Chesapeake Region Native Plants

Humming bird flying near native plant

Native plants have grown in our region for hundreds of years or more. They are well adapted to our soil and climate, and have developed natural defenses to withstand many types of insects and diseases. By selecting native plants that suit local conditions, you can reduce or eliminate the need for fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and watering, which in turn reduces pollution flowing into local waterways and the Bay.

Native plants also provide the best source of food for bees, birds, butterflies and other wildlife! Did you know that exotic ornamental plants support 29 times less biodiversity than native plants? With few exceptions, only insect species that have shared a long evolutionary history with a particular plant lineage have developed the physiological adaptations required to use those plants. When presented with ornamental plants that evolved on another continent, chances are local insects will be unable to utilize them. So many animals depend on insects for food (including 96% of all terrestrial birds) that the loss of insects from an ecosystem spells its doom. Learn more about how to choose native plants that match your project goals and site conditions and where to purchase these plants (and seeds) locally!

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