Image of Adkins Arboretum grounds

Plants for Wildlife

Want a garden that has both beauty and substance? Plant native plants! They’ll grow lushly in your yard and provide habitat for many animal species.

Find Local Plant Sales and Events

To find information about the plant species indigenous to your state or region, check your state native plant society website; you can find links at the North American Native Plant Society.

Get Tailor-Made Lists of Plants for Your Region

Native Plant Information Network, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: NPIN offers a comprehensive database of plants native to the United States and Canada. Searching by scientific or common name, gardeners can access detailed fact sheets about a plant’s natural habitat, distribution, soil and light needs, and benefits to wildlife. The site also allows visitors to create lists of species native to their states or provinces and suitable to the conditions of their own gardens.

Native Plants Database, The Audubon Society: Searchable by zip code, this native plant finder also allows gardeners to filter results for which plants attract which bird species. Local resources and plant sellers are also provided.

A Sampling of My Favorite Local Nurseries …

The list below includes nurseries I’ve visited and events I’ve attended in the Baltimore-Washington region, plus a few that are on my list for the first time this year.

Chesapeake Natives, Upper Marlboro, Md.: Specializes in local ecotypes. Open by appointment and for special native plant sales; see details here.

Herring Run Nursery, Baltimore, Md.: Open on weekends from April through the end of October. See details here.

Kollar Nursery, Pylesville, Md.: Open daily, but Wednesday hours are by appointment.

Heartwood Nursery and Garden Shop, Felton, Pa.: On-site gardens give visitors a sense of what plants will look like in cultivation. Wednesdays-Saturdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., through December.

Adkins Arboretum, Native Plant Nursery, Ridgely, Md.: The grounds are also a destination for native plant and wildlife lovers. The nursery is open several days a week from spring through fall.

Earth Sangha, Springfield, Va.: The nursery specializes in local ecotypes and is open by appointment and during special native plant sales.

Izel Plants: An online marketplace for native plants, this company maintains a database of participating nursery inventories. Izel sells plants for the mid-Atlantic and Northeast but has plans for expansion.

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Cultivating compassion for all creatures great and small

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