Kentucky Native Plants

FAQs about native plants in Kentucky

Investing in native plants for your home is a great way to help the wildlife of Kentucky. With these native plants, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re not just beautifying your home but actively helping contribute to local conservation efforts. 

Eager to buy native plants for Kentucky? Look no further than Garden for Wildlife’s curated collections of native Kentucky plants created specifically for the Bluegrass State.

Not sure if these are the right native plants for your garden? Try using our native plant finder by ZIP code. Not in Kentucky? Then you can shop by state instead!

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Pink Azalea Shrub (Pinxterbloom Azalea)

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$69.00
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$69.00
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$69.00
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Fragrant Power Flowers 6-Plant Collection

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$68.00
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$68.00
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$68.00
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Swamp Milkweed Plant Sets

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from $42.00
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from $42.00
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$42.00
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Sweet Azalea Shrub

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$69.00
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$69.00
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$69.00
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Snowy Milkweed Plant Sets

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from $42.00
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from $42.00
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$42.00
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Azalea Shrub Twin Pack

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$109.00
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$109.00
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$109.00
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Monarch Munchables 6-Plant Collection

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$68.00
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$68.00
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$68.00
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Whorled Milkweed Plant Sets

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from $42.00
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from $42.00
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$42.00
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Pollinator Picnic Plant Collections (I)

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from $108.00
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from $108.00
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$108.00
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Pollinator Power Plant Collections (I)

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from $68.00
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from $68.00
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$68.00
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Merry Monarchs Plant Collections (II)

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from $108.00
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from $108.00
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$108.00
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Monarch Magnet Plant Collections

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from $68.00
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from $68.00
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$68.00
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Buttonbush Shrub

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$38.00
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$38.00
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$38.00
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Hummingbird Haven Plant Collections (I)

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from $108.00
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from $108.00
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$108.00
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Rain Garden 12-Plant Collection

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$108.00
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$108.00
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$108.00
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butterfly icon
You’ll help birds, pollinators such as bees, butterflies, other insects, amphibians and small mammals, and reptiles.
globe icon
Your impact reaches far beyond your own garden. You’ll be creating habitat for declining wildlife, but also helping to reduce urban heat islands and manage storm water runoff.
house icon
Bring nature home. There’s no easier place to get a daily dose of nature and the physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
hands holding a plant icon
All orders support our non-profit mission to help declining wildlife and expand native plant availability nationwide.
butterfly icon
You’ll help birds, pollinators such as bees, butterflies, other insects, amphibians and small mammals, and reptiles.
glove icon
Your impact reaches far beyond your own garden. You’ll be creating habitat for declining wildlife, but also helping to reduce urban heat islands and manage storm water runoff.
house icon
Bring nature home. There’s no easier place to get a daily dose of nature and the physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
hand holding a plant icon
All orders support our non-profit mission to help declining wildlife and expand native plant availability nationwide.
butterfly icon
You’ll help birds, pollinators such as bees, butterflies, other insects, amphibians and small mammals, and reptiles.
globe icon
Your impact reaches far beyond your own garden. You’ll be creating habitat for declining wildlife, but also helping to reduce urban heat islands and manage storm water runoff.
house icon
Bring nature home. There’s no easier place to get a daily dose of nature and the physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
hand holding a plant icon
All orders support our non-profit mission to help declining wildlife and expand native plant availability nationwide.
butterfly icon
You’ll help birds, pollinators such as bees, butterflies, other insects, amphibians and small mammals, and reptiles.
globe icon
Your impact reaches far beyond your own garden. You’ll be creating habitat for declining wildlife, but also helping to reduce urban heat islands and manage storm water runoff.
house icon
Bring nature home. There’s no easier place to get a daily dose of nature and the physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
hand holding a plant icon
All orders support our non-profit mission to help declining wildlife and expand native plant availability nationwide.

Gardening for wildlife with native plants in Kentucky

Gardening with native plants is an excellent way to support the local wildlife and environment. In addition to making your yard look stunning, buying native plants ensures they are adapted to the local soil type and climate conditions.

These attractive plants provide food sources to various birds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.

When selecting plants for your garden, consider using plants native to Kentucky for landscaping to provide the best support for local wildlife. By incorporating native plants into your landscape, you can create a thriving and diverse ecosystem in your backyard.

What are native plants, and why are they important for Kentucky?

There are many benefits to choosing native plants for landscaping in the Bluegrass State. They often (but not always) cost less and require less maintenance than non-native varieties, but they also provide essential habitats to local wildlife species that depend on them for food and shelter.

Native plants have adapted to the specific climate and soils of Kentucky over time. They’re well suited for surviving long periods of weather events like droughts or floods, aiding in their longevity and success. That’s right. They’ll stay healthier for longer, making native plants a great choice even for beginner gardeners.

Utilizing native plants for landscaping is a cost-saving measure, and it also helps maintain biodiversity and protects the environment around us. By incorporating plants native to the area into your outdoor space, you’re helping to maintain the natural balance and ecological health of your surroundings.

Whatever type of native plants you choose, transforming your outdoor space with local life can be enjoyable and rewarding, and it’s never been easier!

Water conservation and Kentucky native plants

Native plants are an excellent choice when it comes to water conservation. Many of the plant species native to the region require less water and fertilizer than non-native species, because they are naturally adapted to the local climate.

Using native plants for landscaping will help to noticeably lower your water usage because they tend to have deep root systems. Their roots allow them to access water deep in the soil rather than relying on frequent watering. This can be especially beneficial during times of drought, when water resources may be limited.

