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Part Of The American Meadows Meadowscaping Learning Center

All About Native Plants

Learn more about why native plants are so important, and find native wildflowers, perennials, and grasses for your yard with helpful guides from the experts at American Meadows.

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Native Plants By Starte  |  Meadowscaping Learning Center

Monarch butterfly and its host plant, Aslcepias

What's The Buzz About Native Plants?

Resilient native plants support wildlife, bees, birds, and butterflies for a living landscape, and they have withstood the test of time! Native plants and native hybrids are adaptable, low-maintenance, and durable. They are resilient in the face of your climate's extreme temperatures, rainfall, and weather. Furthermore, native plants have established relationships with pollinators and wildlife, making them the best choice for habitat-friendly gardens that support a healthy web of life. Learn more about how these plants benefit all life on Earth.


A Bumblebee visits a purple Lupine flower.
A Bumblebee visits a purple Lupine flower.

5 Reasons Why Every Garden Needs Native Plants

Experts like Professor Doug Tallamy of Homegrown National Park recommend planting at least 70% native plants in your yard. Why are native plants so important? Here are 5 key takeaways!

1. Healthy Ecosystems: Native plants strengthen entire ecosystems! Think of a healthy ecosystem as a healthy web of life. Native plants host an enormous variety of beneficial insects that feed beneficial insects, caterpillars, birds, and wildlife. Don't be afraid of bugs in your garden - they're essential for healthy ecosystems. For instance, it can take thousands upon thousands of caterpillars to feed one family of songbirds!

2. Healthy Pollinators: Native plants are essential for the survival of pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Since wildlife and native plants have evolved together for so long, many pollinators require specific host plants to survive - the most famous example being Monarch Butterflies and Milkweed plants (also available as milkweed wildflower seeds). One of the most enjoyable parts of gardening is watching these winged visitors flying in our garden. Pollinators are also essential for the production of the fruits and vegetables we all need to be healthy. 

3. Healthy Soils: Native plants and beneficial insects help to keep soils balanced and healthy. In turn, this keeps pests, plant diseases, and harmful invasive species at bay. Healthy soils also help contribute to clean water and clean air.

4. Healthy Plants: Native plants are well-adapted to local weather patterns, climate, soil conditions, and daylight. This means that they’re more resilient and more likely to survive extreme weather events. Typically, native perennial plants have very deep root systems, which make for a tough, resilient plant. (They're also easier to care for if you're a busy gardener!)

5. Healthy Gardens: With built-in defenses against common pests and diseases that they've developed over time, native plants are the least likely to require pesticides, fungicides, and chemicals. That means you can avoid using substances that are harmful to people, animals, and the environment.

Native Plants By State

You asked, and we listened! We've compiled a list for each state of the most popular native plants, wildflower seeds, and grass seeds that we offer. You’ll also find information about your state bird, state flower, and state wildflower.

Native Plants & Seeds From American Meadows

Is growing native plants a goal for you? American Meadows offers a wide range of seeds and plants to help you get started.

A great place to start is with our exclusive Native Regional Wildflower Seed Mixes. These expertly designed mixes offer an easy, affordable way to grow a mix of wildflowers whose native ranges fall within your region of the United States. 

You can also select from our wide range of native wildflower seed species & mixes, including rare and hard-to-find species.

We also offer a wide range of native perennial plants, including bareroot woodland wildflowers such as Trilliums and Virginia Bluebells, flowering shrubs like Blueberry and Elderberry, and a great selection of ornamental grasses and sedges for groundcover and gardens.

Plus, we offer a great selection of native grass seeds & mixes for meadows, pastures, and lawn alternatives.

Remember, when shopping anywhere on our site, you can use our shopping filters - select the "Native" filter under "Plant Advantages" to find plants and seeds native to North America. 

A customer photo of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Bee Balm (Monarda)
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Bee Balm (Monarda)

Understanding Native vs. Introduced Plants

It is important to note that just because a wildflower is not native, does not mean that it is invasive or harmful. Introduced plants are sometimes called Old World plants, exotic species, ornamental species - there are many names used! 

Wildflowers or plants that are introduced, or not native, to the United States, can also offer a host of benefits for your yard.  (Especially when compared to a traditional turf lawn.) 

For example, introduced wildflowers can provide an important nectar and pollen source for honeybees, which are also a species that was introduced, not native to the United States. Without sufficient flowers, honeybees can outcompete native pollinators. Studies show that growing abundant and diverse flowers that provide plenty of nectar and pollen sources for pollinators will increase pollinator population and diversity in your area. 

In addition, many introduced wildflowers are favorites for cut flower gardens, and many have been cultivated to provide beautiful, long-lasting additions to wildflower gardens. 

Know before you grow – It's always a good idea to learn what plants are native, well-behaved, and invasive or aggressive in your region before digging in. A great place to start is with our native plants by state resource. Or, you can try a quick online search of "invasive plants + (your state or your county)" or "native plants + (your state or your county)" to learn more!

In addition, your local Extension program or Master Gardener chapter is often a good source to learn more about native plants that thrive in your area, and to learn more about how to tame plants that may be aggressive or invasive in your area. 

Have questions? Feel free to reach out to our customer service team! We're here to help. 

Understanding Native Species vs. Native Cultivars

At American Meadows, we offer a broad range of native plants, and we're always working to expand our selection. Here, you'll find plants and seeds for native species, as well as native cultivars. Are you wondering what's the difference? Read on to learn more!

Dig In: Understanding Native Species vs. Native Cultivars


Most Popular Native Seeds & Plants From American Meadows

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