Welcome to Mid Atlantic Natives!
Research Native Plants

What are "native plants"?

The definition is very simple. Native plants are those that are indigenous or endemic to an area. For our purposes we focus on native plants of the northeast United States, the Mid Atlantic region, and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This means the plants we call native existed here prior to European settlement. They were not introduced, they are not cultivars and they are not naturalized. 

We are an organic practice propagation nursery. We utilize biological pest control and OMRI or USDA certified organic herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. 

We grow the majority of our plants from seed collected on our property, cuttings taken from plants growing on our property or division of our plants. All are from private local mid Atlantic plant sources. We do not dig from the wild. 

By picking native plants that suit local conditions, you can reduce or eliminate the need for fertilizers, pesticides and watering. This also saves time and money. Native plants provide food and cover for local wildlife like butterflies, birds, frogs, turtle and small mammals. 

Many native animal species rely on specific native plants as "host" plants. Zebra swallowtail larva feed only on the fresh leaves of pawpaws, monarchs on milkweed varieties and the list goes on. Plant native and you never know what you may be saving. Each of us plays a tiny role or a big one in the life of everything we encounter, we hope we help make that role a good one.

Native plant landscaping-

Designing your garden with northeast native plants starts with knowing your "site" conditions. When you garden with any plants, including natives, you'll enjoy the most success by selecting the plants that thrive naturally in the existing site conditions, for example:

If your soil conditions are dry and full sun, choosing native wildflowers is probably a good bet. However choosing native plants for moist shade probably isn't. 

To ensure satisfaction and success pick the right plants for your environment and expectations. Answer the following questions about the area you’re working with, then click on
 and investigate the features of individual species to find the plants that will work best. 

  • Are you planting in full sun, part sun or part shade, or full shade?
  • Is the soil clay, sandy or loamy?
  • Is your soil’s moisture level (on average) dry, wet or somewhere in the middle?
  • What size can the plant be at maturity to best meet your expectation?
  • Do you want native plants for specific needs such as a food source for wildlife? Erosion control? Reforestation

Determining the environment and selecting species that are native to that environment are the keys to both your and the plant's success!

"You can find native plants with the same shape, color, size or other characteristics as some of your favorite non-native plants to create attractive and more natural landscapes right in your own yard. "- US F & WS Chesapeake Bay 

The link below allows you to download the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's descriptive guide for Native Plant Habitats. It is an invaluable tool for selecting  the right plants for your project. A little research goes a long way!

To download the guide:   http://www.nps.gov/plants/pubs/chesapeake/
Plant Guide cover image

To visit the USF & WS Native Plant Center : http://www.nativeplantcenter.net/?q=database#

The lists are by no means inclusive, additional research info is available at your local extension office:

In depth information is available from the USDA Plants database: http://plants.usda.gov/java/

There are numerous additional ways to do research. The important point is to be sure you're picking plants that are suitable for your site conditions, care abilities and expectations. We 're here to help!