We are all learning that native plants support the environment while providing low-maintenance beauty to our yards, but how can you figure out which plants are native and which will grow well on your property? Native plants in garden centers often are not labelled as such, and sometimes plants that are labelled as “native” are actually residents of the prairies or even the west coast, not of Virginia.
Luckily, the Plant NOVA Natives campaign has created a resource that you can take with you to the nursery: the Native Plants for Northern Virginia booklet. Now in its third edition, this full-color guide lists 270 garden-worthy Northern Virginia plants, 90 of which are highlighted with photographs and extra detail. The index allows for quick look-up of growing conditions such as sun, moisture, and height. You can also identify which plants attract pollinators or birds, and which are larval host plants.
The third edition will be available starting the week of June 2. You can view the guide on line for free at www.plantnovanatives.org, but a few dollars would be well spent on purchasing a hard copy to take with as you shop. Single copies can be purchased here. Arrange to buy multiple copies ($5 per copy, tax included) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Pick up at 3040 Williams Drive, Suite 200, Fairfax, unless other arrangements are made. There is a discount for cases of 50 guides ($4 per copy). Don’t leave home without it!