Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Michigan Natives

Collection of MI and Midwest native varieties presented at the TLC Garden Walk 

Native plants offer undeniable benefits to a home landscape.  Native plants are predisposed to do well in their native environment. They are often deer resistant, drought tolerant, and easy to maintain.  Properly placed, taking consideration to soil type, light and moisture needs, these native varieties can be self-sustaining.  In addition. . .they can be absolutely stunning. Native plants do not require supplemental watering once established nor do they need fertilization.  They are winter hearty and provide food and habitat required by native birds and butterflies.  They improve your landscape biodiversity and are an important step to improving the vitality and biological health of the upper peninsula. 

There are some limits to the wonders of native planting.  Some varieties of natives are so dependent on a specific location that transplanting is not an option. Other stunning varieties of native wild flowers, although tempered by other plants in the wild, can be highly invasive in the home garden with it's rich soil, consistent irrigation, and lack of competition.  Size can also be limiting, especially when the cute transplanted tamarack  or bushy white pine becomes a tree.  Sourcing can also be limiting as few garden centers market native varieties.

Even with these limitations, it is well worth your time and effort to try to incorporate the native into your garden.     

Some of our Favorites: (not all are native specifically to the UP, but qualify as midwest natives)  

(Carex pennsylvanica - Common Oak Sedge)

Early Spring (April 13th 2012) Staghorn Sumac in background


Comptonia peregrina - Sweet Fern 
Pinus Strobus - Dwarf White Pine 
Physocarpus opulifolius - Nine Bark (dwarf varieties are also available)
Cornus sericea - Red Twigged Dogwood 
Rhus typhina - Staghorn Sumac 
Hypericum - St John's Wort 

Perennials (S for sun SH for shade)
Allium Cernuum - Nodding Wild Onion (S)
Coreopsis (S)
Echinachea (S) - Purple Cone Flower 
Liatris - Blue Star (S)
Lobelia Cardinalis - Cardinal Flower (S)
Penstemon - Beard Tongue (S)
Tradescantia Ohienisis - Common Spiderwort (S)
Aster Divaricatus - White Wood Aster (SH)
Carex Pensylvanica (SH)
Polemonium Reptans - Jacobs Ladder (SH)
Sedum Turnatum - Woodland stonecrop sedum (SH)
Asclepias tuberosa - Butterfly Weed (S)
Asclepias Syriaca - Common Milkweed (S) (be careful to stick to only one asclepias variety in your garden.  More than one will cause issues with pollination and asclepias will take over!)
Baptisia - Wild Indigo (S)
Chelone glabra - Turtle head (SH)
Eupatorium purpureum - Joe Pye Weed (S) 
Opunita humifusa - Eastern Prickly Pear (Cacti for the north woods!) (S)
Rudbeckia hirta - Black Eyed Susan (S)
Solidago - Goldenrod (S-SH depending on variety)

Above is the list of plants we have had success with in the UP and northern Wisconsin regions.  Please do your research for your specific situation.  Plants will only thrive if given what they want.  It easier and ultimately more successful to find the perfect plant for a spot rather than amend the spot for the plant.  

Where to find them:
Up Scapes Nursery - Call us for availability on native shrubs and perennials 906-439-5387