Whether you are new to gardening with native plants or an experienced native plant gardener, the desire to maintain ones house frontage with a certain level of curb appeal is rather universal. Native plants can tend to be stereotyped as wild looking and not always considered suitable for a manicured garden area.
Fortunately, that does not have to be the case. We’ve compiled the following list of the 10 native plants that are residential friendly. Let’s take a look as some fantastic options to try and to share with others who desire to improve their yard’s ability to support pollinators and other wildlife, but also to maintain a more traditional level of formal structure to their front flowerbeds.
If you are looking to create a more natural planting area, you can find detailed plans in our micro prairie guide.
10 Native Plants With Curb Appeal
- Virginia Bluebell
- Hairy Beardtongue
- Lanceleaf Coreopsis
- Butterfly Weed
- Tennessee Coneflower
- Blazing Star
- Virginia Mountain Mint
- Perennial Black-Eyed Susan
- Spotted Bee Balm
- Pink Muhly Grass
Nothing signifies the arrival of Spring more than a roadside or clearing packed with the beautiful blooms of Virginia Bluebells. This early Spring bloomer can make for an absolutely stunning display before the neighbors have anything blooming!
Growing 1-2′ tall this woodland wildflower is highly adaptable for a variety of growing conditions, thriving in sun or somewhat shady areas. The fact that it is generally up and blooming before trees leaf-out allow it to thrive deep in the woods.
Virginia Bluebells will begin blooming in early Spring, and unlike the oh-so-common non-native bulbs, this will actually attract some bumblebees and other pollinators! Blooming lasts for about a month, ending in mid-Spring. By early Summer, the plant will go dormant and you would never even know it was there…..
Hairy Beardtongue is one of the most landscape friendly native plants. It has a compact size, doesn’t spread aggressively with the exception of some self-seeding. It blooms beautiful lavender-white flowers in Spring, really providing some stunning color in late Spring.
A member of the Penstemon genus, Hairy Beardtongue will grow to a compact size 18″ tall (45 cm). It is clump forming, expanding itself slowly year over year. So, it is easy to just cut and remove portions of the plant if you feel it is growing too large.
Lanceleaf Coreopsis is a great addition to any wildflower garden, micro prairie, or meadow. Also known as Sand Coreopsis or Lanceleaf Tickseed, it is a native perennial can grow in almost any soil, from clay to pure sand.
Growing to a height of 1-2′ (30-60 cm), the flowers are very showy and make a great cut flower. The appearance is greatly enhanced from deadheading, as it will bloom the bright yellow flowers from June through August. These plants look best planted very close to other plants of similar to taller size, as if isolated the stems tend to fall over from the weight of the seed heads.
It is a clump forming evergreen that will self-seed in that the seeds get dropped near mother plants and germinate the following Spring. This is actually desirable, as the plant is not long-lived. So, in Spring, if you notice some of your plants are ‘missing’, just dig up a few volunteer seedlings and place them where you like. The plant is incredibly tough, and the seedlings will tolerate the relocation.
Of all the milkweeds, Butterflyweed is by far the most landscape friendly. Not only are the orange blooms beautiful, but they will attract numerous pollinators including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. And yes, it is a larval host of the endangered Monarch Butterfly.
Butterfly Weed is a showy perennial flower native to Eastern North America. Scientifically known as Asclepias Tuberosa, it will grow to about 2′ tall by 1-1/2′ wide, and bloom bright orange flowers for up to two months. As a milkweed, it serves as a host for Monarch Butterflies, & attracts numerous other pollinators.
Of all the varieties of Echinacea available, Tennessee Coneflower has to be one of the best for residential gardens. It’s small size make it versatile in almost any flower bed and it has a very long bloom time of up to 3 months.
Tennessee Coneflower is a herbaceous perennial flower endemic to cedar glades within several counties in Tennessee. Scientifically known as Echinacea tennesseenis, it will grow 2′ tall by 1.5′ wide in full sun and well draining soil. Blooming from June though August, the lovely pink blooms attract bees, butterflies, and birds will eat the seeds.
Blazing Star is a showy flower that blooms tall purple stalks in Summer. Blooming from top to bottom over the course of 1-2 months, the purple flowers are irresistible to bees and butterflies. It also makes a gorgeous cut flower or for use in dried arrangements. Additionally, birds will come eat the seeds.
A perennial wildflower native to North America, it will grow 2-4′ tall in full sun with well-drained soil. Liatris Spicata will bloom in mid-summer for 4-6 weeks and be packed with wildlife. Grown from underground corms (similar to bulbs), it can be divided every 3 to 5 years to increase the number of plants.
Mountain Mint is a clump-forming flower that blooms in mid-summer. The numerous clusters of white flowers are irresistible to pollinators! You will be absolutely amazed with the numbers of bees that visit the blooms from dawn until dusk. And the best part? It can fit in almost any flowerbed.
Pycnanthemum virginianum is a herbaceous perennial native to Eastern North America. Commonly known as Virginia Mountain Mint, it will grow 2-3′ tall in full sun and well draining soil and bloom numerous white flower heads for a month or more. One of the best plants at attracting pollinators, numerous species of insect visit the flowers.
Members of the mint family are famous for spreading. And it is true, there are plenty of mints that spread via rhizomes such as Beebalm and Obedient Plant. But Virginia Mountain Mint is clump-forming, and will slowly expand it’s area each year a bit. To prevent this, you can remove parts of the plant each Spring by digging/cutting, or planting in a pot inside the ground to better contain it.
Black-eyed Susan can refer to many different members of the Rudbeckia genus. But one in particular, Rudbeckia Fulgida, commonly known as Orange Coneflower is a perennial native to the Eastern United States and Canada. It has very showy yellow daisy like flowers with black discs. Blooming for 2 months in late summer to fall, it is a great landscaping plant.
Growing to a height of 18″-30″. it slowly expands via short rhizomes over time. But the foliage is attractive during Spring and Summer, and the late Summer to early Fall display of yellow flowers can’t be beat. Did I mention that it is also a wonderful cut flower?
The fact that Spotted Bee Balm isn’t well known in the gardening world must be some sort of crime. The amazing flowers remind almost look alien-like! But the beautiful pink-cream colored blooms look great in late Summer to early Fall, and attract a ton of pollinators.
Growing 2-3′ tall in full sun and drier conditions, it can grow in most soil types as long as it drains well. The plant is short-lived, possible only living for 1-3 years, so you should save some seed to keep it present in your gardens. But fear not – it is easy to grow from seed and will bloom it’s first year. The leaves are edible and can be used as a garnish, as well as have some medicinal properties too.
One of the most attractive ornamental grasses that just happens to be native to a large part of the Eastern United States, Pink Muhly Grass is a highly adaptable grass that grows 2-3′ tall and wide. Attractive from late Spring through summer, the show really starts in early Fall when the pink/purple plumes start blooming. The purple color lasts around two months, and will turn heads long after most people’s gardens have been put to bed for Winter!
Pink Muhly Grass is a perennial ornamental fast-growing grass that is native to the Southeastern United States, and parts of New England. Scientifically known as Muhlenbergia Capillaris, it will grow 3′ tall in full sun and well-drained soil. Blooming pink-to-purple in Autumn, this is a very showy ornamental grass.
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