Using native plants is a low maintenance and eco-friendly option for home landscaping.  Native plants do not require fertilizers and pesticides to thrive, they create food and shelter for native wildlife and insects, and they usually require less watering and maintenance, saving time and money.   There is a wide variety of native plants to choose from to fit any landscaping style, soil and sun conditions.  Here are some of the most popular varieties for home landscaping:

 For areas with full sun:

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium – A hearty perennial that can survive dry weather and low fertility soil.  The flowers are bunches of small blooms, commonly in yellow, but can also be pink and white.  Yarrow can grow to be 3 feet tall and will take over other plants if not controlled.

New England Aster, Aster novae-angliae – A deep purple wild flower, prefers wet soil, but will do well in dry soil.  Blooms in late summer.

Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium – A purple-bronze ornamental grass, it will grow up to 4 feet tall.  Little Bluestem is hearty and will tolerate dry conditions and poor soil.

Tickseed, Coreopsis tripteris – A tall plant with bright yellow disk flowers, it prefers dry rocky soil, but will thrive and become full in moist conditions and can grow to cover a large area.

Marsh Blazing Star, Liatris spicata – A tall perennial with spindle-like clusters of flowers on a rigid stalk, grows best in moist fertile soils, but can grow well in dryer conditions.  Marsh Blazing Star would be a good choice for a rain garden.

Switch Grass, Panicum virgatum – An ornamental grass, in vertical columns, its tiny pink flowers bloom in mid-summer.  Switch Grass grows best in full sun with medium wet soil.  It tolerates low fertility soil. The seeds attract birds throughout winter.

For areas with partial sun:

Beebalm, Monarda fistulosa – Blooms in late summer, flowers are lavender with ruffled petals.  It prefers partial sun and shade, medium wet soil and good drainage.  Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to it.

Cardinal flower, Lobelia cardinalis – Tall with many delicate red flowers on a rigid stalk that attract hummingbirds, this perennial is low maintenance if it has consistant moisture.  It prefers partial sun and shade, but it will do well with full sun in cooler climates.

Wild Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis – A delicate yet hearty perennial, it can thrive in most soil conditions, but does require well draining soil.  It can grow to 10 inches tall with one or two red and yellow downturned bell shaped flowers atop a thin stem.

Turtlehead, Chelone glabra – Bunches of florets atop a tall stem with broad dark leaves, Turtlehead can grow up to three feet tall.  It blooms in late summer.  It prefers moist, fertile soil.

Foxglove, Penstemon digitalis – Also known as Beardtongue, tall white tubular flowers, likes dry-medium wet soil, attracts birds and butterflies

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta – A bright yellow wildflower, similar looking to a daisy, Black-eyed Susan weathers the winter well.  It tolerates a range of soil conditions, but prefers moist fertile soil in partial sun and shade.

Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius – A shrub with clusters of small white or pink flowers.  It tolerates most soil conditions, but prefers well draining soil.  It can grow up to ten feet tall and is often used as a hedge.

Dogwood, Cornus sericea – This shrub’s striking red branches add landscape color year-round.  The deepest red color is on young branches, so Dogwood requires some pruning to maintain the best color.  It grows best in fertile, wet soil.

For shady areas:

Jack-in-the-pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum –  The Jack-in-the-pulpit flower is a single purple and green leaf-like petal that hoods over a single spadix.  It requires moist, fertile soil in shady areas.

Pennsylvania sedge, Carex pensylvanica – A soft woodland grass that thrives in dry soil and shade.  It can be used as a ground cover in shady areas.

Lady Fern, Athyrium filix-femina – A hearty fern with long fronds of delicate leaves.  Lady fern grows best in shady areas with moist fertile soil, however it will do well in drier soil.

Ostrich Fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris – Ostrich Fern is unique because it crown in clumps and the fronds stand straight up.  It the wild, it has been known to grow up to six feet tall.  It does require very moist fertile soil to thrive.