There are dozens of species of beautiful and hearty plants from which to choose. Just plant them in the right spot and give them room to get established. Native plants are not only low maintenance, they are also beneficial to local wildlife, butterflies and pollinators. To assist you in your search, there are several beautiful native plant guides available. Here are two great resources to help you find the perfect plant to add to your Hampton Roads landscape:
GOOD TO DO
You don’t have to have a green thumb to choose the right plants for your water-wise native garden. To spot a drought-tolerant plant, look for plants…
Their underground water/nutrient storage structure makes them more drought-resistant (daylilies, daffodils, dahlias, gladiolus, ginger lilies, and canna lilies).
With a horizontal underground root system
That produces additional roots and shoots (many varieties of irises).
With thick and/or fleshy leaves like cacti and succulents.
These plants are typical of the west, but do well on the east coast (ice plant, Delosperma, Setcreasea, Pittosporum and Oleander).
With very tiny or narrow leaves.
They prefer well-drained soils with less moisture (Atlas Daisy, Butterfly Weed, Bluebell, Blue Flax, Prairie Coneflower and most herbs – thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, lavender, etc).
With especially hairy foliage.
These generally only do well in drier areas (lamb’s ears, Phlomis fruticosa, and Salvia argentea).
From dry areas and sandy seaside locations.
Don’t overlook tall grasses—many are beautiful and drought resistant (Sideoats Grama Grass, Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass, Blue Fescue, Blue Avena Grass and Blue Oat Grass).
Contact an expert.
To learn more about native plants, contact your local chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society.
- John Clayton Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society – Gloucester, James City and York Counties, and the Cities of Williamsburg, Hampton, Newport News and Poquoson
- South Hampton Roads Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society – Isle of Wight County, the Cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach, and the Towns of Smithfield and Zuni
Tips courtesy of Mike Andruczyk of the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension Environmental Horticulture, Chesapeake Office.