Maryland Native Plants
These plants are native to and will thrive in Maryland. When you buy native plants for Maryland, you help local wildlife and can easily enjoy the beauty of nature. Read more
Not sure if these are the right native Maryland plants for your garden? Try shopping by zip code with our native plant finder. Not in Maryland? Then shop native plants by state.
Firefly Delight 12-Plant Collection
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Little Bluestem Grass Plant Sets
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FAQs about native plants in MarylandThe Maryland landscape is beautifully diverse, but it’s under threat. Buying and planting Maryland native plants means helping that diversity to thrive. From the Chesapeake Bay watershed to the rocky shores of Ocean City and the woodlands of Silver Spring, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by your native plant options. That’s why we’ve curated collections of Maryland native plants for sale, designed to add a wide range of benefits and beauty to your garden.
If you're lucky enough to live in Maryland, you have a large diversity of planting options to consider. That’s because the ecosystems of the state vary so wildly. Maryland might be a small state, but it’s home to an almost disproportionate number of amazing native plants. From Port Tobacco to Baltimore, anyone with a garden to care for will be pleased to know that they have many more options than those in many other, even larger states.
Rocky shores, wetlands, and woodlands are all well represented, which means you have many choices when it comes to Maryland native plants. Much of the state has nutrient-rich and clay soils. It’s no surprise that Maryland is often called a nature lover's dream!
Geographically and climatically, it’s hard to beat Maryland. With piedmont, montane, and coastal ecosystems, we get long and hot summers, and the winters are much cooler.
Gardeners in Maryland have long led the growing movement around native plants. There are so many benefits to having our living spaces filled with native plants (as opposed to non-natives) that the trend is growing faster than ever.
They are becoming an indispensable addition to gardens across the US, and Maryland is no different. Native plants help local wildlife populations thrive. In some cases, as with the gorgeous Monarch butterfly, planting native plants plays a critical role in preventing their extinction. From creating firefly habitats to attracting hummingbirds and the insects that feed them, native plants are hard to beat.
When you fill your Maryland garden with native plants, you’re creating a more traditional landscape that reflects our local, natural character and history. Help to conserve the native wildlife of our beautifully diverse state by checking out our collections of Maryland native plants for sale.
When you add one of our curated native plant collections outside your home, you can enjoy a range of benefits. More and more locals in Maryland are using native plants because the benefits far outweigh any downsides (that’s because there are no downsides!). The top benefits of native plants in your Maryland garden include:
A more beautiful landscape
Many people get worried when they hear they should learn how to grow native plants in their gardens. They picture wild gardens, left free to grow out of control and become what they think is messy. That’s not the case. All gardens can be influenced by design, and your native plants can complement your existing garden design easily. Even an extremely formal garden can become more beautiful by planting colorful native plants that will bloom with the seasons.
Maryland preservationIt’s hard not to keep going on about the biodiversity of Maryland because it’s so spectacular! But that natural biodiversity is under threat from invasive, non-native plants. These invasive species cause untold harm, crowding out the plants that evolved with our local ecosystems and on which the health of our ecosystems depends.
As native plants are gradually replaced, insects experience dwindling food supplies. Then the local birdlife loses a vital food source. The effects run all the way up the food chain until we’re left with ecological dead zones filled with nothing but the smallest number of animal species that can survive.
Native plants help prevent that. They’ve evolved in our local ecologies for millions of years, so they’re well suited to Maryland’s climate. The species that depend on them will thrive when you buy native plants for Maryland’s diverse ecosystems.
Less garden work
If helping out local wildlife isn’t enough, how about this? A garden filled with native plants will be a LOT less work. If you have a large lawn and lots of non-native plants in your garden, you will be doing a lot of maintenance, including watering plants that don’t get their hydration needs from natural rainfall, using fertilizer because the soil isn’t suited to the needs of those non-natives, on top of regular grass mowing. That time (and expense) all adds up. Native plants are well-suited to the local temperature, rainfall, and other climatic variables, and the result is much less work for you. Plus they return every year on their own!
When you avoid using fertilizers and pesticides in your pollinator garden, which you won’t need if you grow Maryland native plants, you prevent pollution from entering your watershed and compounding the already-existing stormwater issues that are increasingly worrying in the state. For those living near the Chesapeake Bay, stormwater management is becoming essential.
Not only do native plants thrive without fertilizer, they also act as natural barriers to stormwater flow, slowing it down while increasing protection against flooding and improving soil infiltration.
The vast diversity of regions in Maryland means that there are no easy answers as to what gardening zones you fall into. In the US, we base gardening zones on local weather patterns and the expected frost dates. So in Maryland, where different areas have different levels of both, we have zones ranging from 5b to 8a.
If you want a clearer picture of the best plants to grow for your specific area of Maryland, try shopping for native plants by ZIP code. This will let you narrow down your best native plant options for your specific location.
The good news is that it’s very easy to start making a garden full of native plants. Your first step is to match the right plants with the right spot in your garden. Whether you have a large space to fill, a small corner, or an area that gets full sun or part shade, you’ll buy native plants for Maryland gardens that match your conditions.
Make sure you have a basic understanding of the importance of plants and sunlight.
Next, reduce the size of your lawn. You can do this easily enough by making or expanding some plant beds. Make sure you get rid of any invasive plants before planting your Maryland natives. A top tip is to use a range of native plants that match the seasons. When you know when to expect native plant emergence, you can quickly get blooming plants all year round!
However, if you’re thinking of designing a habitat for specific species, such as creating a firefly habitat, concentrate on the collections designed for those species.
According to a study in 2005, around 1.1 million acres of Maryland are covered in turf grass. That includes golf courses, but it’s primarily residential lawns. In the US, there are approximately 30 million acres of land being used as nothing but lawns. And we pour fertilizers, weed killers, and pesticides across them like they’re going out of fashion.
No, lawns are not good for conservation. Just mowing the lawn uses a lot of gas per hour, and watering a yard that’s 10,000 square feet needs at least 10,000 gallons of water over the summer alone.
Then there’s the fact that perfectly manicured lawns are ecological dead zones. Insects and other pollinators will see a lawn the same way we see a deserted landscape. There's simply nothing there for them to feed on or make a shelter out of. Get rid of as much of your lawn as possible, and replace it with plants native to Maryland.
An invasive plant species is one that has been introduced to the local area either on purpose or accidentally. They harm the local ecology of Maryland. That’s because they tend to have fewer natural plant-eating animals or parasites to keep them under control. The result is that they tend to spread more quickly and often more aggressively.
Unsurprisingly, a common term used for some non-native species is biological pollution!
The good news is that you can start being much more proactive about getting rid of those non-natives. The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has a free PDF that’s a complete list of all invasive plants in the state. The list is broken down into two categories:
- MDA Tier 1 - You cannot bring these plants into the state. If they exist on your land, they can’t be propagated or shared, bought, sold, or moved within the state while still alive.
- MDA Tier 2 - Nurseries can sell the plants on tier 2, but they need to be signposted. Most of the plants in tier 2 have been present in the state for over 50 years, and are considered to be somewhat naturalized.
However, although there are no strict instructions that you need to remove any of these invasive species from your garden, the MDA and Garden for Wildlife highly recommend doing so.