GARDEN TIME with DOUG – Native Plants


There is some confusion when determining if, or how, a plant is considered “native.” In my opinion, the best definition for a “native” comes from the Virginia Native Plant Society:

“Native plants are those that were growing here when the settlers first arrived and have adapted to the environmental conditions of this region over a long period of time. This gives them an advantage over introduced species by being resistant to drought, insects, and diseases and are ideal for growing in a natural garden.”

Why should someone consider native plants? It is advantageous to use native plants because they require less maintenance than horticultural varieties that have not adapted to our local weather patterns and soil conditions. Also, as land is being developed for commercial and residential growth, we are losing our native plants. It seems to be our responsibility to help preserve our natural plants for future generations by just adding a few native plants to our landscape.

Gardening with native plants is becoming a strong gardening trend with homeowners. More and more we are reading about gardening symposiums being conducted by local Master Gardeners and other horticultural professionals that include gardening with native plants as a topic. Matter of fact, this past month our very own, Eve Roemhildt conducted a seminar on native plants and it was very informative and very well attended. Eve compiled an extraordinary handout listing our native plants (trees, shrubs, vines, perennials, and grasses). We have this as a handout for anyone interested.

Here are some reasons to grow native plants:

  1. Not only do native plants produce beautiful flowers, but they also produce fruits, seeds, and nectar that are friendly to wildlife.
  2. Native plants create more diverse habitats for wildlife, attracting more than 3 times the number of beneficial insects than non-native plants.
  3. Native plants are easier to grow.
  4. Native plants invite wildlife.
  5. Native plants add natural beauty to the landscape.
  6. Native plants require less maintenance.

When you are ready, come to us and let us show you our extensive selection of native plants that we have available now.


45 thoughts on “GARDEN TIME with DOUG – Native Plants”

  1. Julie,
    I am not sure what your area may be. The list that we have available is on native plants for Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. Are you in this area? If so, send me an email message with your address and I will be happy to mail you this handout.

  2. Doug, would you please send me the list of native plants for the Richmond area. Are there any evergreen shrubs or trees in the list?

    • Anna, I believe that I was successful in forwarding this list to your email. Let me know if I am wrong and I will try again. Thanks, Doug

  3. looking for the list of native plants, I live in Virginia.
    404 Old Dominion Ave, Herndon, va 20170.

    I’m in need of mostly shade to complete shade plants. Also, in need of a ground cover for a dry, COMPLETELY shaded hill.

    thank you, Brenda

    • Brenda, There is no question that you have a challenging location with the amount of shade that you seem to be describing. However, there are plants to consider. in shrubs think about Aucuba,Illicium, yew. In hardy perennials you can plant ferns, hostas, bleeding heart, etc. As for a ground cover you may want to think about Lamium. hardy geranium. And, there are some others. Doug Hensel

  4. Doug,
    I would love to have the list of native plants for Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. I am interested in butterfly weed, does Meadow Farms sell it?

    • Kathy, I believe I emailed you this list. Hopefully, I was successful. If not, let me know and I will try again. Doug Hensel

    • Rob,
      I believe i was successful sending you the list to your email. Let me know if I am wrong. Thanks, Doug

  5. This is perfect timing! My Girl Scout troop is set to visit your Stafford location in a little while to learn about this exact topic. We are planning to buy some native plants to plant at a local school for a service project.

  6. Doug
    please send a list of native plants (i live in Chesterfield near Lucks Lane and I’m on Evergreen Lake)
    I hope to buy some tomorrow at the Great Big Greenhouse. I particularly want some which appeal to butterflies hummingbirds and all birds
    Which dogwood tree is best?
    [email protected]

    • Muriel,
      Sorry, I do not have this list on my computer. I just have a hard copy that i use. Let me look into seeing what I can do to get it available so that I can email you this list. Doug

  7. I would love to have a list of native plants for Virginia. I’d also love it if you had a list of native trees to share. We recently lost several oak trees and would like to plant some new, smaller trees in their place. I’m especially looking for trees that are inviting to birds (shelter) but that don’t necessarily attract insects. Thank you for your help!

    • Kelly,
      Let me see what I can do to get a list on my computer so that I can email you the native plant list that I reference. Doug

  8. Hi Doug
    Please send your list of native bushes and plants for the Laurel, Md area
    Dog wood trees never seem to last but the Maples here go on forever

    • Chris,
      I do not have a list of natives on my computer. I only have a hard copy that I use as reference and make hard copies. Let me look into getting this list on my computer. If I am successful then I will email you the list. Doug

    • Silkoak,
      Good Morning. And, thank you very much for this information. I will share these websites with others who are requesting the list of native plants. Thank you again, Doug

    • Pamela,
      Good Morning.
      Unfortunately, I do not have a list saved on my computer that I can email you. I don’t know if you see some of the other comments being submitted but some very kind readers are passing along some website information that you may find helpful and informative. Doug

  9. I’d like a list of native plants – shade and partial in particular. Attempting to take back the forest edges from the stilt grass and paper mulberries.

    I’d like to plant some this Fall.

    If you have any remedies beyond hand pulling and chainsawing , I’m all ears!

    • Lucia,
      Good Morning. Unfortunately, I do not have a list on my computer that I can send to you. However, some of the other readers have attached some website information that you should find helpful Thank you, Doug

    • Gigi,
      Good Morning. It warms my heart with all the people requesting a list of native plants for our region. This has become a very popular gardening trend. Wanting to give support to our pollinators is wonderful and the smallest changes in landscaping and gardening can make a big idfference to pollinators. Try going to for more information. Doug

  10. Hi Doug,
    Thank you for the blog post. I live in Maryland, near Columbia. I’d like to receive the list of native plants for my area.

    Thanks, in advance,

    • Linda,
      Thank you for this message. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy that I can send you. You can contact the Maryland Native Plant Society that is located in Silver Spring Maryland. And you can contact the Chesapeake Bay Native Plant Center in Annapolis. That phone number is 443 – 949 – 0575. I hope this information is helpful Doug

    • Good Morning.
      I still do not have a copy that I can email you. I will be happy to mail you a hard copy if you like. Just send me your address and I will put a copy in the mail. Send your address to [email protected]

  11. I live in Chesterfield , very close to the Great Big Greenhouse. Lots of trees around so sun time is limited! I would like a copy of the native plants and hopefully there are some that will grow at my house. There are lots of rocks I’m my soil and I now have lots of moss!

    • Brenda,
      Good Morning.
      Since you live so close. Stop by the garden center. Ask for me. I’ll get you the information that I have on native plants for Virginia. Come see us. Fall is a great planting season. Doug

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