

We welcome your comments on gardening with native plants. Thanks for visiting our weekly Plant Exchange Blog. 

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