Those longer roots also help capture more water, decreasing runoff pollution and conserving the energy required for watering and fertilization.

Native plants are a great choice for anyone looking to do their part for water conservation and overall environmental protection.

The natural beauty of Kentucky

Kentucky has many distinct and remarkable areas of natural beauty. From mountains in the east to meadows in the west, the state is home to various ecosystems that all need preserving.

One easy way to help contribute to this preservation is by opting for native plants when landscaping. By investing in Kentucky native plants for sale, you can ensure that these unique local plant species can thrive and not be replaced by invasive non-native species. Doing so will keep Kentucky beautiful and provide valuable benefits such as minimized use of chemicals, better air quality, and improved soil health.

Investing in Kentucky's natural beauty by opting for native plants is a simple action with far-reaching effects that can truly make a difference!

Sun exposure and Kentucky native plants

When selecting plants for your garden, an essential factor to consider is sun exposure. Understanding the relationship between plants and sunlight is crucial if you want your native plants to thrive. Kentucky native plants are especially suited for the Kentucky climate, making them well-adapted to the amount of sunlight or shade you have in your garden area.

So when selecting Kentucky native plants, be sure to include sun exposure as an important factor to ensure its success!

Soil type and plants native to Kentucky

The soil type in Kentucky varies widely, ranging from acidic to alkaline and nearly everything in between. Building a habitat garden in the state requires careful consideration of the local soil's properties. Fortunately, the native Kentucky plant species in our collections can survive in any Kentucky soil as they have adapted to it over thousands of years.

To ensure success in your Kentucky garden project, buy native Kentucky plants that are as localized as possible and known to thrive and survive even the harshest conditions.

Researching the specific type of Kentucky native plants suitable for your outdoor space will allow you to enjoy a full, healthy habitat garden for generations to come.

Choose Kentucky native plants to support nature

When buying native plants for Kentucky, it's important to consider the role that these plants will play in supporting the local wildlife. Native plants are adapted to the climate and soil of an area and provide food, habitat, and shelter to many pollinators, including many species of birds, even hummingbirds.

By investing in Kentucky native plants, you can contribute to a healthy ecosystem with biodiversity and promote resilience to local disturbances such as floods, heat waves, etc. Spending time learning about Kentucky native plants is certainly rewarding when you look forward to the natural beauty they bring and their ability to support wildlife.

Monarchs and milkweed In Kentucky

The iconic monarch butterfly is a treasured Kentucky native pollinator. Every year, these resilient creatures embark on a grueling 3,000-mile journey from their winter home in the mountains of Mexico to the northern US and southern Canada, often spanning three or four generations of butterflies. Along the way, they feed on native Kentucky plants.

To further aid their survival, it's a good idea for Kentucky residents to buy native plants that can provide nutrition and habitat for monarchs throughout their yearly migration.

Monarchs depend on milkweed plants for reproduction and as a food source for their caterpillars. In Kentucky, there are various efforts to conserve monarchs and other native pollinators, including the Kentucky Monarch Conservation Plan and the Kentucky Pollinator Protection Plan.

Then there’s the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, which has developed pollinator habitats on roadsides, interstates, and rest areas. Planting small monarch gardens and registering them as waystations with MonarchWatch.org can also help boost pollinator habitat.

 

FAQs about native plants in Kentucky

The USDA rates most of the soil around Central Kentucky as prime. Around Lexington specifically, the soil is extremely well regarded and widely considered to be some of the best grazing lands in the world.

Kentucky’s climate makes growing beautiful plants relatively straightforward, as long as you pick the right plants. We enjoy a relatively long growing season, we typically see regular rainfall, and we have reasonably mild winters — conditions gardeners in many other areas envy!

In much of the western and central parts of Kentucky, we’re blessed with a type of soil called Crider. Crider soils are usually fertile and well-drained, making them ideal for growing crops, and home gardening. Crider is also the official state soil. (Did you know Kentucky had an official state soil? Now you do!)

On ridges and hills, you’re likely to find Baxter soils, which are also typically good for gardening. In upland areas, you’ll find Maury soils, which is great news for your gardening (especially regarding how much water you need!).

If you're looking to buy native plants for your Kentucky garden, you'll be pleased to know that most of the state is located in USDA Hardiness Zone 6, providing an ideal environment for Kentucky native plants to thrive.

Far western Kentucky, however, is located in Zone 7. While this higher hardiness zone's average low temperature of 0 Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius) produces a milder climate than other parts of the state, native plants still do well there too.

To get a bit of a snapshot, Covington is in zone 6b, while Louisville is in zone 7a. If you're not sure of the hardiness zone of your garden, don’t panic. You can always use our ZIP code native plant finder that identifies the best Kentucky native plants for your garden based entirely on your exact location.

Attracting wildlife to your native plant garden is a great way to observe and appreciate nature. A few simple steps can help turn your outdoor space into a vibrant, lush environment for birds, butterflies, and other local wildlife. To start, pick Kentucky native plants that provide food sources such as nectar, pollen, seeds, or berries. Then, consider getting rid of your lawn, or at the very least, make it smaller.

Next, provide a water source such as a birdbath or small pond. Always consider using natural or organic pest control methods, as pesticides can harm the ecosystems of birds and butterflies. You should also avoid using artificial lights at night so you won't disorient or distract nocturnal animals.

With these tips in mind, adding Kentucky native plants for sale will help revitalize your corner of the earth and bring joy right to your fingertips.