Plant with a Purpose

Why plant native? 

Enjoy a beautiful landscape Gardens provide the landscape with many different and beautiful assortment of textures, colors.

Preserve Maryland biodiversity Biodiversity is not only important for the environment, but people as well. A third of our food we consume is thanks to biodiversity and our pollinator friends. 

Many bees provision their nests with pollen from native plants. Butterflies and moths eat native species at the larval stage. Birds, in turn, feed an abundance of these caterpillars to their young. Going native supports this whole food web. 

Improve water quality Conventional non-native gardens often need the help of fertilizers, pesticides, supplemental water, this results in poor soil health and stormwater runoff.  

Provide a safeguard pollinator habitat  Plant a succession of native blooms of different shapes, sizes and colors from spring to fall. Include mud-puddling areas for butterflies. You can also add nesting sites for bees, caterpillars and others by leaving fallen leaves where possible and incorporating dead wood into the garden. 

Click on the photo below for helpful Native Plant pollinator garden templates from our friends at Howard Nature! 

Pollinator garden template Opens in new window

Plant Pure Natives

Consider planting pure native plants when adding to your gardens.  When purchasing your plants, focus on the Latin name for the plant and not the common name. Growers will use common names for many different varieties.  Also, be aware that pure natives are different from cultivated hybrids. You can identify hybrids on plant marker with a name in quotations such as Coreopsis v. 'Moonbeam'. 

For more information about native plants visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Pure native plants are preferred over hybrids because they provide the appropriate color, texture, and fragrance expected by birds and insects that depend on them for food and habitat.  For example, Maryland's state butterfly, the Checkerspot, only lays their eggs on the pure native variety of White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)

For more information about where to purchase pure native plants visit Izel Plants.

 Importance of trees in your community 

  • Conserve energy by shading buildings and paved surfaces
  • Filter airborne pollutants
  • Remove atmospheric carbon dioxide
  • Reduce stormwater runoff
  • Increase the value of our homes

There are many funding opportunities for environmental improvement projects such as tree plantings and pollinator gardens. 

For more information about annual environmental project funding for non-profit organizations and community associations, please click here