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Native Plants

Native plants are an important part of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and can actually have an impact on the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Natives have adapted to the environment in which they are from, leaving them better equipt to handle the weather, soil and insects present in that area. This means residents, like you, will have to buy and use less fertilizer and pesticides in your gardens. When you use less fertilizer and pesticides, that means there is less pollution running into the Chesapeake Bay during rain storms.

Finding sources of native plants can be tricky, as most commercial nurseries carry only a few varieties.  This information is designed to help you choose species of plants to use on your project.

Databases of Native Plants:

Where can I buy Native Plants?

  • Adkins Arboretum: Eastern Shore arboretum
  • Chesapeake Natives: Provides sales and workshops for native plants.
  • Irvine Nature Center: Provides native gardens for schoolgrounds in Baltimore City; leads other native plant programs and has regular native plant sales.
  • Local Forestry Boards: County by county phone listing for the state Forest Service offices.
  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: This site hosts a comprehensive list of suppliers of plants and seed.
  • Tree-Mendous Maryland Program: A list of native shrubs and trees including brief descriptions of each, as well as information on how to order through Tree-Mendous for reasonable prices.
  • Plant More Plants: A campaign designed to encourage and educate homeowners to plant native plants in their yards to reduce their runoff.
  • Sylva Native Nursery: Native plants for the mid-atlantic region
  • Izel Plants: Over 642 native species, complete with species descriptions, cultivation, images, gardening tips, maps and more.

General Planting Technical Assistance and Information

For information on how to utilize these plants in rain gardens, click here.