The Best Native Perennials

Fine Gardening - Issue 196

What makes native plants so great? Put simply, they are built to thrive in the conditions of a specific region, often without complaint, and are an essential component in the preservation of wildlife and the overall ecology of a region. Yet the topic of native plants can spark a debate like no other in the gardening world. Some arguments are based on fact; some are purely fiction—for example, native plants aren’t necessarily lower-maintenance options that thrive on zero care if they’re sited in conditions outside of their preferred light exposure or soil requirements. The overload of info has left many gardeners wondering, “What native plants should I get?” We asked qualified native plant experts from around the country to weigh in, and they provided this article to help you decide which particularly eye-catching perennials you should think about adding to your garden.