Gardening with Native Plants
• Recommended Native Trees, Shrubs & Vines
• Recommended Native Wildflowers & Grasses
• Tallgrass Prairie Plant Species Native to Middlesex, Oxford & Perth Counties
• Southwestern Ontario Nurseries that Sell Native Plants
• Invasive Non-native Plants
Native plants …
• are the plants that grew wild in your area prior to European settlement
• can be locally or regionally native. For example, Striped Maple is native to eastern Ontario but not southwestern Ontario.
Why is it important to plant native plants?
• to maintain the natural diversity of plant life in our region
• to support the insects, birds and animals that depend on native plants
• to learn about and appreciate the beauty of our region’s flora, our natural heritage
• to reduce our use of water, fertilizers and pesticides as native plants are usually better adapted to our climate and soil than horticultural plants
Where to buy or obtain native plants
• Buy in Ontario from a nursery that specializes in native plants.
• Split plants or collect seed from a friend’s native garden.
• Never dig up plants from the wild! Many plants are becoming rare because of collection and habitat destruction.
• Don’t buy “meadow-in-a-can” products. The seeds usually come from distant places and may include non-native plants.
• Look at the Latin/scientific name to ensure you are buying a native plant. Don’t trust common names.
Tips on choosing the right plants
• Check out our list of Recommended Native Wildflower & Grasses.
• Choose plants native to your region and soil type.
• Look to natural plant communities for guidance in determining which plants go together.
• Learn to identify local native plants with a good field guide or join a naturalist club.
• Ask the native plant nursery staff for guidance and suggestions.
Books on native plants and gardening
• Grow Wild: Native Plant Gardens in Canada. Lorraine Johnson. Random House.
• Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. Lawrence Newcomb. Little, Brown and Company.
• Trees in Canada. John Laird Farrar. Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited and the Canadian Forest Service.
• Shrubs of Ontario. Soper and Heimburger. Royal Ontario Museum.
Other helpful websites