The Plant Native

About The Plant Native

Welcome to The Plant Native! 

The Plant Native is here to make native gardening fun and accessible. If native plants can plant themselves, we can easily plant them too.

You might be wondering—who’s writing this epic love letter to native plants?

Hi! I’m Em.

I am a true native plant lover, on my way to becoming a certified Master Gardener via Penn State. (A Master Gardener is not just about being a plant nerd—it is a designation handled by the United States government and universities.) I live in the Philadelphia region. My day job is co-running an advertising agency called Bellweather.

I got into native plants when I dug up my own yard, removed hundreds of invasive plants and a large chunk of my lawn, and planted hundreds of native plants. I saw my yard go from blah to gorgeous. I saw the butterflies and bird sightings in my yard multiply. It’s made me a true believer that native plants are beautiful, easy, and worth talking about.

Why I started The Plant Native…

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve found many gardening books, blogs, and groups to be a little intimidating. Flipping through dense books alongside zones and Latin names can turn something I love—gardening!—into something that feels more like homework. This academic-heavy language also made me worry I was going to make a mistake.

I started The Plant Native to make native gardening fun and accessible for beginners. It is something I wished I could find when I got into native gardening. As a marketer, I know there are lots of ways to communicate—brands can be fun and lighthearted, serious and scientific, warm and community-focused.

We’re here to get you started.

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with articles telling you to start your native garden by sending a soil sample to a local lab—The Plant Native is for you. (Sending a soil sample to a lab is one way to start a garden. But also: milkweed grows on the side of highways. And I’ve seen Texas Mountain Laurel thriving in a 7-11 parking lot 🤷‍♀️)

The goal of The Plant Native is to help homeowners, plant lovers, and landscapers get quick ideas and tips for planting native. Even just one Butterfly Bush replaced with milkweed is a win.

You don’t need a Botany PHD to plant a native garden

We don’t need a professional landscaper or a degree to plant native. The reality is that native plants have planted themselves for thousands of years without human help. If plants can plant themselves, we can plant them too, and gardening does not have to be a nerve-wracking science experiment (unless that’s your thing! Then go for it!)

Let’s change how we think about native gardening to make it less of a test and more of a fun, lifelong, easygoing hobby—for everyone.

All this, no need for fancy sprinkler systems (rain is fine!)

Through my own experience planting native, here’s what I’ve found:

Native plants are for lazy gardeners

There is nothing wrong with wanting a gorgeous yard without having to spend hours and hours gardening. (It felt so good to write that out loud!)

Many of us chose ‘lawns’ over ‘gardens’ because we thought lawns only required mowing and gardens required a painstaking amount of work. What a lie it is! The truth is…

Lawns are the time-suck of our lives

The lawn industry’s $50.7 BILLION DOLLAR payday has skewed how we spend our free time and money. We spend hours a week mowing, weeding, and spraying chemicals on our lawns—thinking that gardening is hard and expensive.

We did the math:

Lawns take 2400% MORE TIME than native gardens.

It turns out that mowing and seeding and feeding takes A LOT of time (and water, and money.) On the other hand:

Native plants thrive with minimal care

  • Native plants require no special care after they are established (which normally takes the first year)—no fertilizers or chemicals are needed
  • Native plants thrive with just rain (save on your water bill!)
  • Applying mulch or gravel around native plants makes weeding a breeze


It’s time we recognize native plants for both their sustainability and their ability to make landscaping and gardening easier and cheaper.

And The Plant Native is here to help get beginner gardens on their way.

Explore The Plant Native

The Plant Native is organized into three parts: a Native Plant Library, FAQs, and Resources.

1.

Native Plant Library

Find 100+ individual native plant profiles with growing tips (and lots of pictures)

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Bee Balm
wood-poppy-celandine-poppy-native-flower
Celandine Poppy
texas-mountain-laurel-native-bush-in-flower
Texas Mountain Laurel
arrowwood-viburnum-flowers
Arrowwood Viburnum
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Wood Lily
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Serviceberry

Found a mistake?

Reach out! Here’s The Plant Native promise:

  • Everything you can find on The Plant Native is from trusted sources—mostly native plant books or respected nonprofits like the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Sources are included at the bottom of every article.
  • All native ranges come from the USDA Plant Database.
  • If you find something incorrect, please email! Websites are made out of pixels (not stone) and this site will be constantly updated to make it the most useful resource it can be.