Go Green at Home

Native Plant Landscaping

Native plants are adapted to our local climate.  They reduce stormwater runoff and are essential to local birds and pollinators.

Native Plants

Because native plants originated in this region, they are adapted to the climatic conditions, including temperature, wind speed, sunlight, and rainfall that occur within the region. These adaptations allow native plants to thrive under the conditions present here. As long as you chose the right plant for your sunlight and moisture conditions, native plants can save you money on water bills because they do not need regular watering once they are established.  Many native plants have long root structures providing more soil stability and maintaining better plant structure. This means that your native plants will come back year after year with minimal time and energy input from you.

Native plants also provide an essential service that can’t be found elsewhere – food and habitat for wildlife and supporting biodiversity.  The growth of cities and agriculture has eliminated many natural habitats.  Using native plants in our landscaping provides birds and pollinators with places to eat, drink, and rest.  Turf grass provides very few resources for wildlife and can be a food-desert to our bees and butterflies.  

Plants that have evolved in our region are acclimated to our local soils.  Native plants can handle rocky soil, clay, wet, or very dry soil – you just need to choose the right plant for the right conditions.  Native plants can also improve the soil as they get established.  Many native plants have deep, or fibrous root systems.  As they grown and their roots drive deeper into the soil, they create tiny crevices in the soil.  These crevices allow water to infiltrate deeper into the soil like a sponge.  This can mean less standing water at the surface, and healthier soil below the surface.  

Local Native Plant Sources:

The Land Nursery (By Appointment only) West Lafayette (765) 404-6013 

The Tippecanoe County Soil and Water Conservation District hosts a Spring native plant sale, and a fall native tree and shrub sale.

Prophetstown State Park hosts a spring native plant sale with species they grow in the park. Sale dates are released on DNR’s website.

Other Indiana Native Plant Sources:

The Indiana Native Plant Society maintains a directory of native plant retailers and contractors.

Here are a few commonly used nurseries:

Native Plants Unlimited, Fishers, IN, 317-777-9469

Spence Restoration Nursery, Muncie, IN, 765-286-7154

Stantec Native Plant Nursery formerly Cardno, Walkerton, IN, 574-586-3400

Heartland Restoration Services, Inc., Ft. Wayne, IN 46818, 260-489-8511

Information Resources:

Native Plant recommendations based on your sun and moisture conditions – Indiana Native Plant Society

Classes on converting lawns to native prairies – Monarch Gardens

Homegrown National Parks

Landscaping plans for ecoregions – WildOnes

Native Plant Landscaping Designs for Small Yards